“…All Bullets Come Out”Words by Jesse H.
My last review’s comment board was a bit shocking to me. As an opinion writer, I realize (and I would hope) that I don’t necessarily always take the most conventional stances on issues, but I do hope that what I write has merit and makes readers consider my opinion, even if they don’t agree with it wholeheartedly.
What surprised me is the amount of comments that discredited Lil’ Wayne without supplying evidence as back up (let’s not even get into how my youthful fashion sense of L.A. Gear sandals was insulted). I myself understand completely the appeal behind hating on Wayne, he’s so easy to not give a chance. My friend Bryan (mentioned in the review), could tell you how difficult it was for me to even give him a listen, I threw out a lot of the same labels that a lot of Wayne haters still use (“kid gimmick rapper,” “brainless southerner,” “hot flow, no lyrics” etc.) But ever a faithful fan of Outkast, I bought Idlewild, excited to see what was in store. Track 12: “Hollywood Divorce” was what absolutely sold me. Lil Wayne unquestionably has the best flow on the song, and quite possibly (no disrespect to Dre on “Mighty O,” or Big on “The Train”) on the whole album.
Maybe it was the hurricane hitting his hometown, but Weezy really stepped his game up and became one of the loudest voices for the victims of Katrina in the wake of the tragedy. Yes, Jay-z’s “Minority Report” gets its props, but it came later than FEMA, and with all respect due, Jay was probably sipping champagne on a plush yacht, an ocean away when Katrina struck. And, sure, Weezy may have it made too, but it’s still his hometown that was devastated by the hurricane.
Some say The Carter II was Weezy’s coming out party as a legitimate lyricist, and that definitely has a case with tracks like “Receipt,” and the incomparable “Shooter.” But Dedication 2 is where Weezy shows just how talented he is as a rapper with ridiculous, unbeatable flows on tracks like “Sportscenter,” “Spitter,” and the terrifically clever (and once again heartfelt), “Georgiaâ€¦ Bush.”
The fact is, Weezy’s been rapping for more than a decade, there’s no way he can not have picked up skills and tips from the veterans having been in the game that long. The man also clearly has a passion for rapping, as there are endless freestyles, guest spots and mixtapes bearing his name, and being the president of his label, he has no obligation to grind that hard. As you can see by the links, the amount of material dude puts out demands respect alone (and if its done by ghostwriters I’m surprised they haven’t sued yet for being overworked, or come out successfully solo yetâ€¦ how’s Gillie’s career going again?).
For those that say Lil Wayne is not as lyrically sound as Jay (I liked Weezy’s “Show Me What you Got” better for the record), as fundamentally talented with the flow as Eminem, and not as talented at talking about cash as the Clipse, I understand where you’re coming from. There aren’t many that have the respect for the veterans that I do. But really, if you only listen to the best of the best in each Hip-Hop category, you may want to think of other things to put on the empty half of your record shelf.
It’s time to give Lil’ Wayne the credit he deserves. No, he may not be the best rapper alive, but he gives his heart to his craft and puts in immense effort to come up with different, interesting flows for the listener, and that’s something that’s just foolish to ignore. His fresh, new flows and huge punchlines have an appeal all their own and they’re something that should be appreciated and embraced by fans, not rejected. But hey, why listen to me? Weezy said it best on “Shooter”:
“I’m tired of being patient/Stop being rapper racist, region haters, spectators, dictators/behind door dick takers, its outrageous!/You don’t know how sick you make us/I want to throw up like chips in Vegas/But this is Southern face it, if we too simple, then y’all won’t get the basics…”
All bullets indeed.
Following up with something similar to the Nas Shots, we decided to do some Wayne Shots. This was damn near impossible considering how the man has been a straight workhorse with a gang of material. But what follows below is a mass amount of Lil Wayne’s material – ranging from b-sides, remixes, instrumentals, mixtapes, and various guest appearances – all in high quality. If you see a particular something missing, feel free to email in a link or post it in the comments section.
If you grab even one thing from the list below, drop a comment please.