Monday, November 28, 2011

Tha Carter IV vs. Watch the Throne

C'mon, should this even be a competition? Lil' Wayne hasn't been innovative for years. I guess I should be starting this out with some sort of introduction sorta giving the rundown on the rappers themselves or giving some history or something, but I'm just annoyed that no one else seems to notice that Lil' Wayne has been wallowing in mediocrity for years now. I mean I am not gonna argue that Watch the Throne is some sort of rap masterpiece or anything, but Tha Carter IV doesn't even give it a run for its money.

Tha Carter IV represents Lil' Wayne's trademark incomprehensibility devolving into boredom. Remember when he was the most quotable man in rap? I mean he was pushing the envelope. He still sounds the same, but the quirky lyrics are rote by now. Whereas Jay-Z and Kanye stick with fairly traditional rap, but find ways to make it new. Listen to Kanye's production on "Otis". Sampling soul records is a game he's been playing since The College Dropout, but listen to the way the sample doubles back on itself behind Jay's rapping! It's got the hits ("Niggas In Paris") but it keeps working to push the envelope forward too. If the two albums show anything, it's that some gimmicks (like Lil' Wayne's shtick) grow old, and classic sample-based New York rap never does.

They're both better than Based God and stuff, though. At least they're both still making rap albums instead of the whole "just release a single that's everywhere and then disappear" Soulja Boy approach. And you know who else sucks? Waka Flocka. Man, this is just depressing me about the state of rap. This is why we should be thankful for Jay and Kanye. It's hard to find guys still working at it.

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