New sound, new name, but not much else...Last Wednesday, June 13th, Weezy released his latest mixtape, "Sorry 4 The Wait", to hold people over until the release his highly anticipated "Tha Carter IV", which Wayne insists that his ninth studio album will be released on August 29th, 2011. The mixtape is supposed to be Wayne's gift to his loyal fans for waiting patiently for "Tha Carter IV" and attributes the wait to his producers not providing him with the beats necessary to complete the project. For now, "Sorry 4 The Wait" is supposed to act as a sampling to the coming C4 and the unofficial introduction to his now alter ego/persona, "Tunechi".
After giving the album a couple listens over the weekend, it seemed that the mixtape was rushed, incomplete, and it appeared as if Weezy felt out of place on many of the tracks. Despite his remorseful nature on every song, apologizing for the delay of the C4, the Weezy that once dominated the mixtape world never really made an appearance on "Sorry 4 The Wait". It was nice to see Wayne attempt to re-capture his same freestylin, witty lyricism that made him such a beast on the music blogs with his past mixtape successes, like on "Dedication 2", "Da Drought" series, and "No Ceilings". But, despite hype, anticipation, and any preconceived notions of what people thought the mixtape was going to be or should have been, it seems as if Weezy is just going through the motions and is rustier than we thought.
The release of the mixtape was planned to coincide with the kickoff of the second part of his "I Am Still Music" tour, which also started back up on July 13th, in Hartford Connecticut. Wayne samples and freestyles over, Meek Mill's huge hit this year "Tupac Back", fellow Young Money member Drake's "Marvin's Room", Miguel's "Sure Thing", Big Sean and Chris Brown's "My Last", Young Jeezy's "Ballin", and many more. But despite the eclectic taste of beat choosing (he even spits over an Adele track), the work as a whole doesn't possess the same home-run capabilities that we have seen from other Lil Wayne mixtapes in the past. Aside from the countless sex metaphors and numerous Weezy cackles, this isn't even close to his best work. If anything, it's almost more of a coming out party for smaller and less known Young Money members, like Gudda Gudda, Lil B, Thugga, Raw Dizzy, and Flow--most of whom you will probably never hear again on a Lil Wayne mixtape, let alone "Tha Carter IV".
In a piece of work that is supposed to satisfy your appetite until August 29th, the mixtape hardly accomplishes this task. With a star studded crew that Wayne and Birdman have assembled over the years at Young Money, like Cory Gunz, Nicki Minaj, Tyga, and Drake, none of these superstars are put on any of the 12 tracks Wayne raps on. Although this was probably done purposefully in hopes to not spoil the C4, it doesn't help the lackluster effort of the mixtape.
Whether Wayne "is music" like he has tatted over his right eye or not, still has yet to be seen. His last couple efforts since his time in jail, ("I Am Not A Human Being" and "Sorry 4 The Wait"), are no where close to the Wayne who had a permanent seat at the round table of Hip-Hop royalty just a couple years ago. One thing is for sure on the mixtape, Wayne is off the purple drink, but he doesn't seem to be slowing down on any other substance as he points out in just about every track. His sober streak post prison didn't last long.
Some say that he'll never be the same and has fallen off. Others contest that Lil Wayne is back and "Tha Carter 4" is going to be the album of the year. Unfortunately, the future state of Wayne's career will be judged by the success or failure of "Tha Carter IV". He has one of the most loyal fan bases in music (S4TW was downloaded more than 250,000 times on Datpiff alone) and he prides himself on being an artist whether people like his work or not. Let's just hope he can muster up something better than "Sorry 4 The Wait" by the time we turn our calendars to August 29th, because frankly, I am still waiting...