Lil’ Wayne - The Drought Is Over #5 (Grand Closing)

Posted April 1, 2008
Tags: Lil Wayne,

That’s it. I’ve had enough. I’m officially declaring Tha Carter III the most over-hyped...

The Drought Is Over #5 (Grand Closing) Album Review

That’s it. I’ve had enough. I’m officially declaring Tha Carter III the most over-hyped album of all time. Now I’m not saying Wayne’s going to flop, I fully expect it to be a classic, but expectations have become so ridiculously high that if Tha Carter III doesn’t wash my car, bake me a carrot cake and give me a blowjob, I’m going to be disappointed. Things wouldn’t have gotten this out of hand if it weren’t for three simple facts: the hip-hop world needs definitive proof Weezy’s the best rapper alive, it’s been over three years and counting, and F. Baby’s released approximately 47,000 songs in the meantime. It’s precisely the kind of perfect storm that turns into a hip-hop hurricane of anticipation and hype. Sweet Jesus Wayne, just release the f**king album already.

It’s in that spirit that I proudly present to you The Drought Is Over 5 (Grand Closing), the final installment in Wayne’s Drought mixtape series. Central Closing is worth a listen, but it has two fundamental problems. First, Wayne’s released so much material in so many places (including DJBooth), relatively little of the mixtape is new. Second, it’s impossible to listen to Grand Closing as anything other than a preview of Tha Carter. That makes buying Grand Closing the equivalent of ordering appetizers at a five-star restaurant; you can do it, but you’re really just killing time until the main course arrives.

One of the hardest things about critiquing any Weezy effort is his willingness to display multiple musical personalities. Whether you like a particular song or not is largely dependant on if you’re a fan of that particular Wayne. Let me explain. First up is Weezy, the King of the Guest Feature. This Wayne has the extraordinary ability to elevate a mediocre song into a guaranteed hit (I’m looking at you Duffle Bag Boyz) and Grand Closing has its fair share of collaboration work. Without His Royal Weezyness, Stunt When I See You would just be a track with a forgettable Bow Wow verse, a hot beat and another Tourettes outburst from DJ Khaled. But from the second Weezy's unmistakable voice gasps out, “got your b**ch blowing me like she play bagpipes” Stunt becomes rewind worthy. And just in case you need more proof Bow Wow is shamelessly trying to copy Weezy’s flow, look no further. That’s just the beginning of the collaboration list: from the old-school vibe of the Lloyd jam Girls All Around the World to the enticing Bun B jam Damn I’m Cold, the King of the Guest Feature is definitely wearing his crown on Grand Closing.

Weezy’s second personality, and my personal favorite, is Mr. Out-Of-His-Mind. At their best, Weezy’s flows are like New Orleans jazz songs, completely unpredictable and stunningly original. Maybe that’s why I love Milli. If you’re a “hot beats” lover than Milli’s nothing, but for lovers of borderline-insane lyrics, it doesn’t get any better than, “totally dude,you should see their faces when they see that this robot can move,” delivered in Wayne’s skittering, szichophrenic rhyme-style. Despite its obvious radio success, I’d argue that Lollipop is actually another track courtesy of Mr. Out-Of-His-Mind. Everyone and their mother’s rocked the T-Pain vocal effect, but in Wayne’s throat it becomes a hypnotically drug-infused “I make her feel right when it’s wrong like lying.” Not everyone will agree, but as far as Tha Carter III is concerned, I hope it’s crazier than a drunken Britney Spears.

Last but not least is Dope Boy Wayne, the defiantly southern Weezy who rhymes about nothing but guns and drug money. Make no mistake, I is exactly the kind of track I’m talking about, even if it does have a soul twist. Here’s a good rule of thumb: if a song needs major censoring, like I’s “young money in this b**ch, f**k them hos f**k them n***as,” then it’s the work of Dope Boy Wayne. Even doper (literally) is Open Shop, the type of hustler track Gorilla Zoe would do - if he could. Open Shop isn’t great, but it’s damn good. So what’s it all mean? You’re guess is as good as mine. Tha Carter III could be nothing but white-powder tracks from Dope Boy Wayne, or a barely comprehensible collection courtesy of Mr. Out-Of-His-Mind. Or it could be slightly disappointing mix of all of the above, in which case it will sound exactly like Grand Closing. At this point it’s entirely in the hands of one Mr. Weezy F. Baby. So for now I recommend you just sit back, relax, and keep May 13 circled on your calendar. Ya dig?

DJBooth Rating - 3.5 Spins

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Posted April 1, 2008
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