Lil Wayne's mixtape Sorry 4 The Wait, which serves primarily as a place-holder for his forthcoming, but still probably long off The Carter IV, is actually really solid, loaded with quality samples, funky grooves and heavy bumps and grinds. The problem is that despite some creative and intriguing arrangements and music choices, Lil Wayne's lyrics just aren't that great. He spends most of his time concocting ways to include the ideas of drinking, fucking and killing, and as a result, the information surrounding those obviously planted-with-care moments of edgy vitriol is pretty dead. Or, more often, the sections that aren't about Lil Wayne forcing a women to swallow a penis-colada or other ejaculatory reference, are just him rambling like he has no idea what is meant to fill in the space around his "show stopping" words. And largely, that's Lil Wayne, except that this time around he a little clumsier than before, working hard to establish a tougher guy persona for his post-prison existence. The big upside is that the mixtape is free for download, and streaming below, so there's no real sacrifice in hearing it, other than time. And you can't get that back anyway.
There are moments like with "Tunechi's Back" and "Marvin's Room" where a clear combination of skill and artistic consideration happen, hand-in-hand. "Sure Thing" comes close as well, at least in its ambition. But, for every moment where Lil Wayne seems to recognize, becoming momentarily self-aware of the irony within his prostrating, he will throw four verses about glocks, pussies, cash, drinking, picking up white women, etc., until really he's just a parody of himself. Or at least the idea of Rap Excess. And there's not enough asides or alternate viewpoints presented for me to believe that he's trying to send a message. Where Sorry 4 The Wait could have been a statement about his career bouncing back, or at least about something, and I mean SOMETHING, anything, the real album just doesn't have a direction. Unless you count having sex, committing violence and drinking Patron. That's it. There's your common thread. And a few really great sample tracks and back-beats. At times, Lil Wayne even seems to have become bored with his own songs, falling back into a drone that is as unsettlingly bland as it can be uninventive. But, it's not a fully pointless piece of work. And a true fan will probably garner greater enjoyment from it.
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