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Lil Wayne “Rebirth” Review

Published in Blog Archive, Culture Bully. Tags: , .

It has been nearly a year since “Prom Queen” was released as the first single from Lil Wayne’s highly speculated rock album, a record which was later rumored to see release sometime in 2009. Since then, the album’s release was confirmed and three other tracks from the record were officially released, however Rebirth’s release was pushed back multiple times despite Wayne himself confirming that the record had been finished in August. While the album was again given a formal release date recently, this time set for February of 2010, coincidentally just days before Weezy’s impending sentencing date stemming from a 2007 weapons possession charge, Rebirth was leaked by, of all places, Amazon.com (as some 500 copies were prematurely sent out to fans who had pre-ordered it). While the circumstances surrounding the leak are unfortunate, what’s even more unfortunate is that with Rebirth actually hitting the streets, the highly talented, highly prolific, and highly acclaimed emcee has now officially released the worst album of his career.

Lil Wayne has never been one to shy away from the spotlight, or publicly express any sense of honest self-consciousness, but in Rebirth’s lead track, “American Star,” the emcee sets a precedent that eventually explains why the record never had a chance to begin with. “Listen to my own voice, in my black Rolls-Royce; get the girls of my choice to take off their shorts and blouses, I take of my trousers.” Like the lyrics, Rebirth is—even compared to Weezy’s other matierial—overindulgent, but more importantly, the album is entirely humorless; from the get-go Rebirth is simply a record where, whether purposefully or not, Weezy takes himself, and his craft far, far too seriously, and suffers greatly for it.

“Prom Queen,” the DJ Infamous & Drew Correa-produced single that sparked discussion about the possibility of the album, drops as Rebirth’s second track. While the initial shock of how pathetic it is as a stab at some sort of rock stardom has wore off (slightly) since is was released in January, the evidence remains that Weezy still lacks any sort of chops when stepping into the world of guitar-driven rock. “Ground Zero” follows as a unique hybrid, where Wayne fails to fully commit to either rapping or aggo-yelling; it’s a tired comparison, but Weezy is honestly a backwards red NY Yankees ball-cap away from full on Limp Bizkitry here.

The only highlight on the record comes with Eminem’s verse on “Drop The World.” Unfortunately a minute of cohesion doesn’t make up for an album’s worth of poorly constructed confusion.

Rebirth eventually closes with two of its worst tracks, “Knockout” and “The Price is Wrong.” If nothing else, “Knockout” stands as one of the best examples as to why vocoderized pop punk should not exist. “The Price is Wrong,” however, has many more issues. The drop-tuned, overly aggressive power chords used in the track translate as so completely empty that they’d hardly cut it with the worst of the current batch of bands residing on pretty much any station still using “X-treme” in its tag line. The song thankfully fades away, but as it does so, it concludes with Weezy repeatedly barking, “Fuck her anyway;” which is ironic as the feeling which follows is “Fuck Wayne… anyway.”

Rebirth is a stunningly sour example of why Lil Wayne should stick to what he’s good at. He can seemingly lay down 100 bars at a moment’s notice, and at this point in time it’s almost guaranteed that at least a few of them are going to be smart, funny, and downright untouchable. But take the emcee outside of that realm and he’s lost—put a guitar in his hand, and he becomes a lost fool. As an emcee, Wayne has produced a series of remarkably sharp studio recordings that has given credence to accusations that he’s one of the best rappers alive. That being said, Lil Wayne has clearly smoked himself retarded as he believes that he is equally strong as a vocalist and musician, which clearly he is not. No further proof of this is needed other than a single listen to Rebirth.

[This post was first published by Culture Bully.]