Lil Wayne's 'Tha Carter IV': What The Critics Are Saying

11:41 AM PST 08/29/2011 by Lauren Schutte
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The rapper's album dropped Sunday after his performance on the MTV VMAs.

On Sunday, Lil Wayne released his ninth studio album, Tha Carter IV. And, the morning after its midnight release, the album's deluxe edition was the top iTunes download, while the standard version sat in the fourth spot. 

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But, reviews of the rapper's first post-prison musical creation (he served eight months at New York's Rikers Island penitentiary for weapons charged) are mixed. Here's what the critics are saying.

The Washington Post reviewer Chris Richards calls the album "disappointing" and highlights a specific verse that seems to inform then entire creation. "He suffers some Freudian slippage on the second track, “Blunt Blowin,” which mutates Aerosmith's “Dream On” into a club-friendly shape. “I stick to the script/Imemorize the lines,” he raps. “Cause life is a movie that I've seen too many times.”

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However, USA Today seemed to disagree, saying the album's delayed release was worth waiting for. "He comes armed with a steady stream of punch lines ("When it Waynes, it pours") over banging beats. And though he shares the mike with a roster of guests that include Rick Ross, Cory Gunz, Jadakiss, T-Pain and Tech N9ne, they're just icing on the cake."

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"Weezy doesn't have the same speed-demon intensity he had five years ago - and he's just as casual and sloppy about his approach to official album releases," says Rolling Stone. "So Tha Carter IV has experiments that fail, as well as a pair of star-studded guest track s where Wayne doesn't appear at all. Yet even the failed moments sound like nobody else - check out "It's Good," with its threat to kidnap Beyoncé so Jay-Z can pay the ransom money. That's impressively tasteless, if nothing else." 

"No one comes out of prison the same way they went in," writes The Boston Globe. "He got through that prison sentence 'like a subject and a predicate,' he rapped. But it’s not convincing, and when you listen to “Tha Carter IV,’’ his eagerly awaited new album released today, it’s evident he’s not the same person, let alone the same rapper. ...With “Tha Carter IV,’’ there are only traces of the playful wit that made Wayne so interesting to begin with." 

Spin declared Tha Carter IV the beginning of the rapper's end, saying, "Lil Wayne is not yet 29 and has been recording professionally almost exactly as long as West. But he is now, officially, on the other side of greatness. ...Some will point to the clunking nature of various "Carter IV rhymes as proof that his powers have faded, and lazy hashtag raps and puny puns abound, sure. "Have it your way -- Burger King." "Light that Ashton Kutcher." "I tried to pay attention but attention paid me / Haters can't see me, nose-bleed seats." But he's never been a rigorous editor -- a groaner or two always got through. 
 
 
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