Lil Wayne drops long-awaited album — after 2,588 days

Akaash Kamdar

By Akaash Kamdar

A long-delayed release of Tha Carter V in late September by one of the greatest rappers of our time, Lil Wayne, lived up to all of its surrounding hype. Maintaining the emotional vulnerability through his rhymes and his genius lyricism, Lil Wayne gives us confirmation that he still has the talent, and didn’t disappear in the 2,588 days since the release of his monstrous hit of an album Tha Carter IV. The album, although having a minimal amount of rough patches, proves to fans and rap enthusiasts that Lil Wayne doesn’t have to change his style to update his fan base and old-school rap are still relevant.

The long-anticipated album was scheduled to be released in 2014, but after monumental tension between Cash Money Records and Lil Wayne, the album was suspended and its release date was in the air. After Lil Wayne was released from his record deal in June of this year, fans knew that Tha Carter V might have its chance of a return. Furthermore, Lil Wayne dropped hints at a show in Miami and celebrities, including Floyd Mayweather, James Harden, and Kobe Bryant, all posted countdown photos on their Instagram to lead up to the Sept. 28 release.

The 23-song album totals at an 88-minute playing time; however, unlike other albums with an unnecessarily large amount of tracks, each song on the Tha Carter V plays an integral role on defining the return of Lil Wayne. The songs on the album offer a juxtaposition of tracks like “Dedicated” that demonstrate Lil Wayne’s swagger and songs like “Let It All Work Out” where he opens up about himself emotionally. The possibly biggest reveal in the album was the real reason of his gunshot wound at age 12 and how it was an attempted suicide by him, contradicting his old claims about the incident. The album is full of emotional overtones, including songs like “Open Letter” where Lil Wayne discloses his personal life and his relationship with his daughter. The personal aura of the album offers an insight into the human side of Lil Wayne and contrasts him from being a lifeless, 24-7 partying style rapper. Despite all of his emotional vulnerability, Lil Wayne didn’t lose a bit of his genius lyricism that he has demonstrated throughout his rapping career. The brilliance of his skills was used in “Mona Lisa” when he says “They started French kissing so he didn’t see moi.” The album shows that only he is capable to be emotional and stylish through such fire tracks.

Although Lil Wayne introduced an album full of heart and bangers, a partial negative part of Tha Carter V was the order of tracks, as the middle of the album started to sound too similar to each other. It was bold to start with “Don’t Cry,” which features deceased rapper XXXTentacion that creates an emotional tone to the overall theme; however, starting with it leads the listeners to expect the same level of greatness from every song afterward and it creates a feeling of dull repetition towards the middle. For serious Lil Wayne enthusiasts, the order of tracks did not seem to be a massive problem, so it was just a minor annoyance if anything at all.

The passion and power of Lil Wayne’s monstrous return to the rap world with old-style rhymes demonstrate his lack of deceleration to become one of the greatest rappers of all time if he is not considered one already. Tha Carter V does its duty to prove that Lil Wayne still has the charisma and the talent, regardless of his lengthy break away from the industry.