Everybody agrees that between his enormous ego, his even bigger sexual appetite, and his fame at a young age, Lil’ Wayne is really weird. So you shouldn’t be surprised to hear that Tha Carter III has really weird moments (“Phone Home” is about how Lil’ Wayne is a Martian, apparently). What’s funny to me is that no one agrees on which songs are really out there and which are just slightly quirky (I thought everyone at least agreed that “Phone Home” is really weird until I saw HipHopDX’s review).

For that matter, people don’t agree on which songs are good and which are bad. I’d almost call Tha Carter III Lil’ Wayne’s White Album, except that in every other way that analogy makes no sense.

The question of whether or not Lil’ Wayne’s music is good (or which of Lil’ Wayne’s music is good) is only one of many controversies Lil’ Wayne has created. His stereotypically mainstream lyrical subjects (bling, bitches, etc.) and behavior (wearing like 8 gold necklaces, constantly grabbing his crotch), his rock star-like antics, and his overall bizarre insanity make Lil’ Wayne the subject of a lot of attention. That’s way he is becoming a great pop star. Tha Carter III will only make him bigger, and it will be a huge step in Lil’ Wayne’s transition from one of the best rappers right now to one of the best pop stars right now.

Tha Carter III is easier for people who don’t particularly like hip hop to enjoy than anything I’ve ever heard from Lil’ Wayne. Lil’ Wayne has been a really good rapper for a long time for a lot of reasons that most people don’t care about–his flow, his varied delivery, his stream-of-consciousness wordplay.

But his songs were lacking where it counts for big pop success. They weren’t about anything in particular. His beats were really generic. He didn’t have hooks or his own sound.

Maybe he learned how mainstream artists are succesful by featuring on countless Top 40 hits. For whatever reason, songs on Tha Carter III are actually about something (even if it’s something really weird. Like being a martian). The beats are creative. He got singers like T-Pain to do hooks for him. The album overall has a holistic feel, a sound.

Tha Carter III is easily my favorite Lil’ Wayne album, and it will be yours too.

Tha Carter III is out today on Cash Money Records/Universal.

My favorite tracks:

A Milli

Let the Beat Build

Dr. Carter

Mr. Carter (featuring Jay-Z)

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