Tha Carter III - Lil Wayne
Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. It’s eclectic, eccentric and yes, essential.
  2. From the start you know this is no mixtape because it's clearer and more forceful. Every track attends to detail, with fun tricks like the chipmunk-chorused "Mr. Carter"'s sudden descent into screwed-and-chopped before Jay-Z comes in.
  3. 90
    There's an exhilarating, disorienting sense of freedom tot he album, the ruse of rules being ignored. [Aug 2008, p.79]
  4. 90
    Maybe that's how we need to view this record--a little less anxious in our anticipation and balanced out with a little more enjoyment. Then, it just might be a classic.
  5. This isn't a mixtape, it's a suite of songs, paced and sequenced for maxaqimum impact.
  6. All rappers ride on the claim that they’re the best, but on III Wayne makes his case.
  7. Instead of hiding his bootleg-bred quirks in anticipation of the big-budget spotlight, he distills the myriad metaphors, convulsing flows, and vein-splitting emotions into a commercially gratifying package that's as weird as it wants to be; he eventually finds his guitar but keeps the strumming in check.
  8. The album is listenable, exciting and succeeds in reigniting interest in hip hop and rappers that dedicate their life to become great MC's, not just hustlers.
  9. Tha Carter III soars because of Wayne’s to-date under-appreciated ability to turn himself down.
  10. Though wrong and stupid kinda work (in a good way!), Tha Carter III is more a balanced, self-conscious synthesis of everything viably great about Lil Wayne, hyperbolic or not, than the penultimate statement of the MC’s “legendary” status.
  11. 80
    In which the prince of hip hop get a blessing from the king. [Sep 2008, p.110]
  12. Filled with bold, entertaining wordplay and plenty of well-executed, left-field ideas, Tha Carter III should be considered as a wild, somewhat difficult child of Weezy's magnum opus in motion, one that allows the listener an exhilarating and unapologetic taste of artistic freedom.
  13. He breaks language down into building blocks for new metaphors, exploiting every possible semantic and phonetic loophole for humour and yanking pop culture references into startling new contexts.
  14. Tha Carter III hearkens to when rap meant rapp: Isaac Hayes talking for days about some girl he broke with, or Bobby Womack signifying while strumming a blues guitar.
  15. With help from A-list guest stars (T-Pain, Robin Thicke) and producers (Kanye West, Swizz Beatz), Lil Wayne backs up the boasts [of "best rapper alive"] on the oft-delayed Tha Carter III.
  16. That said, it's not an instant classic, but it is the best rap album since Kanye West dropped "Graduation" last year.
  17. We should have known. If his raspy, cartoonish voice didn't mark him as different, his quick wit, offhanded wordplay and quirky subject matter should have in a genre populated largely by grim-faced imitators.
  18. Tha Carter III is a monumental album full of powerful, self-defeating statements that obliterate rap’s internal logic without offering too much more than indifferent bong logic in return. Judged, however, as a collection of singles and quotable verses--the criteria on which we’ve been grading hip-hop records since the end of disco--Tha Carter III is an agonizing piece of work.
  19. Ultimately, Tha Carter III will have you believing in Wayne's greatness but wondering why, as often as not, he just isn't very good.
  20. He's the man of the moment, but the disc's best moments strive for timelessness and attain it.
  21. One could easily pick and choose from the songs here to make a more coherent 12-track album; such a record would likely have more immediate impact. But it'd also be kind of painful to cut anything.
  22. It's Wayne's personality that both floats and sinks TC III.
  23. For merely running in place, TC3 can be transfixing. But it is not enough. [20 June 2008, p.66]
  24. Gifted MC loses the run of himself without Mannie Fresh.
  25. Tha Carter III is scattershot, which oddly strengthens its faults, as if any lull in quality means that the next batch of producers can just reset the formula.
  26. Now, equipped with the stylish, but too-often substance-less Tha Carter III, Lil Wayne seems poised to flip the script on the “rapper racists” (radio stations, MTV) by evolving into the “biggest” rapper alive.
User Score
6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 227 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 59 out of 88
  2. Negative: 21 out of 88
  1. Undergroundmystery
    Aug 25, 2009
    0
    Absolute garbage. Lil wayne is not close to the top 100 rappers living. I would like to see him battle against nas. Has no talent whatsoever Absolute garbage. Lil wayne is not close to the top 100 rappers living. I would like to see him battle against nas. Has no talent whatsoever as evident by his lyrics. Yeah, the lollipop beat is good but the lyrics are shit and it ruins the song. Full Review »
  2. sashaj
    Sep 6, 2008
    10
    I was expecting good from Lil Wayne on this album considering the horrible guest appearences of him on various songs in the months prior to I was expecting good from Lil Wayne on this album considering the horrible guest appearences of him on various songs in the months prior to the release. On June 5th, a friend of mine sent me a link where I could download the album. I did, and after hearing 3 Peat and Mr. Carter I was amazed and decided that I would buy it in stores. After I bought it I thorougly listened to it and decided that this is the first album where I didn't have to skip any songs. Some might say the album did not have had a concept or a general idea but trust me it did. The general message was: All of these songs are the new Lil Wayne. Full Review »
  3. [Anonymous]
    Sep 2, 2008
    3
    If I wanted to hear an auto-tune ridden pop-tastrophe I would've just bought a T-Pain album. I guess I was mistakenly anticipating If I wanted to hear an auto-tune ridden pop-tastrophe I would've just bought a T-Pain album. I guess I was mistakenly anticipating Weezy's attempt to bring his underground Drought 3 and Dedication 2 prowess to the mainstream. Woe is me. Full Review »