Rapper or rocker?

Karishma Mehrotra

Lil Wayne’s new album fails to rock

The cover boldly states "Best rapper alive", but the new Dwayne Michael Carter Jr. (also known as Lil Wayne) album "Rebirth", released on Feb. 2, doesn’t prove the claim not only because it lacks in quality, but also in rap.

Wayne’s career began with his first rap song at the age of eight and transitioned into the mix tapes and eyelid tatoos that engulfed the world today with the titles "Rapper of the Year", "Workaholic of the Year", "Best Rock Star Alive" and "Best MC" by The New Yorker, GQ magazine , Blender magazine and Rolling Stone, respectively. 

Amidst all the success, however, the fumbles are what make his career interesting. After his arrest in October for gun-possession, delays in the album’s release date and a leak of the album on Amazon, Wayne has faced his bucket of mishaps. 

 

 

But there is no mishap like the album "Rebirth". The biggest flaw lays in the fact that, although he remains a superstar, Wayne is no rockstar.


He picks up an electric guitar and ditches the beat box (but obviously keeps the seductive, raspy voice). If only someone would inform Lil Wayne it’s not Halloween anymore—ditch the electric guitar and focus on your bling-bling.  
 

"Ground Zero" can be considered by far the worst track using harsh instruments that clash with Wayne’s gruff, aggressive voice as he shouts lyrics like "I’m so high that the ground is gone". The lyrics fail to improve in the song "Da Da Da" either—"Yeah gimme that monkey; that funky monkey." It takes on a general pattern of spitting out whatever comes into his head until you can only help but wonder…"what?" 


For this album, the song highlights will only attract selective audiences. In "Paradice", he shows off a more emotional style than aggressive rapping but after hearing the computer effects which easily mask true skill, anyone would refrain from calling the Lil Wayne’s voice talented. There is a slight hint of some decent tunes in the chorus of "On Fire" but nothing that urges you to sing along. Fans will probably love "Drop the World" as it resorts to a comfortable Lil Wayne realm of venting out all your anger.


Sure, give him credit for stepping out of the constrained rap bubble with this experimental album, but the attempt ends at failure. Thankfully, Lil Wayne steers away from the rock realm in the future with rumors of a new R&B album with more vocoder sounds, a collaboration with T-Pain and possibly Tha Carter IV after his previous extremely successful Tha Carter records.

It is hard to publicize the computerized voice, the anger in "Drop the World", or the peek into his bass and guitar playings in an orange jumpsuit behind bars. And unfortunately, critics have been no help. 

 

Although this album falls flat, Wayne’s career does not. One experiment down the drain will give Dwayne Michael Carter Jr. a rebirth.