The Score: Lil Wayne, "Tha Carter IV"

Monday, Aug 29, 2011 12:30PM

Written by J. Bachelor

Buy Now
  • Tha Carter IV
  • Lil Wayne
  • August 29, 2011
Pop Crush 3.5/5
New Hip Hop 6.5/10
Geek Revolt 4/5
As Is Hip Hop 2/5
Slumz 6/10

The wait is officially over. Although an unofficial copy of Tha Carter IV leaked online last week, patient fans can now get their hands on the album's retail version, available now via store and digital download.

The latest offering from Lil' Wayne has alot to live up to, as the previous installment in Tha Carter series sold an impressive 1,000,000 copies its first week in stores.

After three years, countless delays, a couple abortive project albums and a handful of mixtapes, we finally have Tha Carter IV on our hard drives. Was it worth the wait? Maybe, though from our initial impressions, most of the best songs were the ones that have already seen daylight over the last nine months--ones we're familiar enough with already that they practically feel like bonus tracks on CIV. Perhaps some of the others are growers, and in time, our rankings will look entirely different, but for now, here's how we stack up the 15 songs that comprise arguably the year's most-anticipated rap album.(Pop Dust)

Big names such as Bun B, Nas, Andre 3000 and Young Money cash cow Drake also appear on the album.

The features might be what takes it over the top. "She Will", which features Drake, and "Mirror" (Bruno Mars) are two of the slower songs on the album but they are both killer tracks. The songs you've already heard (John, How To Love, 6 Foot 7 Foot, and possibly Abortion) at first seem to be a cut above the rest of the new tunes. However, a second time through, "It's Good" and "Megaman" started to stand out on their own.(What The Rap)

President Carter appointed a slew of relatively new faces, including Willy Will, Snizzy and Street Runners to handle the album's production.

The most surprising aspect of the album is that most of the producers the Young Money leader worked with on the album are relatively unknown. Beatmakers Willy Will, T-Minus, Street Runners, Snizzy, MegaMan and others did a great job with giving Weezy the kind of gritty production he needs for his gruff rhymes.(Pop Crush)

Earlier this year, producer Bangladesh shared his thoughts on "6 Foot, 7 Foot," the album's lead single.

"I think the industry just talks like that," Bang told SOHH referencing "A Milli" and "6 Foot 7 Foot" comparisons. "You want to out-do your greatest. If his greatest was something else, 'It's better than this' or 'it's 10 times better than that.' You always want to out-do your greatest so 'A Milli' is the standard you want to reach. So you know, it's 'A Milli' on steroids. I think that's a great thing. You want to over achieve what you already did. [Lil Wayne and Cory Gunz] are both jamming. There's no favorite [or who's better]. Wayne's different than Cory Gunz and Cory Gunz is Cory Gunz. I don't really compare great rappers. Obviously one is bigger than the other, but they're on the same team so it be the media that's always trying to make the difference in the two. 'Who's better?' It's not really about that, they're both good. I would buy both albums [if the song was featured on both their LP's] for two different reasons. They're not the same. You can't compare what's not the same." (SOHH)

Critics across the board agree that, while Tha Carter IV may not be the best installment into the series, its laundry list of guest appearances matched with several radio and street-friendly tracks ensure it to be a commercial success.

Some fans will label Tha Carter IV as average, but that's more a side effect of their unrealistic expectations. Really, where you expecting him to pull a Kanye and recruit acts like Bon Iver? Maybe it doesn't quite achieve the greatness of the earlier chapters, but compared to the crap he's been releasing for the past two years, Tha Carter IV is worthy of praise. There's nothing groundbreaking here, but it hits all the right notes while highlighting that Wayne's best days aren't necessarily behind him.(Geek Revolt)

If I were to compare Tha Carter IV to something, it would be the stock market. The album had so many ups and down, it was ridiculous. I think the funny things is my two favorite songs had no Lil Wayne verses, which I figured out actually has an explanation. The Intro, Interlude and Outro all have the same beat. So each song is like an extension of the previous. I think it would have been absolutely crazy if Wayne had one song that featured Tech N9NE, André 3000, Bun B, Nas, Shyne & Busta Rhymes all on one track. The anticipation for that would have been through the roof. Another random sidenote is: where the hell is Nicki Minaj on this album? She needed to be on here somewhere. Well, back to the album, as I said above there are so many ups and downs I'm not sure what to rate the album as a whole. I'll have about four of the songs on rotation for a long time, but I'll never listen to 60% of the album ever again. It's not even close to Tha Carter III, but I still think it will be a huge success in the mainstream. With many songs that could be huge radio hits, Weezy will be releasing singles and promoting this album for a long time.(The East Side Perspective)

To purchase Carter IV, just click here.

Preview tracks from the album below:

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