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Lil Wayne

Tha Carter

Tha Carter cover

It would be easy to read too much into the title of Lil Wayne's fourth album, especially in light of a mixtape (cunningly titled The Prefix) that preceded this, which featured the MC over a handful of tracks off Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter's Black Album. The title actually refers to Lil Wayne's actual last name (hint: it isn't Wayne), in addition to referencing the apartments run by Wesley Snipes' character in New Jack City. Although much has been made about Wayne's growth and new world view, there's about as much change as you'd expect from a Southern rap star who has been in the public eye from his late teens to his twenties. Mannie Fresh's stout production is in effect as ever, and to the MC's credit, the rhymes are less measured and are all the better for it. To beat that dead horse one more time, the album is far too long and not concerned enough with the quality control, despite including more than enough bright spots to keep the followers following. At just over 79 minutes in length, it's made evident that the length would actually be just over 89 minutes if a CD could hold 90 minutes' worth of music.

Review by Andy Kellman

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