Audio Analysis: Lil Wayne – 6’7″

Gloss over some websites and you’ll catch on that popular opinion states Lil Wayne went on cruise control lyrically after The Carter III capped an exhaustive output of material throughout 2007 and early 2008. The quirky emcee had arguably never been more visible in the public eye at that point, but Wayne coincided that with giving himself a much-deserved break from, shall we say, putting much effort into the verses he laid out until his incarceration earlier this year.

Wayne is back after a stint in the clink, though, and if we try to gauge “6’7″” (and pretty much everyone with an internet connection and an opinion on rap has), it sounds like Mr. Carter is ready to return from his lyrical vacation.

Wayne’s about as polarizing of a figure as hip-hop can offer up right now, so there are two camps so far for the lead single of Tha Carter IV: The one that sees this as return of the old Wayne and the one that feels the return is a bit flaccid.

The track is getting some backlash over what some see as producer Bangladesh’s attempt to replicate the smothering beat he threw Wayne’s way for “A Milli” a couple years back. No doubt the “Day-O” sample, pounding bass and absence of a proper hook come together to make a brew that will trigger memories of “A Milli” from even casual listeners. You can make the argument that the sparse production approach puts Wayne’s contributions front and center. The repetitive sampled “Day-O” lyrics, however, create a natural division of attention between the production and Wayne.

But as Billy Joel might say if he knew who Lil Wayne was is that Wayne hasn’t sounded this lyrically aggressive “for the longest time.” Maybe it’s the tempo of the beat, but Wayne comes out of the gates at a torrid pace and doesn’t ease up on the gas until he passes things off to Cory Gunz (who feels sort of out of place on what’s supposed to be a rap superstar’s triumphant return).

Everyone’s already going bananas over the “lasagna” line, but there’s some other gems to be plucked from Wayne’s verses:

“No matter who’s buying, I’m a celebration / Black and white diamonds, fuck segregation”

“Stop playing, bitch, I got this game on deadbolt / Mind so sharp, I fucked around and cut my head off”

“You niggas are gelatin, peanuts to an elephant / I got through that sentence like a subject and a predicate”

The track (which I keep referring to as “track” because the title is a bitch to put in quotation marks) still has that new-car smell to me, so I’m not being as hard on it as some others are. This isn’t going to replicate the viral success of “A Milli,” but it’s certainly whetting my appetite for Tha Carter IV, especially since it should help wash the sour taste that Rebirth left in everyone’s mouth.

Since I’m too cheap to upgrade to the package that lets me post MP3’s, check out the single here.


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