Words by Gotty™ & J. Tinsley
Typically, a mixtape receives loads of preliminary buzz before its release and then it drifts into the ethers to be forgotten and lost on hard drives, never discussed again. But what Dwayne Carter did on No Ceilings deserves a slight bit of recognition.
In fact, he raps his narrow, syrup-sippin’, slightly deranged-ass off. Over the past few releases and remixes, a focused Weezy had been missing. But here, he’s present & accounted for, displaying the abilities that helped garner him those “greatest rapper alive” mentions in the first place.
What started off for me as a casual listen turned into repeat listens. Going from “let me highlight one of these shits for Notable Quotable” to “Man, there’s no way to pick just one.” So, I armed myself with Lil’ Wayne’s No Ceilings, two packs of Kools® and called my brother J. Tinsley to help pick & pull lines (I took the odds, he took the evens) from what stands go down as one of the better listens of 2009, retail or otherwise.
1. “Swag Surfin’“ — “I’m runnin with the blucker, Young Money motherfucker/You think we gone do our thang? Well ain’t it sunny in the summer?”
I’m old school. I like slick talk, as espoused by old drunk Southern Negroes and Midwest corner hustlers and those influenced by them. One of the most memorable lines in rap that’s often overlooked came from 2Pac. Go back to the phone conversation that takes place on “What’z Ya Phone #” and listen to how he “does a bear shit in the woods and wipe his ass with a fluffy white rabbit?” CLASSIC. And as the days and years go by, I will slyly and deftly incorporate “Ain’t in sunny in the summer, you ig’nant motherfucker?” into my daily conversation, thanks to Wayne.
2. “Ice Cream Paint Job” — “You ain’t never safe, stop playin’ with a gangsta/ Bring it to his face and he ran like a flanker/ Bend a girl over, put her hands on her ankles/ I’m all over this Ice Cream beat like some sprinkles…”
Yeah buddy. This is the Wayne we’ve all wanted. Start to finish. Marathon flowing with so many quotables you spend more time pausing the song than actually listening to it. No disrespect to Dorrough, but similar to the track right before this, this is now Weezy’s beat you just happened to get on first. “We the motherfuckers like M.I.L.F.” Pricele$$
3. “D.O.A.” — Hov said “I might send this to the mixtape Weezy.” He didn’t have; Weezy jumped up & took it. “I drank verses & eat hooks/I got the stove on my waist and we cooks/I’m in the way, you can’t pass like Aaron Brooks.” Simply a multitude of quotables here showing why a focused, rapping Weezy is one of the best around. Add in “Young head bussa, get’cha helmets/you niggas real soft/What is that? Velvet?,” “We get seven-digit money, you can call us,” “bars all day, no last call” and “two women praise me, like Mary Mary” all for good measure.
5. “Wasted” – “I shake you pussies up like a vibrator…you can tell dad that I’m a motherfucker…New Orleans nigga, I get Superdome.” Just run of the mill shit-talking, but done with admirable flair. “You Plain Jane, I’m diverse/I save the world second, and I get high first.”
“Wasted” and “Ice Cream Paint Job” are two of the key attractions for why mixtapes done by talented artists are still worth the time to download and listen. Take a mainstream hit, anchored and made attractive by an undeniable beat, then rerock that motherfucker and make people lose sight of the original.
6. “Watch My Shoes” — “I don’t splurge around no hoe/ No, I don’t shine in front no bitch/ Cause after she get off my dick, I be like find the front door bitch/ I don’t know why in the fuck yo’ bitch keep comin’ by/ I don’t fucked yo’ bitch a hundred times/ What the fuck yo’ bitch got on her mind?/ My fuckin’ dick, I call her ‘dickhead’/ Spicy like a Big Red/ Strike you like a big head/ Yo’ flow sick, my shit dead…”
The first time I heard this track a little over two years ago, I always wondered, not IF, but when Wayne would jump over this. You can make an argument as this being the best track on the tape. And you won’t hear any complaints from me.
7. “Break Up” Featuring Short Dawg & Gudda Gudda — Although I lose it @ Gudda’s opening “It’s Gutta hoe!” and the ensuing lines, I’ll give Wayne the W for the “this beat gettin’ totaled, Pam Keisha Kima’ed” line. Short Dawg’s verse gets a nod here as well. All-around thumbs up.
8. “Banned From TV” – “Take that to the bank witcha/I rock my hat to the side like I paint pictures/ Smoke weed, talk shit like Lane Kiffin/Whole country in recession, but Wayne different…And man I’m so high it’s like an everlasting fall/ And I’m charging these hoes like women basketball…”
Rapid fire flow + witty punchlines = this. Gotty™ is really pissing me off by making me pick one or two. I could really quote the whole damn track.
9. “Throw It In The Bag” – “You can’t be broke and happy, so I be mad rich.”
Who’s song was this originally?
10. “I Think I Love Her” Featuring Tyga & Shanell — “Got some new bitches, trail got ‘em laughin’/ The one that gave me head could suck the nail out a casket…”
It’s just funny to me that he said he didn’t like the beat to begin with but still managed to body the track.
12. “Wetter” – “California Kush, strong as a titan is what I’m lighting on/ We get high as fuck then we ‘just do it’, put your Nikes on/ Tattoos on her waist, she like the tattoos on my face/ And if there’s something she like to say/I let her say it on my microphone…”
R&B mixtape Weezy in his prime (pause). Truthfully, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear this in the club soon (if it’s not in rotation already).
13. “I’m Good” Featuring T-Streets — The thundering beat is the star here but still we get a nice memorable line like “you close-minded, shoot you in yo head I bet you open up.”
*Files it into my mental Rolodex, beside the “Swag Surfin'” line,” for later reference when shit-talking.*
14. “Make Her Say” Featuring Jae Millz — “I met on Monday, fucked her all week/Cause every time she leave, she come back to the tree/She know I love brains, so I treat her like a geek/She love the way I spit, so I made the pussy leak.”
Likely one of the less talked about tracks on No Ceilings. Still, Wayne drops some Twitter-esque bars.
15. “Run This Town” – Been there, done that & already chalked this one up as “Damn, Shawn, he owned your beat.” If the Frank Minyard line didn’t leave you running around your computer chair, you have to ask yourself when was the last time you heard a rapper incorporate the word pylon into a rhyme?
16. “I Got No Ceilings” — “Kush got my dutch fat as fuck/Weezy F., I’m bad as luck/ I’m already at the top, I’m bout to pull the ladder up/Flow crazy, I need a counselor/I’m Hip-Hop’s announcer/ I’m in the gun club, do you wanna meet the bouncer?/Been a beast and still I am/Now I’m rock and still I jam/Few niggas with me got that white girl like Will.I.Am…”
This is just another example of Weezy’s versatility. He sounds as if he should have been featured on the original track.
18. “No Ceilings” Featuring Birdman — Birdman on a track could surely derail that shit. In fact, no one should be subjected to listen to Baby out of their own free will. I skip this shit. Find your own fuckin’ line. Extra shout out to the evil genius who created that Like Father, Like Son-sans Birdman back when it dropped.
19. “Oh, Let’s Do It” – “They locked the CEO up/And I’m the CEO, fuck/Prison in February and I ain’t in no rush…Take a nigga bitch, she ride my dick like she cycling/Then she can’t walk, run or jump like white men.”
Comparing Waka Flocka to Wayne makes about as much sense as putting salt in Kool-Aid, so I’ll avoid that point all together. As one of the bonus tracks Weezy recorded due to the premature leak, this actually serves as one of my favorite cuts.
20. “Single” — “I’m fuckin her friends, now her friends ain’t fuckin’ with her.” Ouch. Even though he’s drifting into that codeine-influence flow that deters some, the slow flow over the Screwed beat works as Weezy talks filthy to the numerous women in his life.
21. “Sweet Dreams” (Remix) –“Anything we want, we redeem/You niggas gassed up, 93 supreme…Nicki Minaj is the hardest bitch/More than an artist bitch/She talk a whole lot of shit/ And walk around like she President Carter’s bitch/ She be on her Barbie shit/And me, I’m on The Carter 6…”
Download — Lil Wayne – No Ceilings Mixtape