Monday, 1 April 2013

Lil Wayne: Simultaneously the Best and Worst Rapper in the World

by Neil Chhabda

(image source: Wiki Commons)
Over the last five or so years, Lil Wayne (real name Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr.) has become an immensely popular figure in the world of music. Not only has he released a series of incredibly successful albums including, ‘Tha Carter III’, but has also launched the careers Drake and Nicki Minaj, who themselves have gone to sell millions of albums. Despite these accomplishments, most music fans and critics would argue that Wayne is largely talentless and his music is not only consistently  abysmal but in some places, downright obscene. Personally, I too am divided in my opinion of Wayne; I believe that he is both one of the best and worst rappers in the world. Let me explain why.
The core reason that I believe Lil Wayne is one of the greatest rappers in history is because of his incredible work ethic. Lil Wayne never stops working. Everywhere he goes, he’s constantly recording songs: in his cars, on aeroplane flights and even in the shower.  He even managed to record a complete, decent album while in prison. Furthermore, Wayne constantly preaches about, and attributes his success to hard work. In fact, he recently suffered an almost fatal seizure due to stress. Moreover Wayne is incredibly unselfish and has donated much of his time and effort on his own record label, ‘Young Money Entertainment’. Through this label he has made underground artists Drake and Nicki Minaj into global superstars, and signed fresh young talents such as Lil Twist and Tyga. Helping others, and working hard are the attributes that are associated with any good role model. Recently, Lil Wayne passed Elvis Presley as the male with the most entries on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with 109 songs. Wayne’s dedication to his work and his passion for the genre are unrivalled by any other artist, giving him an almost legendary status among today’s rappers.
Additionally, Lil Wayne has released some excellent songs such as, ‘Lollipop’, ‘6 foot 7 foot’ and ‘She Will’. ‘Tha Carter III’ won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album and was nominated for Album of the Year. Some of his songs are just unequivocally catchy and infectious and his wordplay is undeniably clever. He was one described as a “nonsensical genius”, because at times he produces moments of brilliance. With his unrelenting work ethic and moments of brilliance, it can be argued that Wayne is one of the best rappers around.
Conversely, it could be argued that Lil Wayne is quite possible the worst rapper to ever walk the Earth.
Most of  the time it’s impossible to comprehend his words, and when he has to sustain a note, he often uses the auto-tune effect whereby a computer essentially maintains the note for him. It’s often been said that when he raps, he sounds like he’s either crying or suffocating. Furthermore, he’s consistently bad. For every twenty-twenty five songs he releases, only one or two are good. In addition, he doesn’t write down any of his songs; he claims that he says what comes into his mind when the background music starts. As a result, his lyrics are often completely nonsensical, ridiculous and ludicrous. In fact, some of them are nauseating, and should never be repeated.
To emphasize my point, here are some examples;
"I'm hot like dogs."
"Speeding like a cop behind me, tryna catch-up with this girl like some 57 Heinz."
"My flow is sicker than a patient that is HIV Positive."
"My girl is prego [pregnant] but I don't want it, so I'll cut it out like Joey Gladstone."
"I'm not only hot like stove, but I also cook like it's cousin, oven."
"I'm hot too, baby girl I'm soup"

Conclusively, Lil Wayne has several qualities that you will find in all good role models, and is a talented artist. However, most of the time his lyrics don’t make any sense, assuming you can work out what he’s saying in the first place. In my opinion he is a decent artist, and if he wrote his lyrics down and thought about them a little bit more, he could become a respectable rapper. Recently he released a new album called ‘I am not a Human Being 2’ and the title of the second single is “B***es love me”, so maybe my hopes are a little bit too high.

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