NEW MUSIC REVIEW: Lil'Wayne "Rebirth"

Sure, Lil Wayne’s rock album, “Rebirth,” is a misfire, the kind of thing that happens when a star overestimates his skills (and calls his opening track “American Star”). But if Kid Rock can rap, why can’t Lil Wayne try being a rocker?

Meanwhile, after the very premature release of the rock single “Prom Queen,” “Rebirth” was repeatedly delayed, finally arriving just a week before Lil Wayne is to be sentenced to jail after pleading guilty to weapons possession. What makes the album interesting, though not exactly good, is how it reveals a rapper’s view of rock.

“Prom Queen,” the DJ Infamous & Drew Correa-produced single that sparked discussion about the possibility of the album, drops as Rebirth’s second track. While the initial shock of how pathetic it is as a stab at some sort of rock stardom has wore off (slightly) since, the evidence remains that Weezy still lacks any sort of chops when stepping into the world of guitar-driven rock. “Ground Zero” follows as a unique hybrid, where Wayne fails to fully commit to either rapping or aggo-yelling; it’s a tired comparison, but Weezy is honestly a backwards red NY Yankees ball-cap away from full on Limp Bizkitry here.

The only highlight on the record comes with Eminem’s verse on “Drop The World.” Guests roped into the repetitive, derivative twelve tracks include J.U.S.T.I.C.E. and Eminem, who performed the album’s best song, Drop the World, with Wayne at the Grammys. Eminem, who produced the song, sounds crisp and hungry and, like on Forever, the hit posse cut from Drake, seems poised to once again become hip-hop's leading voice. At one point, that voice belonged to Lil Wayne, but on the rare occasion he does rap on this album, he's upstaged both by Eminem and Nicki Minaj, who also had the best rhymes on We Are Young Money, the pointless first release on Wayne's label.

Rebirth is a stunningly sour example of why Lil Wayne should stick to what he’s good at. He can seemingly lay down 100 bars at a moment’s notice, and at this point in time it’s almost guaranteed that at least a few of them are going to be smart, funny, and downright untouchable. But take the emcee outside of that realm and put a guitar in his hand, and he becomes a lost fool. As an emcee, Wayne has produced a series of remarkably sharp studio recordings that has given credence to accusations that he’s one of the best rappers alive. That being said, Lil Wayne has clearly smoked himself retarded as he believes that he is equally strong as a vocalist and musician, which clearly he is not. No further proof of this is needed other than a single listen to Rebirth.

In case you don't remember the single "Prom Queen" (released a year ago) here is the video:

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