They say you don’t miss your water till the well runs dry; well a few days ago, for innumerable Lil Wayne fans, the world got awfully dehydrated. TMZ reported that, following additional seizures and an apparent codeine-related overdose, Lil Wayne was on his deathbed, surrounded by family and receiving his last rites. The resulting internet flurry and endless stream of social media updates that followed is a testament to Wayne’s continued relevance in the popular consciousness. He may not be the “Hottest MC in the Game” anymore, but there are those that still consider him the best (Kanye West included).
We now know that the rumors of his near-demise were greatly exaggerated. He was never on his deathbed, and we can now all breathe a collective sigh of relief — whew. Wait, some of you out there weren’t sighing. Especially that heavily bearded corner of dudes over there, I didn’t catch many gasps or sad eyes coming from over that way. What’s up with y’all? Oh, you’re of the opinion that Weezy is just a bloated commercial mess of gangsta posturing and overt misogyny, at best over the hill, washed up. I guess I can (no, I can’t) see why some people would not dig his music; after all he’s just another two-bit rapper (what the fuck is wrong with you).
Lil Wayne may be the most popular contemporary musician that no one has really listened to. His reputation among the uninitiated (those yet to drink the punch) usually boils down to the superficial perception that he is somehow synonymous with his pop-leaning singles (“Lollipop,” etc.) and well-documented abrasiveness; they hate the dust-jacket and they never read the pages. These people rarely get past the glint of his diamond teeth, confusing blatant theatricality with authenticity.
Maybe that isn’t why you don’t care. Maybe you enjoy some his stuff, but the quality of his releases are just too inconsistent for your liking. This I can understand. His flashes of brilliance are often buttressed by the comparatively lame (make fart noises here). There’s no question about it, Wayne operates sans filter. But this is a good thing. Lil Wayne’s restless bouts of insight are vomitific and incendiary in ways not dissimilar to Coleman’s sax or Ginsberg’s pen. Unfortunately, this style of free association and his stream-of-consciousness tongue contribute equal force to both his prolific genius and outspoken detractors. But, washed up? You must not have heard “6 Foot 7 Foot,” ya’ know, the best hip-hop single of the the last three years? You’d be hard pressed to list a track where Wayne’s lyricism and delivery are any more inspired than right there.
Anyway, for those who do care (that should be you), Weezy’s new album I Am Not a Human Being II hits shelves next Tuesday, March 26. Oh, and it has a butterfly on the cover made by Kanye West, who reportedly thinks butterflies are really, really dope.
Hmmm, maybe I should have played this whole thing closer to the chest? Maybe the haters have some valid points? But Lil Wayne is just so damn cool I must be right, yeah… I’m right (fuck them).