Can Lil Wayne Rock?

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Chris Winters brings his in-depth reviews to Lil Wayne’s Rebirth album. Check it out and see if it’s worth picking up!





 

 

I remember during my elementary years listening to the debuted New Orleans Hip-Hop
group, Hot Boys aka Cash Money Millionaires. For the ones who aren’t familiar with
them they include the rappers from what I remember, Baby, Juvenile, Mannie Fresh and
of course-a teenage Lil Wayne. While he was mostly the hook master of the crew, he’s
the one you can hate or thank for the terms "Bling", "Drop It Like It’s Hot" and
sometimes "The Block Is Hot". I would’ve known before or after the group’s breakup,
he would be (not the best because I have my opinion) the most popular rapper and I’m
still shocked ’till this day. Why don’t I agree with being the best rapper alive?
You can’t be the best rapper alive when you have to drink cough syrup everyday for
an edge…but than again-rock was built on drugs and sex also, right? Still, I have
a point.

 


Lil Wayne, the Hot Boys their label Cash Money Records disappeared from my radar
when I started 6th grade and all of a sudden this "The Carter" craze started-I
couldn’t stand listening to him anymore for some reason when I tried to give him a
chance. People would praise him as a lyrical genius which sounded like garbage to my
ears while his as a plus annoyed me and soon felt he was overrated and I still do
feel that way when I look at a more deserving rapper, Lupe Fiasco. I don’t despise
Lil Wayne-I’ve heard many memorable lines, a few songs and verses (him on Shakira’s
Give It Up to Me is one my favorites) I liked.

 


"Dwayne ‘Lil Wayne’ Carter is recording his rock debut album" You can’t help but
wonder his fans reaction when they heard this news. A high percentage of his fanbase
are hardcore, Lil Wayne’s attitude towards and new sound of his music is careless
(which he made quite clear in Tha Carter Documentary), I’m thinking he’s sick of
this (C)rap Vs. Rock and trying to make the both worlds come together. That has got
to be the reason for this huge gamble in his career-there can’t be anything else
except that unless I must add he admits being a fan of bands like Nirvana growing up
and has a passion for rock music. Does his influence make a good album for his first
roll of the dice on this different board? Lets find out.

 

The album starts us off with the first track, "American Star" where Lil Wayne blends
rapping and singing explaining the his past and present in the U.S.A. where our
president "Is B.L.A.C.K.". When you hear him claiming to be a "Dope boy with a
guitar", it sticks with you and gives you an idea of what the album will provide.
After the decent and detailed introduction to Rebirth, we are treated to it’s first
single, "Prom Queen" which caused the stir where Lil Wayne was going next. I
remember when I first heard it-I didn’t know whether to hate it or love it and it
nothing but increase my interest hesitantly but critically at the same time. The
beat is hard to not like again yet another line you’ll have no choice but to accept
and come to love will be, "I loved her fancy underwear, sat behind her every year".
The only thing you’ll have to deal with is (the best way to describe it) the "syrupy
auto-tune" he uses on this song and almost throughout the album.
But it can be worst-have you heard him on T-Pain’s "I Can’t believe It"? He was
using the exact same auto-tune tone Nappy Boy was using while he rapped you
couldn’t barely understand what he was saying. Whether Lil Wayne actually played
the guitar on this track or not, it’s decent and nothing to complain about but
nothing to brag about either as well on all of the songs on Rebirth.

 

The next track is "Ground Zero" which is probably the catchiest songs on the album.
Lil Wayne rarely sings on this one and it kind of reminded me of Rage Against the
Machine if Lil Wayne was the lead and the band debuted in the 2000s.
"Paradice"…Lil Wayne tries to tell a story on this track but it struggles to get
through to you except, "Oh, no-this ain’t paradice!" which can get annoying at
times. I believe the lyrics was far too emotional that Lil Wayne just can’t deliver
with his voice without sounding like he’s whining. It’s not a horrible song but it’s
not an excellent one either-if you don’t really care for it, I’d say skip it and not
to mention it kills the mood of listening far too early. "Da Da Da"…I can’t say
anymore than this song is nothing more than a party song you can head bang to-that’s
it. You can skip it if you want but it cheers you up from "Paradice". It’s nothing
out of the ordinary but I don’t understand why it became a single
because it doesn’t have the quality. "Get a Life" seems beats "Da Da Da" with it’s
obvious punk rock sound and catchy chorus style but it seems to have just that
going for it.

 


"On Fire" fools you with a 15 second intro almost convincing you it’s an 80s song
until the real beat drops. The whole songs is good except there aren’t any real
drums on this track just guitar work that helps it but I can’t help but feel this
song was recorded before Rebirth was even thought of and was just doctored up but
the doctor did well with the face-lift. Singing is almost barely performed but you
honest don’t a lot of it for this to be a good song and again, it’s a good song but
I also can’t help but think, "This belongs on The Carter IV". The same goes for
"Drop the World" featuring Eminem-I feel like it’s too good of a song to be on
Rebirth but at the same time feels at home. It seems Eminem took Lil Wayne up on his
call-out for collaborating together finally. "Drop the World" is a top-notch song
with a top-notch beat and you find it hard the chorus, "B-tch, Ima pick the world up
and Ima drop it on your f-cking head!" …Hahaha-and it’ll be
awesome.

 

Then there’s "One Way Trip" featuring Cash Money Records’ first rock artist, Kevin
Rudolf and an awesome choice of Travis Barker on the drums. I felt it was smart to
hear Kevin Rudolf again after "Let It Rock" they go well together and Travis Barker
puts it down as always. This is my favorite of Travis playing on a hip-hop song
which is far more superior than The Game’s "Dope Boys".

 


"Knockout" featuring Nicki Minaj. "Hey, Barbie…are you into black men? Hey,
Barbie…I can be a black ten! ‘Cause once you go black, you never go back, she wore
her black with curls in the back, then she threw that back, back, back, then I fell
to the mat and after that, everything went black!" …You honestly have to hear this
song and love it like I did with it’s punk rock direction-there should be no trouble
rocking out to his. The song is hilarious and definitely a song you’d listen to the
album for not to mention Nicki Minaj is awesome. Next, we have "Runnin’" I have no
idea who Shannel is but whoever she is, Rebirth sure need a female’s touch on it.
The song has a nice soft rock feel to it and it’s pretty awesome-I’ll also have to
say Shannel steals the track.

 

What’s next? Well, I have to say for the rest of the tracks whether you’re listening
to the standard or deluxe edition, you will be pleased. There’s no doubt that this
is actually a rap rock album than an actual rock kind that Lil Wayne calls it and in
fact, he called it a "Freedom Album". He still has his swagger we all know and a
guitar in the background shouldn’t be a big deal.

 

I was pleasantly surprised with Rebirth-it’s a pretty solid album for a first start
of a rock debut from an acclaimed "Best Rapper Alive". I used not dare put anything
related to Lil Wayne on my Mp3 player if I didn’t have to but this was a good excuse
for me. I don’t think I’ll be listening to his Tha Carter Trilogy and last albums up
anytime soon but I can’t express how interested in Tha Carter IV and his future work
because I know he won’t forget that he released Rebirth. You "Heavy Hip-Hoppers and
Pure Rockers" should give this album a chance-stop limiting yourself to different
types of music because you’ll die that way missing out on some good media. I applaud
Lil Wayne for doing something a lot of rappers wouldn’t do ever-that tells you a lot
about himself.

 

Again, the question is can Lil Wayne rock? Yes, he can and knows what he’s
doing…it may make you raise your eyebrow a few times if your one of those "Pure
rockers" but remember, he is a rapper and you have to give it to him for stepping
out of his comfort zone unfazed.

 

Top 5 Songs-

5. One Way Trip ft. Kevin Rudolf & Travis Barker

4. On Fire

3. Ground Zero

2. Knockout ft. Nicki Minaj

1. Drop the World ft. Eminem

 

Honorable Mentions-

1. Runnin’ ft. Shannel

2. Ready for the World (Deluxe Edition)

3. I’m Not Human

 

Rebirth’s Report Card  B

 

Standard and Deluxe Edition Covers

 

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