Yes, he's a genius; no, it's not a masterpiece

Jess Harvell on lil Wayne and Tha Carter III:

He'd developed something that's sadly hard to find in hip-hop today, among all the teenage shouters and monotone mumblers trying to sound hard: a voice that's unmistakably his own, one that conveys eeriness and ebullience with equal ease, a sound that fits the most honest fan of narcotics in modern hip-hop. And "Tha Carter II" offered the first concrete evidence of Wayne's increasingly fearsome technique as a writer, a virtuosic broadside aimed at those who'd dismissed him as a has-been or a never-was. If one of your complaints about recent hip-hop was that rappers had abandoned their poetic instincts in the rush to craft the most pop-friendly hook, here was one who dissed fellow rappers as if he were dishing out dada: "Me the disaster/ Pity the fool/ Eat a catastrophe/ Swallow the truth/ Belch reality/ How does it taste/ Pie to your face."

Despite occasionally displaying the kind of social conscience critics love, Wayne's freewheeling wordplay certainly doesn't fit the mold of hip-hop reporting made famous by Chuck D and KRS-One. His inscrutable silliness and self-satire separate him from the likes of Jay-Z, whose sense of humor is always in thrall to his swagger. His singsong phrasing and experiments with tempo and time signatures are drawn from the work of Southern rap pioneers like the Dungeon Family, the only big-selling rappers who may outdo him for cosmic weirdness. Wayne may not be the best rapper alive. But he's certainly one of the most sui generis, especially among those under 30.

Read more, here. Via Simon Reynolds

1 comment:

Dimitri said...

He sounds like a horny perv goblin.