This can’t be real, but it is: Tha Carter V is coming out tomorrow. After years of being part of Birdman’s Cash Money Records, and being robbed of his money, and his fans being robbed of hearing the music, Lil Wayne was finally able to split from Birdman, and therefore is now straight up Young Money. When that happened, fans knew that it was only a matter of time before we got news on Tha Carter V. From fake billboards, to fake release dates and track lists, we were all getting our hopes up and becoming antsy. Last week, Tha Carter V was trending on twitter saying that it’d be released that same day. Again, not true. But finally! The Man himself made a video officially announcing the album, saying it’ll drop on his birthday; September 27th. Wow, what a time, eh. Since Tha Carter IV dropped he’s done a few mixtapes and some features but this is obviously what we’ve been waiting for. As far as what to expect, I’m expecting to hear an instant classic, Weezy said this has been 6 years of work. He said “on this album he’s giving us more than me.” If he said that (which he didn’t) before Tha Carter IV dropped it would’ve been a lie, to be honest; it wasn’t great like Tha Carter III was. His rock phase wasn’t great either, even though he had some fire songs. So we’ll see what he gives us for his birthday, a classic or a brick. I’m betting the house it’ll be a classic and I can’t wait to listen to it.
To begin; Tha Carter V has 23 tracks, and runs for an hour and twenty seven minutes, which is a great length for an album we’ve been waiting years for. Lil Wayne gave us what we’ve been asking for and more. If Tha Carter V came out when it was supposed to I don’t believe it would’ve been as long as it is.
I feel like I’m in 2010 again, listening to this Lil Wayne. The Lil Wayne on Tha Carter V is the Lil Wayne I grew up listening to. Compared to the projects he released since Tha Carter III everyone, including myself, said he was washed up and that he was slacking on his rapping. Turns out he was saving himself for Tha Carter V, and what a job he did.
After one listen you definitely can’t say what the album is about but after listening to it for practically 2 straight days, and discussing it with people I’ve come across I’ve come to the conclusion that Tha Carter V is Lil Wayne figuring out who he is, and why he’s here. It’s a story of him going through the up’s and down’s of life and coming out on top. It’s a story of his relationship with his mother, who is pictured with a young Lil Wayne on the album cover, his daughter, his son, his past lovers, and his fans. Tha Carter V is his most emotional and vulnerable album to date, he reveals things that probably only his closest friends and family knew prior.
Lil Wayne opens Tha Carter V with a voicemail from his mother, who is heard throughout the album. In that voicemail, titled “I Love You Dwayne” his mother is tearfully telling him that she’s proud of him and that he’s so strong, and that he’s her rock. She’s telling him that everyone is asking her when the album is coming out, I’m guessing she’s referring to Tha Carter V because I know if I saw Lil Wayne’s mother I’d ask her when it’s coming out. Respectfully, of course. “I Love you Dwayne” gave me goosebumps because it reminded me of my mother, I’m sure a lot of folks can relate. The voicemail transitions into the first song titled “Don’t Cry” featuring XXXTentacion (Rest in Peace). In the song, Lil Wayne raps about death and that he avoided it, he was lost and wasn’t sure what to do or where to go, with so much pressure and thing’s not going his way, it’s hard to not let it get to him. In the second verse, he tells us how he was able to overcome his obstacles; a new state of mind; realizing that he’s here for a reason and that he shouldn’t take it for granted. He remembers that he’s Dwayne Carter, a man who was born to rap, and spread the love to his fans through music. This is the theme of the album, expressed in various ways.
Lil Wayne mostly raps over hyped up beats, very seldom does he have slow songs, and before the album came out I was curious to hear what it’d sound like, I mean, obviously. There was really a wide variety of beats, no song sounded the same to me. He did a fantastic job rapping, and flowing over the beats he chose. His wordplay and rhyme schemes were absolutely diabolical, like the Lil Wayne of old. I imagine him writing the raps grinning like “yezzir, I can’t wait till they hear this.” On the song called “Dedicate” he shows off that talent the most by just rapping like only he can rap, nonstop over the beat, split up by the slowed down hook sampling 2 Chainz. You get real southern vibes from this song. Beside’s “Dedicate” my favourite beat is from “Open Letter” a one verse song where he is rapping an open letter to anyone who cares to listen, but mostly, it’s for himself. Do every thing you can for yourself first.
Besides “Don’t Cry” featuring XXXTentacion, Travis Scott has a baller verse on “Let It Fly”, Nicki Minaj, sings peacefully and doesn’t talk shit on “Dark Side of the Moon”, Kendrick Lamar simply sets fire to the mic with Lil Wayne on “Mona Lisa”, and Snoop Dogg makes and calming appearance on “Dope Niggaz”. Sosamann, Reginae Carter (his daughter), Ashanti, Mack Main, and Nivea also have features.
Tha Carter V seems to follow the theme of positivity and finding peace with yourself and who you are and being down but not out and rising up and believing you can overcome fears and boundaries. Not all the albums of 2018 had that theme but the ones that meant the most to me did, Ye, Kids See Ghosts and now Tha Carter V. Based on what I heard, Lil Wayne seems to be happy with life and grateful to be alive, there were many times he could’ve died, the first time being when he almost kills himself by shooting himself, which he divulges in the last song “Let It All Work Out”, it’s scary listening to that song thinking about what if he died. He didn’t know the world needed him when he was only 12 but now he does. He also knows he needs the world and that he’s not alone as I’m sure he can see by all the love “Tha Carter V” has gotten so far.
I’ll give Tha Carter V a 9.5 out of 10 because there are 23 songs and it’s hard to make an album with 23 songs where all of them are great. There’s not a bad song, though. Weezy F, baby, and the F is for Freed. Tha C5, freed. Lil Wayne, freed. Dwayne Michael Carter Jr, freed. I’m going to listen to this many, many more times.