In New York on Feb. 9, 2010, Dwayne Carter, aka rapper Lil Wayne, is set to follow the lead of many of his hip-hop heroes—such as Tupac Shakur and Lil’ Kim. He’s heading off to the slammer to do a lil’ time on felony gun charges.
Still hanging over his head is yet another trial in Arizona for felony weapons and drug possession charges. But Lil Wayne’s far too cool to care. “I will stand up for marijuana any day. … I’m a rapper,” he told CBS News anchor Katie Couric. “I am a gangster and I do what I want. And I love to smoke. And I smoke.”
His fans probably won’t care much, either. They’ll be too busy buying up copies of his “rock crossover” album, Rebirth, which—after being postponed more times than Wayne’s been arrested—is now slated for release right around the time its creator gets locked up.
This song is from that release. A raw musical monologue featuring Eminem, its lyrics paint a picture of a man who feels beaten down by the world around him (“I seen nights full of pain/Days of the same/You keep the sunshine/Save me the rain”). But then Lil Wayne turns a nasty corner and seeks retribution (“But soon for a n-gga/It be on, m‑‑‑‑‑f‑‑‑er/’Cause all this bulls‑‑‑ made me strong, m‑‑‑‑‑f‑‑‑er/So I pick the world up and ima drop it on your f‑‑‑in’ head”).
And so the familiar vitriol goes on and on in raw-mouthed chest-thumping fashion.
In a recent Associated Press article, writer Stacey Plaisance spoke of Wayne’s rise to fame, stating, “Lil Wayne emerged as a top-selling musician known for his cleaver wordplay and risqué lyrics.” Her description falls short. She leaves out the singer’s misogynistic squall and twisted, street thug worldview that consistently seeps into all that, er, wordplay.
“For me, it was always a way of showing someone my intelligence, a way of showing someone who I really am,” Lil Wayne told Couric about his craft.
And that statement says more than the prison-bound rapper may have realized.
After spending more than two decades touring, directing, writing and producing for Christian theater and radio (most recently for Adventures in Odyssey, which he still contributes to), Bob joined the Plugged In staff to help us focus more heavily on video games. He is also one of our primary movie reviewers.