Tha Carter / Tha Essentials

Those of you who’ve been paying attention have already heard my only half-serious speech about how Lil Wayne is my soulmate. This speech is usually directly followed by the slightly more serious speech about how I know it would never work, because he would show up late for our first date, I’d give him the business and then he’d call me a ho and pour a bottle of Moet over my head and yell “cancel this bitch! I’ll buy another one!”

I’m assuming that every rapper’s behavior exactly echoes that of Nino Brown from New Jack City. It does, right? I mean, Weezy named his albums “Tha Carter,” a reference to both his last name AND the massive crackhouse from New Jack City. Maybe he really WOULD pour that Moet over my head. Or not. He’s equally liable to threaten you and then laugh manically or make a Beetlejuice reference and bound down the hall. I’m not kidding. The man has a seriously bouncy walk, which is far more pranksta than gangsta. I love a walking contradiction, cause I’m one too.

As you can imagine, I’ve taken some well-intended teasing for this non-goth transgression. My answer: come with me, it’s fun over here. Your answer: “Amy, that’s a lot of stuff…where do I start?” Well, here.

Tha Heat (from Tha Carter I)
The chorus (“arm, leg, leg, arm, head”) is synched with samples of gunshots. It’s so over the top that it becomes darkly hilarious, not unlike a later lyric: “use your head or I’ll take it off your shoulders, mail it to your mom with a dozen of roses…damn, now that’s fucked up.”

Fireman (from Tha Carter II)
This song makes me wish I were badass enough to be a krumper. Fave lyric: “everything is easy, baby, leave it up to Weezy Baby.”

Best Rapper Alive (from Tha Carter II)
Verses have a sweet bass line and goth choir (honestly, only goths and rappers regularly use choir, strings and pipe organ), but the real selling point is the chorus. It comes in with an avalache of guitar, bass and strings; by the time Lil Wayne’s quoting the Addams Family (“be afraid, be very afraid”), you’re just a puddle of mush demanding a cigarette.

Hit Em Up (from Tha Carter II)
A sparkly little synth line plays with a bass drum like being punched on this song about trying to diffuse a situation, failing and having to just shoot everybody.

Whip It (from Tha Carter III)
The synths are old school gangsta rap, but they’re paired with the most delicious pseudo brass and a bass drum that occasionally drops out (absence makes the heart grow fonder). Fave lyric: “ring so big I can’t even make a fist…fuck how you do it, cause I do it like this.”

Prostitute 2 (from Tha Carter III)
A piano ballad about not caring if your lady love used to be a hooker, so long as she keeps it real with you. I’m not kidding. Double points for this being “part 2” of a song called Prostitute. Triple points for the moment at 2:28:

“And everytime I see you, I get asthma baby, like-” (raspy inhale, music stops)
“That’s my baby.”

It is somehow both hilarious and kind of romantic. You’d have to listen to it to understand.

Lollipop (from Tha Carter III)
Yeah, I know this was the single and it was EVERYWHERE on the radio for a solid nine months. Then again, nobody listens to the radio anymore and it’s my fave Weezy song ever. I have the high-res video saved on my hard drive for rainy days and possible desktop wallpaper (Weezy in a suit, y’all). Ah, the homophone wordplay between “lick the wrapper” and “lick the rapper.” Whatever we’re licking, it’s delicious, sexy, filthy, danceable and humorous. Bring it.

Pop Rocks: Keri Hilson “Turnin Me On”

“But don’t you ever like to just shake your ass to something?” Emmaly asks after being subjected to a mini rant about the tyrrany of the Black Eyed Peas releasing another annoying single.

“Yes, but not like that.”

So, what does inspire booty shaking? Recently, Keri Hilson’s “Turnin Me On.” This little bit of sassy, minimalist pop isn’t being played on most pop stations yet, but the R&B and hip-hip stations have caught on. Hilson comes off as a proto-Beyonce, telling the guys in the club exactly how it’s gonna be.

As much guesting that Hilson does on hip-hop songs, you’d think she’d be able to land a bad ass for this single. She does, being artist number 2,749 have a guest spot by Lil Wayne. His short rap is more clever than all of Kanye’s discography combined.

Is it high art? I don’t know, but it’s definitely fun.