Chicago Sun-Times
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Lil Wayne, "Rebirth" (Cash Money) [1 STAR out of 4]

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While many hip-hop fans will challenge the artistic validity of the oft-repeated claim by New Orleans' Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr. that he's "the best rapper alive," his commercial accomplishments are undeniable: His last album, "Tha Carter III" (2008), sold more than three million copies, garnered eight Grammy nominations and gave us one of the silliest guilty-pleasure hits of recent years with "Lollipop." But through it all, just like all the NBA and NFL stars who dream of trading places with him, the artist known as Lil Wayne has harbored a secret desire: He just wants to rock, man.

With a release date that's been pushed back half a dozen times since January 2009, Weezy's "rock album" was starting to seem more like a myth than a set of new music. But now that it's actually set to arrive in record stores on Feb. 2, it's obvious that it's actually a wildly misguided experiment that would have been better off remaining a rumor, especially since it's likely to be the rapper's last statement before reporting for a year in jail on charges of gun possession.

Some of the biggest problems are the same ones plaguing much of Lil Wayne's catalog: the annoying Auto-Tuned sing-speak of his choruses, the empty sexual boasts and clich├ęd street bragging of his rhymes, and the generic quality of many of his beats. The new twists are that those rhythms are delivered by a live, stomping rhythm section--though that hardly makes them more appealing--and they're decorated by a lot of hackneyed hair-metal guitar wank, as well as the occasional flourish of Queen-like glam-rock and Coldplay-style arena melodrama.

"This is that rock s---/This is hip-hop, b---," Wayne chants at one point, seemingly oblivious to the contradiction. Or maybe he's just setting up the argument he'd like the album to inspire. But "is it rock or is it rap" isn't the real question here; that would be, "How could anyone have thought this forced, joyless, plodding Frankenstein's mess was worth the trouble of releasing?"

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15 Comments

You have to listen to the album more than once to like it cause its different. Its not rap or rock. Its a new style of music which from my point of view seem pretty cool. He is starting a new genre of music in other words. Just remember that rap and rock has not always been around. At some point someone changed their style to something no one had every heard. This is what Wayne is doing in my opinion. Please let someone who understands music as an art to review this album and leave your bullshit at the house. I as well as Mr. Carter would greatly appreciate that.

stop hatin on the man
jim you just hatin on wayne
these negative reviews cant stop him
he still gon get his money
nigga makin in a day den u'll make in a lifetime

Negative reviews can't stop Lil Wayne.

But lengthy prison sentences sure can.

rap and rock together is hardly a new style of music. rick rubin and the beastie boys fused those styles together more than 20 years ago w the song You Gotta Fight (for Your Right to Party)

..You haven't even heard the album thats coming out in Feb. So hate all you want cracka

i tottally agree with dustin.
you dont understand the art at all, such a bad review. listen to the album with an open mind.

yea f this fat white dude, why is someone as fat as you even given the right to review albums/music that doesn't even target your old, fat fuck, ass. Of course you'll give it bad reviews, YOU DON'T LIKE THAT TYPE OF MUSIC. honestly, you haven't even heard the actual album yet so chill w the hating, hater. the leak that came out by amazon isn't even going to be the actual album weezy releases, he's been working on a plethora of different songs because of amazons dumbass mistake.

- trust me i'd know

I gave the album a 1.5/5 simply because anyone with the self-described moniker "best rapper alive" wouldn't settle for this. And once again, Weezy's lyrical content has digressed even further into the mediocrity that he should have already been called out for in previous albums. These lyrics make me appreciate rappers like Saul Williams even more. Try listening to P.O.S. if you want to hear rap-rock done right. Don't waste your hearing ability on this since Rebirth clearly doesn't deserve it.

You're right, guest on, they shouldn't let fat people write reviews, because fat people don't know anything about music.

I've heard some of this, and it's f---ing horrible. There's a reason why it took so long for the label to release it. Dude has a lot of talent, but he's been smoking and dranking too much. P.O.S. did this 100 times better on "Never Better." and no, rap rock isn't new, but it's rarely done well.

I love Lil Wayne and I think his lyrical ability is (and more importantly, his mixtapes are) responsible for the rap rebirth of the anti-Solja Boy movement.......but this was an awful awful awful awful idea. He shouldn't sing. Ever. Ever. Ever ever. (Forever ever).

LIL Wayne is insane dont be saying this and that about the album when it hasn't even been released... obveasliy people are hve rebirth songs on there ipod and hell.. even the CD in there cars but he got the money and connections people will by it because IT LIL WAYNE.. he's an alien and eats haters for dinner. THe carter 4 will be good and No ceilings is his best Mixtape/Album of all time better then tha carter 3

Regardless of how "groundbreaking" it is that Wayne is coming up with a "completely new style blending rock and rap" (which has been done before millions of times hence Beastie Boys, Limp Bizkit and many more), the album sucks. I've heard most of the tracks off of it and the rock pieces he implements are crappy digitalized hair metal guitar riffs that definitely don't do justice to most GOOD modern rock of today. Even Wayne's lyrics seem have to have taken a step back on the album.

Talk all you want about how cool it is that Lil Wayne is blending two genres (and doing a very crappy job of it at that), but the fact is: the album is second rate.

Listen to the Roots if you want to hear a worthy blending of rock and rap elements.

Complete dog s---. Rap and Rock has never been around? Are you completely retarded? What happened to rage against the machine? What happened to Korn? What happened to Deftones? What happened to Limp Bizkit? Kid Rock? What happened to all the underground rap/rock and rap/metal bands?

Oh yeah, that's right, people who like Lil Wayne don't know jack s--- about music, which is why they listen to him in the first place.

Giving credit to Wayne for inventing rap/rock is like giving Al Gore credit for inventing the internet.

Fuck you.

LOL. All of the people pro-Wayne are rap fans & not rock fans. Also, Limp Bizkit sucks balls. He isn't remaking anything. Rock has been around since at least the 50's, & rap has been around since the 70's. Seldomly mixing them is a good idea. The only good songs I can think of are the mixes are Aerosmith's "Walk This Way" with Run-D.M.C. (although the original with just Aerosmith was far better) & "Bring the Noise" by Public Enemy covered by Anthrax (which was wayyy overrated).

Also who Lil Wayne got for this album are non-rock people. Fall Out Boy is an emo/pop band, & so are Coldplay. They're not rock. AT ALL!

If you want rock, look no further than the Hammer of the Gods that is Led Zeppelin.

Dude I meant that rap and rock each separate has not always been around. Someone started each one of them at some point. I never said Lil Wayne was doing a rap/rock album. I said he was starting something new. Im very sure nobody has ever done anything like Lil Wayne did on Rebirth. So your the dumb ass who thinks Deftones and Beasty Boys sounds anything like Rebirth. Have an open mind about something before you make assumptions. I have been listening to Rebirth everyday since it leaked by Amazon and I think its a work of art. Much better than the Carter 3. Now the Drought 3 has Rebirth by miles but this is some interesting shit. The way the autotune changes his voice is like nothing anyone can make their voice sound like and adds mood to the song. Ex: Paradise... Its kind of like another instrument playing though the song. I like it and Im sure alot of others do too. So if you still think anybody else has every did this your f---ing retarded.

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This page contains a single entry by Jim DeRogatis published on January 15, 2010 1:00 AM.

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