Album Remarks & Appraisals:
Deluxe Edition with two CD set of Tha Carter III, the sixth studio album by rapper Lil Wayne and it is the final album in Tha Carter trilogy. Originally known as the youngest Hot Boy, Lil' Wayne has orchestrated a steady stream of hits. The New Orleans rapper began his long career with Cash Money as part of the Hot Boys, a popular late-'90s supergroup consisting of Juvenile, Turk, and B.G.
"'The dude is the hottest rapper' reads Kanye West's homage to Lil Wayne (AKA Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr) on the album sleeve of the 25 year-old's fourth solo studio album, Tha Carter 3. It's a grand statement, even by the college dropout's standards, but of course the grandeur of 'hottest' doesn't always have positive connotations. Wayne is one of the world's best selling hip hop artists, and Tha Carter 3 looks set to rack up platinum sales, but Mr West is somewhat overselling the former Hot Boys founding member, who shot to fame with his guest appearance on Destiny Child's Soldier.
Signed to Universal, New Orleans-born Wayne has attracted the crème-de-la-crème of the hip hop and R&B fraternity to the album, including Jay Z, Busta Rhymes and Betty Wright. Legendary producer Babyface swaps the production desk for the mic on the refreshingly soulful Comfortable, which is sprinkled with West's production mastery, an ingredient which proves to be the cornerstone of a mature, sophisticated hip hop-soul sound throughout. The Clapton-esque, bluesy Tie My Hands featuring Robin Thicke is a political standout making reference to Hurricane Katrina, and the summery anthem Mrs Officer featuring Bobby Valentino is reminiscent of Mark Ronson's Ooh Wee.
West continues the soul flavours on Let The Beat Build which pales into nothing more than a demo compared to the soulful heights reached with Common on Be.
Variety is the spice of life, but this is where the problem lies with Tha Carter 3; there is too much of it, resulting in a nothing more than an average singles collection. Mr Carter is a prime example, with Jigga running through the motions on a tired and over-glitzy offering. But with Lollipop and Got Money (featuring T-Pain), Wayne succeeds by sticking to the winning formula of the club banger.
Sampling Nina Simone's Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood on Dontgetit, Wayne's delivery and debate of the American prison system evokes memories of 2 Pac. But on Tha Carter 3's evidence, the prodigy has a long journey before he can be spoken of in the same vein as one of hip hop's unrivalled godfathers and a true 'hot rapper'." - BBC
Tha Carter III is the sixth studio album by American rapper Lil Wayne, released June 10, 2008 on Cash Money Records. It follows his period of mixtape releases and guest appearances on other hip hop and R&B artists, which helped increase mainstream notice of him. The album's cover art features a baby picture of Wayne and is similar to covers of hip hop albums such as Illmatic (1994) and Ready to Die (1994). Amid release delays and leaks,Tha Carter III became one of the most anticipated releases of 2008.The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 1,005,545 copies in its first week. It reached sales of 2.88 million copies by the end of 2008 and produced four singles that achieved chart success, including the international hit "Lollipop" and Billboard hits "A Milli", "Got Money", and "Mrs. Officer". Upon its release, Tha Carter III received general acclaim from most music critics and earned Lil Wayne several accolades, including a Grammy Award for Best Rap Album at the 51st Grammy Awards. It has been certified triple platinum by the RIAA and has sold over 3.5 million copies in the United States.
Rolling Stone (p.74) - 4.5 stars out of 5 -- "He really is the best rapper alive....As usual, Wayne's tumbling freestyle rhymes are full of imagination and surprise, but his voice itself is half the fun."
Rolling Stone (p.88) - Ranked #3 in Rolling Stone's 50 Best Albums Of 2008 -- "Lil Wayne's greatness lies not just in what he says, but in the way he says it..."
Spin (p.96) - "[T]he purest product of the most transformative, chaos-inducing man-made disasters of the 21st century -- New Orleans, hip-hop, and the Internet."
Spin (p.53) - Ranked #2 in Spin's "40 Best Albums Of 2008" -- "[With] rapping, Auto-Tune crooning, groping guitar strings, and rasping for air over a digital patchwork of beats and synths..."
Entertainment Weekly (p.66) - "There's some intricate art here: 'Dr. Carter' and 'A Milli' have bursts of spectacular rhyme..."
The Wire (p.64) - "'Misunderstood', based around the Nina Simone track, has lines that come straight from the heart, and the vital signs are strong..."
XXL (Magazine) (p.98) - "Wayne's supreme confidence as an MC dominates the album....His songwriting skills continue to get more thoughtful and focused..."
Blender (Magazine) (p.80) - 4.5 stars out of 5 -- "His taste in beats and sounds is omnivorous, his crushed-charcoal rasp equally indebted to crisp East Coast complexity, Southern sing-song and his own warped imagination."
Personnel: Betty Wright (vocals); Eddie Montilla (strings, keyboards); Ludas Charles (keyboards); Darius Harrison (drums).
Additional personnel: Sha Ron Prescott (vocals, background vocals); Pro-Jay, Robin Thicke, Cool & Dre, Jim Jonsin.
Audio Mixers: Miguel Angel Mendoza Bermudez; Andrew Dawson; Edward Lido; Fabian Marasciullo.
Recording information: Blue Jay Studios; CMR South Studios, Miami, FL; CMR, Miami, FL; Hit Factory Criteria, Miami, FL; SouthBeat Studios, Miami, FL; The Record Room, N. Miami, FL; Tree Sound Studios, Atlanta, GA.
Photographer: Jonathan Mannion.
Although his first studio album in three years has been long-awaited and repeatedly delayed, Lil Wayne has been anything but absent. Since THA CARTER II, Weezy has left an impressive mass of recordings--from mixtapes (authorized and otherwise) to guest appearances--in his wake as he blusters through the rap industry. In the third installment of the THA CARTER series, Wayne shows he's earned the right to ego-trip as he lets his off-kilter flow, freak-out lyrics, and vocal acrobatics run wild over 16 tracks. Scaling the heights of hubris on "Dr. Carter," he plays an MC/doctor treating a certain music genre diagnosed as lifeless and closes with a quintessential Weezy snarl: "Welcome back hip-hop/I saved your life." Wayne then shifts to alien-mode for the E.T.-inspired "Phone Home." Later on, he details his sexual conquest of a female cop on "Ms. Officer." As expected, THA CARTER III is rife with big name producers (The Alchemist, Kanye West, Wyclef Jean, David Banner, Swizz Beatz, will.i.am) and guest artists (Jay-Z, Babyface, Busta Rhymes, Juelz Santana, Fabolous, T-Pain) from all coasts.
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