Exclusive Preview: Lil Wayne's Tha Carter II

SO I DO IT OVER SNARES AND BASS

img2.jpgThe tears are real, the face is fake

Lil Wayne: Best Rapper Ever? Some Answers

Quick to play off the fortunate coincidence his last name is Carter and so is that other guy's, Lil Wayne continues to make fine on his "Bring It Back" boast: He's the "best rapper alive/ since the best rapper retired." He's not--Jokaman is, sorry--but as Status hopped on a month ago when Arrest freestyle tape hit, Weezy's killing it right now--"the only guy in rap who seems to be improving with every verse."

Too prescient--sixteens since Suffix have him out in this young lion fuck-it-all niche for himself ("call me automatic weezy, bitch, i keep spittin"), with the benefit of Cash Money cred and eight years of cut teeth. Seems like everyone--rappers--really want to like Wayne too, want to get in on him early before he ups his price, like indie kids in on band X before the big reviews hit. Smitty got him for the "Diamonds On My Neck" remix, and look what he got: "I'm about to change my name to income/ cause i make so much green and so much green/ from featuring."

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It's an impossibly great situation, having the strength of novelty still but the smarts not to rely on that boost. Moreso, he's flipping his age on us, milking this Baby's Baby thing, talking way big and croaky and better on whatever he wants--

crack:

you can smell it through the wrapper/ that's that shit nigga sit it in the pamper -from Juelz Santana's "Make It Work For You"

sex:

You been peeping me since I was younger/ so young that you even called me your little brother/ but i'm all grown up now i got my own money/ i'm married and divorced and my daughter is a woman/ and guess what, my daughter want another/ sister or brother and you looking like a mother -from "Receipt"

guns, etc:

And I feelin like mike at a tyson fight/ I'm from cedar house/big momma's house/ she told me to shoot ya right after i knock ya out -from "Oh No"

you ain't nothing but a riblet to a nigga with a knife -from Jim Jones's "Big Song"

rap:

Chamillion come get me from University of Houston after I pass my test -from Chamillionaire's "Fly As The Sky"

Call me weezy baby/ baby i am baby's son/ wasn't focused on the mils till i made me one -from Smitty's "Diamonds On My Neck" (Remix)

--but zero expectations means he does no harm when he flows foul. He knows this, revels in his age 22ness, some Richie Rich dude hanging with high rollers but dusting his shoulders when the itch is to play. So we get smatterings of New Orleans politics on Tha Carter II, how he's gonna pick N.O. up on the tracks ("I gotta bring the hood back after Katrina"), Baby Jr. this or that, and yet we don't resent him when he says stuff like, "New Orleans my birthplace you heard me/ where money's more important than the person," then works the range. Should be interesting to see how long he can pull this off--a year easy, since Tha Carter II will keep him on the map, but for now Wayne just sounds coy when he says, you know, "I got to lay off/ The way y'all hate me like I'm Adolf/ But y'all can't see me--Ray Charles." BG's calling him triggaman, fine, but that's not Hitler, and um yes, we all can see you.

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