Everyone that reaches the top falls from grace. It is a part of life that you can only be so good and consistent for so long before you have to wind it down. Jordan playing for the Washington Wizards is not how anyone is going to remember him. Same is to be said for Brett Favre in Minnesota or New York. What makes hip hop so compelling is that it is the closest to a sport that you can have in music. So much is predicated on what an individual can do with words and the breeds a competitiveness that no other genre has. In saying that every rapper lyrically just doesn’t have it anymore, and as of 2015 Lil’ Wayne is on his last leg.
Personally, I have always felt that Lil’ Wayne has been overrated but I also have felt the same about LeBron James. At neither point did I diminish the fact they are very talented individuals and are the upper echelon in what they do. But listening to Lil Wayne seems like punishment opposed to enjoyment. The Carter III was the peak of this man’s popularity and artistic value. That was in 2008. The Carter III had sold a million in a week which was and is unheard of in this current rap climate. He was nominated for album of the year in the Grammy’s, while winning best rap album that same year. Clearly he was on top whether you loved it or not.
Now this isn’t the first editorial piece written about how Lil’ Wayne has fallen off, there are countless articles and threads about it, is almost like this taboo subject that everyone speaks about privately but not publicly. It could be due to that Wayne has positioned himself with a lot of powerful people in hip hop so saying how he has ‘lost it’ could result in not getting on that new DJ Khaled record that is inexplicably going to get way too much rotation at radio. Maybe he is just more likeable too. When Jay-Z started creeping up there in age, bloggers and rappers left and right were coming out saying how done he was and that he needs to give the new guys shine. What I think can be learned here is that it’s not about your age in hip hop but more so mileage.
Sample size is everything. Lil’ Wayne raps…like a lot. While he is only 32 look at how many mixtapes, albums, and features this man has been on.
. Studio Albums
• Tha Block Is Hot (1999)
• Lights Out (2000)
• 500 Degreez (2002)
• Tha Carter (2004)
• Tha Carter II (2005)
• Tha Carter III (2008)
• Rebirth (2010)
• I Am Not a Human Being (2010)
• Tha Carter IV (2011)
• I Am Not a Human Being II (2013)
• Tha Carter V (2015)
• Free Weezy Album (2015)
That does not include the Drought, Squad Up, and Dedication series. The Sorry for the Wait tapes or any other one offs such as No Ceilings. Not to mention the endless guest verses he has put on a remix or just one of his artist projects. Even his most diehard fans will tell you that he isn’t the same. Now the point of drop off goes anywhere from his stint in Riker’s Island to the Dedication 3 up towards the extreme idea he never was that damn good. Wayne’s domination came when rap arguably was at its weakest overall in that 2006-2009 era. Could it be that with the emergence of more versatile and talented artists such as a Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole and his own protégée Drake that he is being exposed possibly?
There is only so many times that you can tell us what the “F” in Weezy F. Baby stands for. Your uncanny lust for giving a redbone oral pleasures while flicking a lighter signalling you are about to, how do you say ? ‘Go in’. Lil Wayne will go down as one of the best, where you rank him is always on you but he will get at least an honourable mention by most from this generation. He has always flirted with this notion of retirement and I hope it comes sooner than later. Nostalgia usually works in most people’s favour but it is getting to the point that the bad is becoming as memorable as the good with Lil Wayne. We remember Jordan hitting the buzzer beater against Utah game 6, that is how I’m trying to remember this man’s catalogue but it I think we are getting a clearer picture of why the Carter V maybe being kept in Birdman’s bushes.
Jarvis G (@JarvisG_)