EPISODE 159: Lil Wayne – Tha Carter V Album Review
Get Lil Wayne’s long awaited album Tha Carter V right here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/tha-carter-v/1437591818
Longevity in Hip-Hop is incredibly hard to retain. Between the fickle nature of fans and how fast the desired sound in the genre changes, to see any artist create a series of albums and those albums go on to leave a legacy is extremely rare. Lil Wayne is among the few that have been able to maintain relevance throughout a lengthy, star-studded career. He started off his legendary album series by releasing the first installment, Tha Carter, which was also his 4th studio album, back in 2004 and set the game ablaze. He declared his status as the “Best Rapper Alive” on the sequel just a year later. The Carter II is considered a classic by fans, and Hip-Hop Heads alike, but everything changed for Wayne, as three years later, he would go on to release his critically acclaimed sixth studio album, Tha Carter III which featured hits like “Lollipop”, “A Milli”, and “Mrs. Officer”. Selling an astounding 1.5 million copies in the first week alone, it seemed like there was no stopping Wayne. In 2011 Wayne released the fourth installment of the series which featured genius hits like, “6 Foot 7 Foot”, “Blunt Blowin”, and the unexpected ballad, “How to Love”. Rumors of Tha Carter V started swirling soon after and the album was then announced in 2013. However, despite getting officially announced three times in 2014, it would be four long years later until the album would see the light of day.
On December 4th, 2014, just five days before the album’s first part was set to drop, Wayne revealed that Birdman and Cash Money were to blame for the album not being released. It was the beginning of a very dark period of Wayne’s career. He somehow found a way to still release a slew of projects, and even an album (Free Weezy Album, In Tune We Trust, No Ceilings 2, Sorry 4 the Wait 2, Dedication 6/Dedication 6: Reloaded), while dealing with legal issues left and right from Birdman and Cash Money. Fans began to lose hope as the situation became increasingly dire, but in June 2018, Wayne was officially released from his contract with Cash Money. That would turn out to be the first sign that the fifth and final installment of Tha Carter series would finally be released. Eventually, Wayne won the sole ownership of his Young Money record label and also won the money he sued Birdman for. Finally, in the best turn of events, on September 28th, the world would, at long last, see the global release of Tha Carter V.
Despite having been recorded years ago, it proves to be well worth the wait, and delivers in every way possible. It’s the most personal and cohesive album from Wayne yet. Having his mother Jacida Carter deliver the most touching introduction for the album, along with a few interludes to transition into other songs, are just a fraction of how deep the album gets. Wayne opens up about his suicide attempt as a child on the album’s closer “Let It All Work Out”, and vents about his life and how he was feeling going through his Cash Money situation on numerous tracks. Wayne’s expert lyricism and cleverness is on full display. He delivers his rhymes passionately from start to finish. The album also has excellent features from Kendrick Lamar, Nicki Minaj, Swizz Beatz, and the late XXXTENTACION, to name a few. Fans are rejoicing, the critics are in favor of the album, but the best part of Tha Carter V finally being out, is that, Wayne is alive and well to see it, and despite all the turmoil he went through, he saw it all through and came out as the victor.