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.

His Few Remaining Real Teeth

When I see someone with a grille, I always have the same thought:

“I wonder if he has really bad breath.”

I even Googled it, but I didn’t find anything conclusive. It seems that people who actually KNOW people with permanent grilles have good enough sense to not write blogs about whether Lil Wayne or Paul Wall have incredibly awful breath. You’d THINK there would be some kind of anonymous blog for this sort of thing. The internet disappoints sometimes.

Somebody like Diddy looks like he values taking care of himself: never a wrinkled shirt, poorly manicured hand, or dirty shoe. People like Lil Wayne may now be as rich as Diddy, but they come from a different world: the world where making money and not getting shot is way more important than using a tongue scraper. (As a female, I tell you this: I’d rather you get shot than not use a tongue scraper, kthxbai.)

But is this a little racist? Just because one poor lady from the ghetto went on Flavor of Love, was told she had horrible breath, was sent to the dentist and was told she needed $20,000 of dental work, that doesn’t mean that speaks for ALL people from poor neighborhoods. The dentist on the show said that the woman’s teeth looked like they had “never seen a toothbrush.” Not having 20 grand, the woman decided instead to make a necklace out of mints. This cued Flavor Flav to send her home.

Besides, there are plenty of white people with equally terrible dental situations. When Meredith Viera did that special about Appalachia, an entire segment was devoted to kids having rotten teeth coming out of their heads because their parents put Mountain Dew in their bottles (you can’t make this up, man).

Lil Wayne’s grille is permanent. He can afford good dentistry, right? The thing is sealed tighter than Fort Knox, right? His beloved Sour Patch Kids don’t come near his real teeth, right?


His prison sentence was recently postponed so he could get 8 root canals and “repairs done to his few remaining real teeth.”

Then again, further research (cough cough) indicates that, given enough mouthwash, Weezy could still be worth the trouble. If you’re into that sort of thing. Just make sure your hair’s real. My, but this got tacky quickly.

(props to @DJ_Spinja for the link)

Delusions: Go Big or Go Home

Once upon a time, I had a dream. No, not that one about all men being created equal. The one where I got hired to design paint jobs for Lil Wayne’s signature line of guitars. His little paw shook my little paw, he looked down at my cut-out Tuk lolita boots and I looked down at his spotless Adidas, and an understanding was reached.

You don’t understand.
You weren’t there.

Nearly two years later, I’ve expanded on the bizarre fantasy and my subconscious has come along for the ride in its own annoyingly prudish way. Lil Wayne and I have gone grocery shopping (“baby, grab some of that trail mix”), but we still haven’t gone all the way…to goth night, that is.

My ultimate fantasy is that Lil Wayne and I roll up to goth night in a black Escalade. Two footmen hop out of the back seat bearing tiny step-stools which Weezy and I use to dismount our pint-sized selves from said Escalade. It is comically badass. That is to say, it’s the weird combination of the comical and the mildly unsettling. This is the language we speak. Diamond grilles and weapons charges aside, this is why it works.

My friends have been enabling this delusion. When I tell them this fantasy, they pause for a second, then respond with “that’s perfect. Perfect.” Sure, Weezy’s presence in my life would mean that my friends would have an endless quantity of what is probably the world’s best weed, but this goes deeper. They know that I require someone who is frank, weird, elfin, and greater than the sum of his parts. Someone who can be three apples high, silly and still scary. Someone who whimsically wrinkles his nose when he laughs, but who knows at least twenty people who would shoot you just because he asked. Someone who works hard. Someone who can look you in the face and tell you to fuck off and you still won’t know whether to love his frankness, call the cops or make out with him. In short, someone who is different from me in every obvious way, but very much like me if we were put in a blender and pureed down to our nuts and bolts. Someone who would write a line about spritzing you all over the wall in a pink mist, and then chuckle maniacally. Is he serious, or was that hyperbole? Well, there’s the fun.

Long as we’re being delusional, I’ll tell you how it’s going to go down. Like so many delusions, it starts on Vh1. I go on Tough Love to be coached by Public Domain Fred Savage. It doesn’t help me find Mr. Right, but it does land me my own show, For the Love of Evil. I get just famous enough to weasel my way into the VMAs, where Weezy and I meet, shake little paws and come to an understanding. He and I combine or parallel work ethics, and I add secret sauce via piano to his next album. The bizarre combination of melodramatic, goth piano works well next to gangsta rap. The album is lauded for its new sound and Weezy and I joint-collect the Grammy: he in a fitted tee; me in a metal-boned corset.

All we’re missing is a show on Vh1.


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.

I Dream of Weezy

The other night, I had a dream that I was called in to design the graphics for a signature line of guitars by Lil Wayne (he does play guitar, you know). So, my boss and I went to Lil Wayne’s house. On the lower level, there was an array of paints and guitars all laid out for me to use, but I had no idea what to do. “What’s the direction we’re taking on this?” My boss had no idea. Thus, she went back to the office to work up a creative brief, leaving me standing in Sodom & Gomorrah, Lil Wayne style.

The huge house was total nightclub town, complete with sketchy activity going on in dark corners and curvy women wearing next to nothing, not unlike some porn movie put out by snoop Dogg (have you seen it? it will totally put you off Twizzlers for a month). I’m standing there not knowing what to do when Lil Wayne comes downstairs.

I just stand there not knowing what to say. Once the “wtf” wore off, I extended my hand to shake his. He had no idea what to do with me, as I was standing there in full goth lolita garb that I could never afford in real life. Starting from the feet: cut-out wingtip boots, black and pink striped tights, skirt with tiers of ruffles and a giant bow in back, close-fitting Victorian riding coat, high-collared ruffley lace shirt with a cameo brooch at the throat. My hair was in a loose bun with curly tendrils, topped with a tiny top hat. It was like a page out of the Metamorphose catalog.

Anyway, he’s just standing there trying to figure out what this crazy white girl is doing in his house, why she’s wearing more clothing than all of the other women combined, and why she’s been introduced as (evil). He looks at me with a weird mixture of curiosity, calm and protection. Protection, being the weirdest, because he’s only got two or three inches on me. Maybe it’s the cheekbones. Maybe it’s the face tattoos. Maybe it’s the fact that he’s probably got three guns stashed on his person. He decides to give me a tour of the house.

We end up sitting in front of a computer in his bedroom, listening to whatever he’s been working on. At some point, I think he kissed me, though I’m not sure because the alarm on the Hello Kitty clock sliced through the middle of the dream. Besides, the eye contact is the most important part anyway. Nobody ever has a proper face in my dreams, but I guess I had to give him one since it was level with mine. My mind’s eye didn’t know what to do with itself when it wasn’t staring somebody in the chest, like it usually is.

And so, an item was added to the “yeah, right” to-do list: take Lil Wayne to coffee, pick his brain, take him to goth night. We could roll up in an Escalade and then use a step stool to get out. It would be fabulous.

Take a peek at this video from the soon-to-be-aired interview Weezy did with Katie Couric. The pairing is deliciously surreal, Wayne is coherent (and markedly less high than usual), and we see what makes him so fascinating. Look in those eyes. Do you see it? Warmth mixed with the ability to shoot you in the face. Boyish charm mixed with fire-tempered hardness. He’s got that look that makes one say “this guy is either going to make a million dollars, or go on a shooting spree.”

Then again, Lil Wayne is very productive. He can do both in an afternoon.

(Click here if you can’t see the embed.)