Albums of 2008: Day 16 – Lil Wayne – Tha Carter III

“Shit, get on my level, you can’t get on my level. You would need a space shuttle or a ladder that’s forever.”

So says Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr. on the opening track of his highly anticipated sixth album (not counting all of those mixtapes). Sure, Weezy is asserting that he’s miles beyond you, but there’s something else lurking in those words. Wayne is letting you know that he is your space shuttle and your infinite ladder, and he’ll take you to Planet Jay-Z, Planet T-Pain, the A Milli Galaxy and beyond. He’ll even show you his home planet of Mars, a.k.a. Planet Weezy, while sounding like he’s hyped up on helium.

Sometimes Wayne gels his words to the beat, as if the spirit of the drum machine has possessed him. Other times he throws in some distorted electric guitar. He gets his autotune on for “Lollipop” and kinda circus-freaky for “La La La.” “Playing with Fire” got him sued for allegedly copping the idea from the Rolling Stones song “Play with Fire.” Ha.

Lil Wayne says so many things on Tha Carter III. He’s on it, up like Viagra; he’s him, he’s hotter than the sun, colder than ya’ll; he’s so fly he’s on autopilot, he’s a millionaire, he’s a venereal disease, he’s ill. And so on…

Wayne ends his album by addressing people (specifically Al Sharpton) who may be put off by his cursing, sexism, violent words or anything else: “Fuck if you understand me. I love being misunderstood, why? Cause I live in the suburbs but I come from the hood. Bring the hook in!” Then he let’s Nina Simone make the final contradictory chime: “I’m just a soul whose intentions are good. Please don’t let me be misunderstood.” Which is it? On Planet Weezy, it’s impossible to tell.

Watch the video for Lil Wayne’s “A Milli.”

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