Not the best rapper alive
Hip-hop, mix tapes and a subjective view as to why Lil Wayne sucks
By Jon MilesPosted Aug 10, 2011
Music tends to be a hot-button issue for many people. You would be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t love music and defend his or her love vehemently. Of course, music, like all art, is subjective, and different people have different tastes.
With that in mind, I know what I am going to say next is going to ruffle some feathers: Lil Wayne is not, as he so often claims, the best rapper alive. In fact, Lil Wayne sucks.
Sure, he’s got some catchy singles, he records and sells tons of albums and he seems to have an almost ubiquitous presence on the airwaves — spend 10 minutes in any club and you’re bound to hear his trademark rasp. But that’s not what hip-hop, and, especially rapping, is about.
MCing can be broken down into three components: lyrical content, rhythm and flow, and delivery. Weezy’s delivery — his vocal presence on a record — is unmistakable and is his best trait, but his flow is lazy. This, though, comes as no surprise from a dude who uses codeine as a mixer and burns more trees than California. My main problem with Lil Wayne is his lyrical content. It is, for the most part, nonsensical garbage. After “Tha Carter II” — arguably his best album — dropped in 2006, he had to stave of accusations of ghostwriting. There is a notable drop-off in his content thereafter. On “Dr. Carter,” from “Tha Carter III,” he raps: “Swagger tighter than a yeast infection/Fly go hard like geese erection.” I’ll let you try to figure out what the f*ck that means, and he drops rhymes like this all the time.
Weezy fans often point to his huge body of work — the mix tapes he seems to drop weekly, in particular — and say that the rap game just comes so easily to him, and that obviously makes him great. That is utter nonsense. The truth is nearly every rapper in the game is releasing mix tapes left and right. They’re easy to do, requiring little production because all they have to do is take someone else‘s beat, remove the vocal track and lay down their own.
Unlike Lil Wayne, however, most of these emcees aren’t producing absolute sh*t. Take one of Lupe Fiasco’s 15 or so mix tapes for example: on “Enemy of the State: A Love Story,” Lupe actually uses Weezy’s track, “Fireman” (from “Tha Carter II”), and, in my humble opinion, completely murders it — even calling out Wayne with a backhanded shout out in one verse. So the fact that Lil Wayne is constantly releasing tracks does not make him great; all he’s doing is spending a lot of time in the booth, spewing the verbal equivalent of diarrhea.
Anytime the subject of the greatest rappers ever is broached, the roster of MCs that will show up every time looks something like this: Eminem, LL Cool J, Ice Cube, KRS-One, Nas, Jay-Z, Rakim and of course, The Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac. The fact that Weezy openly calls himself the best rapper alive is downright laughable, seeing as everyone from that list but Biggie and Tupac are still alive and kickin’ it.
Selling a million records does not make Lil Wayne great, not when he’s rapping about goose boners. It just means his name is hot. His game, however, most definitely is not.