After years of rescheduling, legal battles with Birdman/Cash Money Records and various mixtape/collab albums with what I would consider mediocre material, The Carter V is finally here! Personally, I have been waiting on this album and I know I'm not alone. When I first saw the tracklist, my initial thought was "too many features, it's going to be trash". After listening to it, I couldn't have been more wrong. The album is lengthy considering the times, but it is just right for a Carter installment.
The intro "I Love You Dwayne" by Jacida Carter (Wayne's Mom) who is pictured on the cover with a young Lil Wayne, is a heart felt emotional statement to her son about her love for him and being proud of him. The first song "Don't Cry" ft XXXTentacion is a great opening track addressing life's struggles. A somewhat controversial feature with the late XXXTentacion, but you can feel the pain in the hook, which makes the depth of the verses pop. The song "Let It Fly" ft Travis Scott which seems to be a fan favorite definitely thumps. Wayne's verse gives you early 2000's vibes. On "Mona Lisa" ft Kendrick Lamar, another fan favorite, they paint a picture of a scandalous women who are scamming unsuspecting men. Kenderick compliments the track well and by the end of his verse he is speaking as the victim. they both show out and it is definitely a standout song on the album. Wayne's song "Open Letter" is a straight flow, no hook track that showcases him doing a lot of self-reflecting while questioning life itself. It's hard for me to narrow down my favorites on this album (Which rarely happens) because a lot of songs have replay value. The songs "Famous" ft Reginae Carter, "Mess" and "Perfect Strangers" are all dope vulnerable tracks in different aspects. And the songs "Open Safe" produced by DJ Mustard is straight bop and so is the song "Uproar" produced by Swizz Beatz even though it's probably the worst song lyrically on the album. Very glad to see Mannie Fresh in the production credits for "Start Shit Off Right" and "Perfect Stranger". Honestly, I expected this album to sound dated and full of mediocre verses and features, but it turned out to be a solid project with good song concepts and execution. For everyone that doubted Wayne's ability to produce quality over the past few year, this should be proof that he is still very capable of creating dope music. I will be riding to this for a while.
Written By: Zeno The Ruler