It’s an exhausting chore to be considered one of the greatest artists in a certain field. But it can be embarrassing when someone steps outside the lines of their acquired talent. Look at endless defunct albums by ball players trying to be rappers (i.e. Kobe Bryant) or when rappers trying to be actors (insert hilarious line delivered by Nas in Belly). Problem being, that when someone is talented in a specific field, there’s a thin line between artistic integrity and reckless. Unfortunately Lil’ Wayne’s constantly pushed back rock album Rebirth is of the latter.
I did two things before listening to this project. First, I watched the now infamous documentary about Lil’ Wayne titled The Carter. And then I refused to have any expectations for Rebirth before listening.
Doing those two things gave me an understanding of what to expect. First off, Lil’ Wayne is in a delicate situation where he is obsessed with himself. That may not be a bad thing (as so many rappers are). Sometimes the results aren’t bad. Songs like “American Star” and “Paradise” shows that Wayne is a talented writer. Despite the musical backdrops leaving a little to be desired (and him exhausting the auto-tune filter), no one can deny that Wayne is talented. Also, the song “Drop The World” featuring Eminem should have been featured on The Carter 3 as it’s the blatant standout on the album.
But more often than not, the album seems to be more like an overindulgent artist with the power to have any project green-lit (and maybe because that’s true).
Between auto-tuned moans and groans on tracks like “Get A Life” and “Knockout”, it becomes clearer that he does in fact have limitations (and actually gives me a greater appreciation for people that actually use the auto-tune filter and actually sound half way decent).
Hopefully Wayne’s next project will be him back to form as he can understand that not everyone can do this rock inspired-rap-hybrid project. This reminds me of Chris Gaines. A fictional character that Garth Brooks created in the late ’90s used to exercise his musical diversity. After so many attempts to promote the idea, the public didn’t buy the idea and the album was never released. Lucky for Garth but unfortunately for Wayne that this saw the light of day. Let’s hope The Carter 4 will show him back in top form.