“Hey Mr. Carter, Tell Me Where Have You Been?”
On September 28, Lil Wayne finally dropped his most anticipated album, Tha Carter V. After years of thinking that we would never see this day, Wayne finally delivered and extended his Carter series in good fashion.
Almost 7 years since Tha Carter IV dropped, Wayne came back like he never missed a step with a high energy album. This album has all types of contemporary music features on it and it shows how much Wayne still has his hands in the game. Major features are from Travis Scott, Kendrick Lamar, Swizz Beatz, Trippie Redd, Ashanti and a posthumous feature from XXXTentacion. Alongside keeping up with modern times, he made sure to include a classic Wayne sound for us.
The album is 23 tracks of Wayne coming from a his most polished standpoint in a while. With there being so many songs on the album, I believe that this album was created two-sided. Thinking of the album in that way, the second half of the album is my favorite. This is where Wayne got back into his late 2000’s bag, giving us a glimpse of the past with unlimited wildly connected metaphors and similes. From track 13 down, the album switches gears and goes on a run that shows us why Wayne is still in the Mt. Rushmore of Rap. This album holds some of the best rapping by Mr. Carter that we’ve seen in the last 5 years. This say a lot. Mainly that he is in a very healthy state, and may have more in the tank for his fans. You can tell that he’s in a different headspace in 2018, and pivoting into a new direction. After years of going through lawsuits with his right hand man, Birdman, it is good to see him come out on the positive end.
Said that, this may be the most transparent we’ve seen Wayne on an album. The album begins with a recording from his mother expressing her love for Lil Wayne, and ends with a story about him attempting suicide when he was 12 years old. For as long as Wayne has been putting out music, he has never broken this story down as much as he did in “Let It All Work Out”. Other songs like “Open Letter” and “Demon” is where Wayne explains how he has seen himself recently. He’s basically acknowledging the depths of his lows in the past and living with the cards he’s been dealt.
Ultimately, this is merely a gift that I wasn’t expecting but am extremely grateful for. Wayne could have never came out with another album and I would have been content with everything he gave us in his career. However, I am glad that I lived to see Lil Wayne complete his Carter series and extend his catalog. From this point on, in a perfect world, I’d want Wayne to just do features and bless the rap game by continuously killing other people’s music. His discography is already cemented and his legacy will live forever. He may as well begin to co-sign other artists to success. After all, his last major co-sign is one of the biggest rappers of our generation, Drake.
My favorite songs on the album are: Hittas, Took His Time, Start This S**t Off Right, and Let It All Work Out.