Review : Lil Wayne - Sorry 4 the Wait
PitchforkLil Wayne spends so much of Sorry 4 the Wait, his new mixtape, rapping about guns and drugs and sex that it's easy to miss one telling little lyrical detail. Rapping over Rick Ross associate Gunplay's riotous bass-bomb "Rollin'", Wayne says, "I cut down on the syrup/ Now I'm in better shape." That qualifies as a big admission for Wayne. Back when he was on his historic mid-2000s mixtape rampage, Wayne's constant consumption of codeine cough syrup, a drug that has contributed to the death of more than a couple of Southern rap legends, was a genuine cause for concern. But Wayne's on parole now after serving eight months in Rikers Island. He has a whole lot of consequences in store if he gets caught with drugs anytime soon. Wayne's bottomless appetites once informed both his public persona and his firing-in-every-direction, mad-genius rap style. But on Sorry 4 the Wait, he sounds at least somewhat reserved and controlled; that sense that he could fly off into pure gibberish at any moment is gone. Unlike Dedication 2 or Da Drought 3, Sorry 4 the Wait sounds like the work of a mortal human being. Happily, that mortal human being still happens to be very good at rapping.
Wayne's actually having an excellent 2011. On Sorry 4 the Wait, he revives his old mixtape trick of rapping over a bunch of the songs currently tearing up rap radio. It feels a bit incomplete, though, since so many of those songs-- the ones conspicuously absent from the tape-- already feature Lil Wayne rapping on them: Chris Brown's "Look at Me Now", DJ Khaled's "I'm on One", Ace Hood's "Hustle Hard Remix", Wayne's own "6 Foot 7 Foot" and "John". On those tracks, Wayne sounds like a man possessed, completely missing the rust and out-of-time lostness that affects so many rappers just out of prison. (Wayne's time in prison was short, and it ended several months ago, which almost certainly has something to do with his relative freshness. Still, it's notable and impressive.)
Relative to those tracks, he sounds subdued and uncommitted through most of Sorry 4 the Wait. The title itself speaks to a certain just-fucking-around modesty; it's just a quick-and-dirty collection thrown out into the world to atone for all the delays in Tha Carter IV's release date. Compare that to his last mixtape, No Ceilings, its title itself an act of sky's-the-limit bravado. Even when Wayne dropped No Ceilings nearly two years ago, it seemed weirdly lazy and passe for an A-list rapper to drop a mix of freestyles and nothing else; after all, guys like Gucci Mane crank out entire tapes of fully realized songs at frightening speeds. But if Sorry 4 the Wait is a throwaway, it's an awfully fun one.
Occasionally, Wayne will come up with an extended piece of casual, free-associative lyrical inventiveness, like this one, from his version of Miguel's "Sure Thing": "Lord knows I'm a sinner/ Pain pills for dinner/ Bitch, I'm getting money like I got a money printer/ Got a chopper and a trimmer/ Shooting like Jimmer/ You're coming in that water, boy, you better be a swimmer." More often, though, he's letting off silly Drake-style hashtag-rap punchlines and sticking with blunt-but-effective Rick Ross rhyme patterns. And yet it mostly works, because it's just a blast to hear him having fun for 41 minutes straight instead. He can get overwhelmingly self-aggrandizing: "My girl pussy feel like heaven to a god." He can get goofily puerile, using Drake's gorgeously conflicted sensitive synth-rap confession "Marvin's Room" to bust off some irreverently nasty sex talk: "She take it every way except personal." He indulges in plenty of singsong cadence, but all of it sounds like rapping, and none of it comes with the Auto-Tune he kept using for too long. When Lil B, a stylistic descendant in many ways, shows up on a freestyle of Waka Flocka Flame's "Grove St. Party", Wayne sounds comparatively focused-- and "focused" isn't a word I would've used to describe Wayne at any point over the last couple of years. Even on autopilot, as he often is here, Wayne sounds like a man reawakened and re-energized....full text
ConsequenceofsoundHopes are always high when Weezy releases a mixtape, and this one acts as a hold over for fans anticipating Tha Carter IV, which has been delayed until 29th August. While No Ceilings compounded the bar raised by Da Drought 3 and Dedication 2, Lil Wayne continues to have a lot to prove, since his form dips and soars so wildly.
Unfortunately, the tone for this outing is set by “Tunechi’s Back”, which uses “Tupac Back” by Meek Mill and Rick Ross, which itself has a certain epic quality, but here Wayne is overwhelmed by the dramatic, swirling beats. He talks of his lyrics as the kind that “shoots to kill,” while later meekly apologising, “sorry for the wait until my album drops.” “Rollin’” has a sombre military style, with Wayne as a kind of hip-hop commando, shooting down the invisible man, who’s got the whole world watching; if only it was in the vein of the great Ralph Ellison. He says “I’m talking heavyweight, I cut down on the syrup, now I’m in better shape,” but I’m not so sure. While he is possessed of a great delivery, and a certain swagger, he, like Odd Future, churn out below par lyrics; there is nothing interesting about rapping about “bitches” as he does on a track like “Gucci Gucci”, it is all a bit unseemly, and worse than that – boring.
“Marvin’s Room” is a case in point, with Wayne taking Drake’s track and making it a bloated song about flesh, with Wayne at different turns zoning out, absent-mindedly chit-chatting, when the piano-solo kicks in. At this point I started wondering whether Meryl Streep and Diane Keaton would have done a better job, considering their experience in the film of the same name. “Grove St. Party” makes great use of Lex Luger’s beat, and Wayne thrives on winding, complex sounds, but again the lyrics let him down, or perhaps I am just not a fan of the word “chillax”; and Lil B’s addition is not good, making me yearn for the fizzing, natural talent of someone like Rakim....full text
HiphopdxFor an artist who has been lauded as an originator, Sorry 4 the Wait sees Wayne sounding more like his contemporaries than himself.
After a year and some change of waiting for a new Weezy project, Lil Wayne drops Sorry 4 the Wait, a mixtape that acts as a precursor to Tha Carter IV. It feels like a Mayweather tune up fight: a lot of anticipation but sees a fighter/rapper who merely goes through the motions.
From the jump, “Tunechi’s Back” fails to separate itself from any of the Meek Mill remixes. Wayne takes a smash hit and sounds more Ross than Weezy. It’s sadly a trait that plagues the mixtape. For an artist who has been lauded as an originator, Sorry 4 the Wait sees Wayne sounding more like his contemporaries than himself. Without a smash on the project, Sorry 4 the Wait fails to live up to the expectations that the No Ceilings series created.
The lack of unique remixes and a massive amount of sex punchlines sees Wayne missing more punches than he lands (See "Marvin’s Room" or "Gucci Gucci" ). The albums biggest appeal is that Wayne admits that he hasn’t embraced a sober life. On “Rolling” he says “I’m talking big money, I’m talking heavyweight, I cut down on the syrup, Now I’m in better shape,” and throughout the album he mentions pills, patron and other lifestyle choices that he swore off. If the lack of sobriety doesn’t grab your interest a Jay-Z line, “gotta kill witnesses 'cause Free's beard stickin out” from “What We Do” finds its way on "Grove St. Party" in the way of “Gotta kill witnesses 'cause Baby's car red." While some may argue that it isn’t a blatant jack, at best it feels lazy....full text
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