Tha Carter III

Tha Carter III

by Lil WayneLil Wayne

CD

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Overview

How Tha Carter III came to be "the most anticipated rap album of 2008" is a story that involves the usual delays and promises of a masterpiece, plus a whole lot of bullet points that could only exist in the absurd world of Lil Wayne. There's his complete annihilation of the mixtape game, the ridiculous amount of guest shots he granted since Tha Carter II made him a hip-hop superstar, that photograph of him kissing his mentor, Birdman, rumors of addiction to the sizzurp, plus the gargantuan ego and aggravating aloofness (Wayne will ignore all incoming beefs and infuriate challengers even further by offering the lethal "I don't listen to your records"). His "best rapper alive" quote is discussed to death, but if that claim includes creating perfectly crafted full-lengths in a 2Pac style, the evidence won't be found here. Tha Carter III is instead a surprisingly casual album that takes numerous listens to sort out, and only part of a puzzle that is scattered across mixtapes, guest shots, and Internet leaks. Had he included another easy-access single like "Rider" from The Drought Is Over, Pt. 4 -- just one of his mixtape series that made it to a Pt. 5 -- the "classic" argument could be considered, but figuring out what to sacrifice from this high-grade jumble is difficult. It wouldn't be the electro-bumpin' "Lollipop," an infectious track that contains the wonderfully Wayne line "I told her to back it up/Like burp, burp." You certainly wouldn't want to lose key cut "Phone Home," where the maverick adopts an alien voice and drops "I could get your brains for a bargain/Like I bought it from Target." Another Weezy special from way outside the hip-hop universe comes in the striking "Dr. Carter," when the football reference "And you ain't Vince Young/So don't clash with the Titan" dances on a David Axelrod sample and an unexpected jazzy production from Swizz Beatz. Giant meets giant when Jay-Z stops by for the velvet-smooth hangout session "Mr. Carter," and with Babyface laying the stylish swagger all over "Comfortable," Wayne gets the opportunity to convincingly vibe in the land of true class. Just like on Tha Carter II, Robin Thicke ends up the most complementary guest, coating Wayne's post-Katrina tale "Tie My Hands" in warm buttery soul. As the track flows from political commentary ("My whole city's underwater, some people still floatin'/And they wonderin' why black people still votin'/Cuz your President's still chokin'") to despair and onto some moving "keep your head up"-styled verse, it proves Wayne can go deep and connect with his audience if he chooses. You can fault him for not connecting enough on the album and further complicating his unmanageable body of work with this disjointed effort, but Wayne's true masterpiece is the bigger picture and how he's flipped the script since the first Carter rolled out. Filled with bold, entertaining wordplay and plenty of well-executed, left-field ideas, Tha Carter III should be considered as a wild, somewhat difficult child of Weezy's magnum opus in motion, one that allows the listener an exhilarating and unapologetic taste of artistic freedom. [Cash Money issued a revised track listing edition in 2008.]

Product Details

Release Date: 08/18/2008
Label: Cash Money
UPC: 0602517834866
catalogNumber: 001197702
Rank: 4259

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Lil Wayne   Primary Artist
Eddie Montilla   Strings,Keyboards
Pro-Jay   Musician
Darius Harrison   Drums
Robin Thicke   Musician
Ludas Charles   Keyboards
Sha Ron Prescott   Vocals,Background Vocals

Technical Credits

James Scheffer   Composer
Pro-Jay   Producer,Engineer
Sol Marcus   Composer
Gloria Caldwell   Composer
Angelo Aponte   Engineer
Kanye West   Producer,Audio Production
Swizz Beatz   Producer,Audio Production
Julian Vasquez   Engineer
David Banner   Producer,Audio Production
Robin Thicke   Producer
Jim Jonsin   Producer,Audio Production
Play N Skillz   Audio Production
Rodnae   Audio Production
T-Pain   Audio Production
Vaushaun Brooks   Audio Production
Gina Victoria   Engineer
Miguel Scott   Engineer
Andrews Correa   Audio Production
Shondrae "Mr. Bangladesh" Crawford   Audio Production

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