Lil Wayne – Tha Cater III

If Lil Wayne is not the best rapper alive like he claims himself to be, he is definitely the most eccentric one. On his new album, Tha Cater III, Weezy (his nickname) doesn’t flow the same way twice. Sometimes he lands ahead of the beat and other times he rides behind. His raspy voice falls, rises and distorts (courtesy of Auto-Tune) as he spits in streams of conscious, in which he invites listeners to swallow his words and taste his thoughts, but if they are too nasty, spit them back at him.

Most of the time, he lets his drugs do the talking. On the bizarre opener, “3 Peat,” he raps all over the place from shooting grandmother to kidnapping the baby to Viagra to Adam Sandler to ESPN to sex. Sometimes his intoxicating, surrealistic style comes off brilliant. On “Dr. Carter,” for example, Weezy rhymed over a groovy jazz-inflected beat describing his cure for hip-hop: “As I put the light down his throat / I can only see flow / His blood’s starting to flow / His lungs starting to grow.”

Among a handful of guest appearances, Jay-Z is a perfect match even though their styles are completely opposite. On “Mr. Carter,” one can hear that both are virtuoso of flow. The different is that while Weezy is letting loose, Jiggaman is in total control. It’s quite rare to see Jay-Z shares his heir with another: “Young Carter go farther, go further, go harder. Is that not why we came? And if not, then why bother?”

Even with a bunch of radio-friendly misses like “Got Money,” “Comfortable” and “Lollipop,” Tha Cater III is a strong work. “Tie My Hands” is a chilling track about Hurricane Katrina, and the album-closer “Don’tGetIt” is a fantastic sample off Nina Simone’s “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood,” in which he rambling about jail and Al Sharpton.