What a return. After a near mythical absence from the world of rap music, Dwyane Carter aka Lil Wayne has returned to the mainstream consciousness to release a worthy addition to his legendary Tha Carter series.
Much has been written about the lore of this release, with the legal troubles of Wayne and his struggle to free the record from the grasp of label owner Birdman has been reported on for years. So, let’s jump into the record.
The record starts off rather somber with an intro featuring his mother and the first real track on the album, “Don’t Cry”, featuring a haunting chorus from late rap great XXXTentacion.
It doesn’t take long for things to pick up the pace though. I feel like the album really takes off with tracks “Dedicate” and “Uproar”, some of the best rap tracks of the year, and especially “Uproar”, which I would rank among Wayne’s finest songs to date. These tracks feel just like old Wayne, in the best possible way.
Thankfully, I’m happy to say this is the case on most of these tracks. Weezy is back spitting like he’s hungry for the title of GOAT. This is apparent on standouts “Dope N****z” and “Mona Lisa”, featuring Snoop Dogg and Kendrick Lamar, respectively. Both show Wayne in top form, breathing fire into these tracks whether it’s for some quick wordplay or stringing together heady concepts with King Kendrick on the ladder.
Production here is also great, with my favorite beats being on of course “Uproar”, “Open Safe”, a banger produced by none other than DJ Mustard, and the soulful “Took His Time”.
Aside from a few filler tracks like “What About Me”, which is still listenable but pales in comparison with other songs, Weezy put out one of his most completed records for an inspiring comeback to rap. Songs like the heartfelt “Dark Side of the Moon”, which has a surprisingly great feature from Nicki Minaj, and the introspective “Open Letter”, highlight Weezy’s versatility and ability to sound great in multiple situations.
In conclusion, Carter V is great and a landmark for Lil Wayne, but seriously, listen to “Uproar”.