Saturday, May 31, 2008

and the verdict is

Tha Carter III. It's really good. And not in the ways you're expecting. Which is why it's good, actually. Because if it was in the way you were expecting, it wouldn't be. It's really warm, for one thing, tenfold for the guy who turned "fuck bitches/get money" into a dorm room catchphrase. The ten-minute closer "Misunderstood" is worth the cliche "jaw-dropping," climaxing with a hilarious and hilariously on-point open letter to Al Sharpton(!). It's also exceedingly uncommercial..."A Milli" is a single? We'll see how this plays out. "A Milli" is the one that flirts with unlistenability with a beat that I think is a joke at Rick Ross but might just be wacky old Weezy. And then that becomes funny too.

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.

4 Comments:

Anonymous jordan_s said...

explain the similarities b/w c3 and 'the cool'

11:00 PM, May 31, 2008  
Blogger kiss out the jams said...

When you hear C3 it'll make more sense because it's mostly musical, but it's the way the beats switch from sci-fi synthy shit and 808s to neo-soul choons back and forth with a charming lack of care towards cohesion.

Lyrically though, both dudes try to carve new spaces out of goofy things...I can't think of more original concept rappers working today. Weezy on "Dr. Carter" and especially "Phone Home" which is a riot, and Lupe on "Gotta Eat" or any of the crazy Michael Young History storyline bits. They both write like a kid in a comic store.

11:09 PM, May 31, 2008  
Anonymous jordan_s said...

'the cool' kinda fell by the wayside for me but i trust that the comparison fits. i definitely see the lyrical comparison (nice to see wayne kinda setting up perimeters for his raps on the songs you mentioned) and if anything i recall thinking that 'the cool' sounded dark and i get that feeling from the carter III as well

my initial thought was that c3 was kinda like t.i.'s king in that it gets great beats from superstar producers and kinda sticks it's middle finger up at cohesiveness, but even then 'king' still feels distinctly southern to me, and you can't really say that about carter III.

11:14 PM, June 01, 2008  
Blogger kiss out the jams said...

King is carpetbagging. Also, T.I.'s a thoroughly mediocre rapper.

11:32 PM, June 01, 2008  

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