Monday, July 14, 2008

Link to Time article on Lil Wayne, and commentary

Article here

Read the article first obviously.

This is kind of a terrible article. Firstly, to say that Lil Wayne being the best rapper alive is no longer even debated in Hip Hop Circles is truly ridiculous. Most of the hip hop blogs I read are conflicted about Wayne's talent, some of them claiming he's incredibly overrated. There is almost never going to be such thing as an undisputed best rapper alive, (the contest is too subjective) but Lil Wayne crowning himself on the Dedication 2 doesn't make a particularly strong statement, especially when such greats as Jay-Z, Black Thought, Ghostface Killah, Andre 3000, and many others are still at the top of their respective games (not to mention relative newcomers like Lupe, and dare I say Wale). Obviously, he is the champ commercially, but selling big never says a great deal about how talented an artist is. (I believe Limp Bizkit sold some records at some point)

The writer of this article further blunders when he gets into the actual lyrics of Tha Carter III. He calls the wordplay on the album "thrilling" (occasionally true), but his best example of this thrilling lyricism is "my picture should be in the dictionary next to the definition of definition." This DOESNT MAKE SENSE. It's hardly even a boast, its not creative, its one of those signs that Lil Wayne should probably smoke less weed and drink less cough syrup, or perhaps consider writing his lyrics down to check if they make sense. The writer (an apparently underinformed Stan named Josh Tyrangiel) also claims that "no other rapper finds as much joy in rhyming." I dont understand how he arrived at this conclusion. As exciting as it is that Wayne is able to rhyme way, day, say, cliche, and 3k, it does not prove much about his joy for the rhyme. This is what rappers do Josh. They rhyme words. I agree that Lil Wayne is pretty damn good at it, but this string of easy rhymes proves nothing, especially not the sweet sweet joy he finds in putting words that end in "ey" together. Furthermore, being all over the place in your rhyming is not an especially good thing, and many Wayne detractors (including me on occasion) hate the fact that there is no coherence to 80% of his songs.

The final alarming part of this article is the last paragraph, not because of the Dylan comparison (a bit over the top, but meh), but because Josh writes, "Redd Foxx would probably dig 'em too." Congratulations Josh, youve just made the classic blunder of using way out of date slang to conclude your article, which in turn has disqualified everything youve just written. Nice work!

1 comment:

DRB said...

You're welcome for the article, so you could finally put some substance on this collection of links you call a "blog."

Just kidding.

But seriously, I kind of disagree with some of what you said. I do think that the premise of the article is stupid, but not necessarily because he says that Wayne is the best. More because saying that anyone is the best is stupid. Music is almost entirely subjective. Someone who doesn't care if all the lyrics make sense but more cares about the way the words go with the music and flow together, or wordplay could say that Wayne is the best. Someone who values social commentary could Talib (I'm sure you know someone better). Someone who appreciates truth and honesty could love Clipse. Someone who appreciates passion might say that DMX is the best. I think you get my point.

Nevertheless, well written stuff. You should write more, and post less links that don't have commentary.