Lil Wayne‘s next chapter of his Tha Carter album series has been one of hip-hop’s most anticipated releases for years. The material he tackles on this releases are highly personal, and often have some greater story to tell. That’s no different in the next edition of this series. Lil Wayne tells a story of redemption in Tha Carter V, the long-awaited fifth chapter of Tha Carter series.
Lil Wayne looks forward in Tha Carter V, but he can’t get there without acknowledging the hardships of the past. That’s what a large part of this record covers. Moody tracks like ‘Can’t Be Broken‘ offer up that more tense atmosphere where Lil Wayne establishes it hasn’t been an easy come up. ‘Mona Lisa‘ featuring Kendrick Lamar is, unsurprisingly, one of the most content-heavy tracks on the record, both rappers delivering straight fire with seemingly unstoppable flow and a lot of conviction in their words. The collaboration with late rapper XXXTentacion, ‘Don’t Cry,’ also has a lot of weight to it, the chill vibes of the beat underlying tortured verses.
Tha Carter V is like a two-parter. The first half if the more dramatic and sad part, where he keeps on making it seem as if the odds are stacked against him. Opening track ‘I Love You Dwayne‘ is a sobering intro, with Lil Wayne’s mother delivering an honest and heartbreaking message about her son. Energetic tracks like ‘Uproar‘ and ‘Let It Fly‘ with Travis Scott give off this rebellious, rambunctious vibe where Lil Wayne seems to act without regards for consequences, which he later has to fight. Chill tracks including ‘Dark Side Of The Moon' with Nicki Minaj also help keep things from going too braggadocious. Things start looking up in the second half of the record, though. ‘Famous‘ with Reginae Carter is all about his come up, and ‘Dope Niggaz‘ with Snoop Dogg has this very paradisiacal nature to it that you actually feel comfortable in. ‘Mess‘ shows that Lil Wayne knows that he’s not out of the clear yet and life still throws problems his way, but he can find peace in that chaos. Closing track ‘Let It All Work Out’ is like a cautionary message, advising you to keep moving forward even when all seems to fall apart; an especially important message now with the conversation on mental health that’s been active throughout the last year.
Lil Wayne tells a story of redemption in Tha Carter V, revealing how life always comes with its ups and downs. While this album is undoubtedly one of the most hyped records of the year, it somehow brings Lil Wayne down from some figurative hip-hop throne and makes him seem more human. It’s an honest record, and the perfect way to keep the series going.
Favorite Track: Mona Lisa
Least Favorite Track: Hittas
Rating: 75 / 100
Stream or buy Tha Carter V on Apple Music, and follow our 2018 Playlist on Spotify: