This album gets an 8 mostly because of the relative strength of a few tracks towards the beginning of the album. It's difficult to tell ifThis album gets an 8 mostly because of the relative strength of a few tracks towards the beginning of the album. It's difficult to tell if the other tracks - which are of the elite tier of production value as rap can get - are actually just slightly above average tracks or whether the heavy hitters at the beginning just make the rest of the tracks seem dull only in comparison.
Standing far above the other top-tier tracks on this album is "A Milli", a no-holds barred surreal flow of apocryphal lil wayne non sequitors, laced with as phrases as clever and nonchalantly vulgar as it is required for Weezy to explain to us in such brilliant creative ways why he is the best. All this is set against a surprisingly palatable (assumedly hefty) dude just saying "A Milli" over and over again.
A Milli seems to be the most revered track on the biggest studio album - 1,000,000 copies in a week, and the #1 best-selling album of 2008 - the pop-mega rap star has so far released. Known for achieving success simultaneously, if not primarily, because of underground, non-radioplay mixtape releases, the song stands on its own as a stalwart in rap's history books.
3 Peat is a formidable beginning to any album, a firm, bold roar of the arrival of Wayne, obviously not only as the beginning of this album, but as a dominating figure in the spotlight of rap.
With the crescendo of 3-Peat coming near the end, as soon as it brings you back from Wayne's planet to Earth, you turn right over into Mr. Carter, a relaxed track with a solid kick and a chantable chorus held up by a high-pitched Kanye-like sample. Lil Wayne's birth name being Dwayne Carter, the song speaks for his fans and friends, asking where he has been recently, while he reveals the new heights his life has reached, and through a barrel's worth of clever phrases, explains that he's been traveling all around the world being a superstar rapper. His point is capped off when another Mr. Carter, Shawn Carter, aka Jay-Z pops in to say, yes, I am a legend and, yes, we few superstar rappers are too hard to catch, a true jet setter. Keep 'em searchin.
In full disclosure, the author of this article has as a surname Carter, so feels a certain affinity for this track. Hopefully this wasn't evident.
If you haven't heard Lollipop and are an American and under 35, I'm guessing you have never been social in a public place. That American part might be irrelevant. Lollipop was a genuine radioplay megahit, indeed the best selling digital single of 2008, and is one of the reasons Wayne remains interesting to critics - and labels - alike: he can please intellectual Pitchfork critics while blowing up the pockets of the radio conglomerates. The other tracks on this album suffers from common-rap album syndrome. At times, listening from beginning to end, it feels too disjointed due to the sheer quantity of producers submitting different types of tracks to what's supposed to be a like-minded compilation. That said, the all-star producers who composed Tha Carter iii - from Swizz Beatz to David Banner to Kanye - definitely do their job individually.
Yet still, the themes of this album are scatterbrained, despite, obviously all being loosely based around the fact that Lil Wayne, is in fact, "Ill, not sick," an expert rapper and lyrically genius. Of course, this isn't actually far from the truth, but this album ends up being much more a bunch of interesting tracks featuring a five-star rapper and a few of his peers and forefathers, than a classic album.… Expand