Lil Wayne – Rebirth

Sure, Lil Wayne lives up to his self-proclaimed title, “Best Rapper Alive,” but can he rock? The short answer is hell fucking yeah. With his new release, Rebirth, Weezy completely transformed himself from a rap luminary to a rock star.

Unlike his previous multimillion-selling Tha Carter III, which was all over the place, Rebirth is very focused. He either raps or sings (sometimes with the support of Auto-Tune) over hardcore, heavy rock riffs. With his gritty vocals, fluid flows, and lyrical wits, Wayne brings his idiosyncratic skills to a whole new level.

On “One Way Trip,” he once again turns nonsense rambling into genius rhyming: “Woke up this morning with my dick to the ceiling / Rather sleep with another chick from my building / Kick her ass out / have breakfast like a motherfucker / I am with another bitch by supper.” Aesthetically speaking, it’s really not what he says, but how he says it and his punch lines are hilarious: “You can act stupid, bitch I am just dumber” and “I am sick, very sicker than you / and when I play sick, I am Jordan with the flu.”

“Ground Zero” is a proof that Weezy can rhyme over any beat, even a boisterous one, and that he could turn noise into catharsis: “Kill them all, die in the spirit of the war / Thinking would a mind be in spiritual fall / Uh shit cause there ain’t no love / Die while America drank your blood.”

Unlike Jay-Z’s Blueprint 3, which filled with guest spots, Weezy has wisely kept his list to the minimal. Eminem shows up on “Drop Your Wall” and makes the track a dynamic duo. Both Em’s and Weezy’s eccentric styles are a perfect complement to one another. This is a much better collaboration than Jay and Weezy on “Mr. Carter.”

As for his singing, he should definitely drop the Auto-Tune clutch. Both “American Star” and “Prom Qeen” are horrendous due to the digital deterioration. Sure, Rebirth is a detour, but it’s a highly creative one. This is the way to rock. Norah Jones should take notes.