Lil Wayne’s new “rock” sound falls flat
by Jamie Floyd
Oh! Lil Wayne, it seems like just yesterday you graced us with such classic hits as Lollipop, A Milli, Mrs.Officer and countless other feature appearances. But here you are again, Wayne (real name Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr) has released his much delayed new album titled Rebirth, coincidently right before his stint in prison for attempted criminal possession of a weapon.
The album, aptly titled references the new sound Wayne has adopted. He is essentially reborn as a “rock star” with auto-tune. The term being used lightly, because as strangely endearing and likeable as Wayne is, this is by far the most inconsistent and pointless project he has released. He claims to be a “dope boy with a guitar” on first single “American star” but his rock is as generic and uninspired as what a group of untalented high school kids starting a rock band would come up with.
He mostly uses a simple drum-to-guitar combo with heavy base lines, which ends up sounding the same on the majority of the 12 tracks. The hooks just aren’t as catchy as his past songs and he manages to make live instruments sound as overproduced and processed as his vocals.
However, the album does offer some glimpses of true creativity, “Da Da Da” is a fun energetic up-tempo track with an 80’s feel, while “Get a life” offers a playful Wayne for once with a nice bouncy beat.
The highlights are by far the features, with hot commodity of the moment Nicki Minaj assisting in the album’s best song “Knockout” which uses a simple yet effective beat and the Eminem assisted “Drop the world” which was performed at last week’s Grammy awards. The latter boast’s one of Eminem’s most aggressive raps of the recent year over eerie electronic ping-pong and water drop sounds.
Nevertheless, the majority of the album is repetitive and plays out like a cautionary tale of fame. Wayne sounds mournful of his success through his auto-tuned vocals. Ultimately, a lack of direction and inventiveness plagues the overall album, when he sings “let’s jump out a window, let’s jump off a building baby”, I was very tempted. This album further proves that rock and rap do not blend well and note to Lil Wayne: just because you hold a guitar does not make you a rock star.