Birdman and Lil Wayne Like Father, Like Son

That Lil Wayne’s name appears on this album allows this reviewer to ignore most of its flaws. Yes, it’s disturbing when Wayne says he’s "stuntin’ like his daddy.” A paternity test would reveal that Birdman is not the father. But Dwayne Michael Carter’s real dad is dead and since he was 11, Birdman has raised him as a rapper. Wayne is now a true lyricist — the distinction is that of talent — one of hip-hop’s most prolific. He’s also laid claim to the "best rapper alive” title, though Jay-Z still holds the trademark. Hearing Wayne make swooping, head-snapping roller-coaster rides out of the English language softens the shock of Birdman’s forgettable verses. Inbred production infects every Cash Money Records release; it’s been that way since 1992. Diversity training may be in order, as certain tracks inherit bad traits — too much synthesiser is the first symptom. Things work best on "1st Key,” "Over Here Hustlin’” and in the brazen boasts of "Army Gunz.” Skip the skits, most of the songs where Birdman takes the lead and bide your time until Wayne’s next solo record. (Cash Money)