Lil Wayne Tha Carter IV

Lil WayneTha Carter IV
To call Tha Carter IV anticipated is an understatement. On his ninth album, Lil Wayne doesn't stray far from his usual arsenal of topics: strong tracks like "Megaman" and great first single "6 Foot 7 Foot" comprehensively and hilariously cover Weezy's proclivity for sex, money, violence and drugs. Unfortunately, few lines on the album connect like the latter's "real Gs move in silence like lasagne," while Wayne's dependence on Drake-style hashtag lyricism starts to grate halfway through the album. It's fun to hear Wayne go back and forth with Rick Ross on "John," but the track never lights up the way it should. "It's Good," with Drake and Jadakiss, will most likely be the most discussed track, for Weezy's tossed-off Jay-Z jab. "President Carter" is the purest MC showcase, splicing Jimmy Carter's inauguration speech with resonant piano to back the other Carter's campaign promises. The best track has little to do with Wayne; it's a soaring production with sharp verses from our host, Tech N9ne, Andre 3000, Busta Rhymes, Bun B, Nas and (inexplicably) Shyne split into an intro, interlude and outro. And the soft-hands R&B of the John Legend-assisted "So Special" and "How To Love" don't play to Wayne's strengths. If this is truly the album Wayne is planning to retire on, he should reconsider his pension plan. (Universal Republic/Cash Money/Young Money)