It's been a long wait for Tha Carter IV
, ever since our brash review
first mentioned the assumed LP, and dismissed the third installment of the Carter series as less than a classic (I'd disagree with that sentiment...it sold over a million copies first week). One of the 'criticisms' was listenability over lyricism, and Wayne's ability to create true Hip-pop with his constructions in ways other rappers couldn't, through a combination of his unique timbre, humorous wordplay, and hook-happy beats. It was a magical combination, well worth a lesser emphasis on true lyrical genius—Wayne had a masterpiece and a crown-jewel for his 'best rapper alive' placard based on sales alone. But jail time, lingering thoughts of retirement, and a few loose forays into adjacent genres have left Wayne a caricature of his own background noise, and Tha Carter IV
is a collection of Wayne's friends outshining his entire collection of jabs with one or two verses a pop.