and the verdict is
You already know how weird it is. It's never stupid for too long without being smart, but nothing's as stupid as "fuck bitches/get money;" not even Al Sharpton could accuse this album of self-minstrelsy. There is no attempt to prove his manliness and not a hint of gangsta- or crack-rap. In fact, for once, the Best Rapper Alive isn't even intense...A Tribe Called Quest has never seen the level of relaxed "Dr. Carter" reaches, down to the lazy horns and "Cold Lampin' With Flavor" carefree blabbing. And that one was produced by Swizz Beatz. David Banner's tracks don't sound like David Banner at fucking all, and Kanye's sound exactly like Kanye. Tha Carter III most resembles Lupe Fiasco's The Cool except for one crucial difference: Lupe's charm is that he takes himself too seriously, and Wayne couldn't hang looser. Every song is funny, even the unsexist (and startlingly layered!) "Lollipop" that worried everyone, which now serves as a touching tribute to the recently deceased Static Major, who at least died erect. "My city underwater/but black people still floating" has heart and so does "We are not the same/I am a Martian."
The deluxe edition will include The Leak, which I prematurely (and ironically overcautiously) gave an A+ months ago in this space, regretted, and after hearing this, rediscovered. Since I want my credibility back, I'm not gonna keep saying stuff like that. But I felt the pang.