What defines a legacy? Is it the highs? Is it the lows? Is it the combination of the two? Or is it simply public perception? For me it’s hard to think about a Legacy because I’m so early in my pursuits. Also I don’t really have shit, if you ask me for credits before a show I will give you a 🤷🏿♂️ every single time.
But I digress, rappers don’t age well and a majority of them don’t get to have a legacy as much as they get a commercial for a white product that features a hit song they had 10 years ago. The ones that are lucky enough to have a full career are often scrutinized heavily by skeptics (aka haters) like myself.
Tha Carter 5 is a representation of Lil Wayne’s legacy. It took us years to finally get to this place. Birdman held onto it like it was money he owes to Mannie Fresh; I honestly thought we’d never hear it. But by some miracle it’s here.
Let’s get to it.
On the (Good) Carter Albums, Wayne would rap you through his compound and set the tone for what you’re going to hear on this tape. On the Carter 5 Wayne is replaced by his mom who gives context to his life the way only a mother could. Every word from Wayne’s mom is filled with pride and blind adoration, I felt like I was sitting next to her at his High School graduation.
Wayne is rapping with a focus he hasn’t had in almost a decade. There’s an effort here that makes every line mean more, even if the lyrics suck. There’s points Wayne says corny shit but I honestly don’t care because it doesn’t detract from his bigger point. And his bigger point is “bro I’ve been sad as fuck for a long time”.
Usually Wayne raps about how high he gets and only gives hints to his depression. This album he makes it very clear that he doesn’t feel in control. Yea he’s rich, he’s got hoes and can cook up some crack but what does it all mean if it doesn’t make you happy? Lil Wayne is figuring that all out in front of us.
This album is 23 songs long. It’s a lot but he’s wanted to drop this since we had a black president so I give him a pass. Sure he couldve cut 4-5 songs from this but asking Wayne to cut songs is like asking Kobe to take less shots. That’s not happening.
This album feels a lot like Kobe’s last game. We’re seeing the summation of a career that shaped the generation that followed it. This isn’t the best performance of the year, but it’s the perfect representation of the artist. Do I think Wayne’s retiring? No. But do I think he’s completed this part of his journey? Most definitely.
Tha Carter 5 was a great surprise. I’ve been listening to it nonstop since it came out. I give Tha Carter 5 4.5 of Lil Wayne’s remaining Dreads out of 5.