Silver Chips Online

Lil' Wayne provides that "Hustler Musik"

New Orleans rapper provides head-banging, gangster tracks on latest album

By Josh Zipin, Online Managing Sports Editor
December 23, 2005
His oversized Dolce Gobbana sunglasses on, dreadlocks hanging, no shirt, Rolls Royce in the background, cash hanging out of his pockets, and fresh Nikes on his feet; Lil' Wayne is the definition of a gangster rapper.

Wayne's latest album, "Tha Carter II," plays mostly to his strengths as an entertainer and the result is a well-produced album. With a healthy mix of fast-paced, up-tempo jams and slower, more thuggish songs, Weezy Baby establishes himself as a rapper who has surpassed the up-and-coming stage and has arrived as an artist.

Lil' Wayne has a melodic flow that is, on a good track, capable of making the listener's head nod. On "Tha Carter II," Lil' Wayne stays live and hyped enough to keep the listener's head bobbing to the beat. In his best track on the album, the radio hit "Fireman," Wayne rhymes faster than usual with beats and lyrics that compel the listener into at least tapping a foot.
"Tha Carter II," Lil Wayne's latest album is worth listening to. 

Image courtesy of Nobody
"Tha Carter II," Lil Wayne's latest album is worth listening to. Image courtesy of Nobody

He also shows his versatility on the next track, "Mo' Fire." With a reggae beat and sample, this song is something unexpected from Weezy, and is immaculately produced and is a nice change of pace.

As with most rappers, Lil' Wayne touches on the required topics of money, drugs, guns and women. "Money On My Mind" and "Hit 'Em Up," two of the better songs on the album, explicitly reveal Wayne's obsession over getting paid. Throughout the album, Lil' Wayne tells of his past as a cocaine dealer and street hustler. He even jumps to that subject nearly forbidden to all rappers: love.

In "Receipt," Lil' Wayne manages to talk about this near-prohibited subject without seeming like a softie an impressive feat for any rapper. He gets close to saying the three words all rappers dread when he says: "It's kind of hard saying this [expletive] to your face, so I do it over snares and bass. Music take her away." Not quite "I love you," but a noble step for hip-hop.

In a rare moment of indecisiveness, Lil' Wayne declares in the slow track, "Feel Me," that he has never killed anybody, yet he devotes a couple of lines in most of his songs to talking about how he's not afraid to use his gun. Other than this hypocrisy, Wayne is clear in establishing himself as a man of the streets.

The beats on "Tha Carter II" are well mixed by Weezy's role model, Baby, also known as The Birdman. The Birdman makes an appearance on one of the best tracks, "I'm a D'boy," and the chemistry between him and Wayne results in a fiery song.

It seems that no rappers can avoid rapping about themselves and their skills. In fact, in a dicey boast, Lil' Wayne dubs himself the best rapper alive on the track with the same title. Although intriguing with a rock-influenced beat, the song is not nearly good enough to convince the listener that he is indeed the best rapper alive. With "Tha Carter II," Weezy Baby will have to settle for the title of "one of the best rappers alive."