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MOVIE REVIEW: “The Carter” Featuring Lil’ Wayne

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When the opening credits of “The Carter,” the documentary based on the life of Dwayne “Lil Wayne” Carter opens with the disclaimer that the megastar rapper didn’t give any personal interviews for the film. Furthermore, it states the rapper had since pulled his support from the project.

One might assume that the resulting film includes a barrage of second hand, conspiracy theories surrounding the turbulent life of one of Hip-Hop’s most enigmatic personas. Nothing could be further from the truth. “The Carter” is a compelling and insightful look into the life of the Cash Money’s multi-million dollar man, and weaves a story that no orchestrated interview could possibly capture.

Director Adam Bhala Lough and crew were the preverbal fly on the wall as they had an all access pass into the life of Lil Wayne for approximately 6 months before the release of his history making Carter 3 release and two months after. The film peers intimately inside Wayne’s mind by capturing real moments that reveal pieces of the man who was once a mere child of Hollygrove, New Orleans.

The voyeuristic peek shows Wayne unapologetically in his element recording, and performing all over the world. Highlights include a fierce focus on his grind, constantly recording on his bus, performing and interviews. “The Carter” also gives a firsthand look at Wayne’s apparent insatiable thirst for syrup, which some fear is more abuse.

Attached to the world through his music, the film examines the reality of Wayne’s delicate balance of lyrical excellence and combating inner demons. The film makers also interview with those closest to Wayne including Baby, and his longtime friend/manager Cortez. In one scene, Cortez speaks – nearly to tears – as he talks about the public beef and ultimatum that almost ended their relationship. The film also includes interviews with journalists around the country that are quite hilarious. One interview in particular where Weezy explains what laws he would change if he had the power (Spoiler: he would legalize weed, put cocaine back in Coca Cola and end child support payments).

At one point Weezy compares himself to John Forbes Nash, Jr., the lead character in “A Beautiful Mind,” and, although the rapper hasn’t been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, this film accentuates that fine line between genius and insanity.

Incidentally it was that mind that intrigued the film’s executive producer Quincy “QD3” Jones III, to pursue the project. At the Los Angeles premiere, QD3 told AllHipHop.com, “I’ve followed Lil Wayne since he was with the Hot Boys and had always thought he was great lyrically but what intrigued me most about him was the fact that after achieving so much success as an artist that he chose to go back to college. That is what really made me want to take a deeper look into who Lil Wayne really was.”

Wayne has already carved his legacy in Hip-Hop, but “The Carter” will forever been known as one of the first movies that chronicled it in an honest, respectable and balanced way.

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