A year or so ago, I predicted that Lil’ Wayne’s Tha Carter III would fail miserably, and it turns out I was wronger than a motherfucker. Tha Carter III went on to sell something like 3 million copies. Which really isn’t that impressive in the grand scheme of things, but by 2008 standards, it might as well have been 10 million copies. Little Brother would have to put out 40 different albums to rack up those kinds of sales.
I figured that Lil’ Wayne’s music had gotten so bad (even the late, great Tom Breihan isn’t as much of a fan anymore) that his fans would turn on him. What I failed to realize is that, if these people liked Lil’ Wayne in the first place, and Lil’ Wayne wasn’t worth a shit to begin with, what’s there to say that they wouldn’t like him even more, if he started to really suck balls?
My bad. Sometimes, I find it hard to put myself in the position of the average hip-hop fan these days. It must be a sign of aging. I’m also wearing a lot khaki pants with pleats in them. I find they make me look a bit classier than I would otherwise.
That being said, I feel pretty confident in saying that Lil’ Wayne’s new rock album the Rebirth will fail miserably. A few reasons why:
First of all, I listen to rock music, all the time, and “Prom Queen,” Lil’ Wayne’s first rock single, as is the often case with rap forays into the world of rap music, bears no relation to anything I’d ever want to listen to, other than the fact that, as the late, great Adam Aziz pointed out, it may or may not rip off Nirvana’s “Rape Me.” (I spent a good amount of my free time in college staring at pr0n and listening to In Utero, and I’m not hearing it, but what do I know?)
Why is that, anyway? Take for example that song “Party Like a Rock Star” that came out a couple of years ago. I’ve been to more rock concerts in my life than I have rap concerts, and I’ve never heard anyone say, “Totally, dude,” even once. I’m assuming it has to do with the deep scientific principle that black people tend to have awful taste in white music (e.g. rappers’ fascination with John Mayer), and white people, unless they’re trying to appear ironic, have pretty good taste in black music.
Hence, instead of rappers putting out rock music that sounds like Pavement, or Wilco, i.e. something an aging hater such as myself could appreciate, “rock music,” in the hip-hop community, is mostly viewed as being synonymous with Limp Bizkit. It’s no wonder the vast majority of black people can’t stand rock music – they’re listening to all of the wrong shit!
Speaking of which, you have to wonder what’s the likelihood that a Lil’ Wayne rock album would get much play on urban apartheid radio. I’ve been subjected to such stations on and off for 27.9 years now, and I don’t know that I’ve ever once heard a distorted guitar. Which is obviously by design. The TIs keep the sounds on black radio extra milquetoast, the way black people like it, so they can charge more money for malt liquor ads. It’s one of the few, proud holdovers from the Jim Crow era.
It’s been a good year and a half now since the hip-hop station here in St. Louis played anything that wasn’t either by Lil’ Wayne, or featuring Lil’ Wayne. I’m convinced they must have a chinaman in the basement whose jobs is to take garbage freestyles from Lil’ Wayne’s Mixtape of the Week program and paste them into other people’s songs. Or are those actual remixes that Lil’ Wayne got paid for? At any rate, I wonder if they’d actually go so far as to play full on rock music, if it was by Lil’ Wayne.
Kanye West’s act of cowardice, 808s & Heartbreak, has managed to sell reasonably well, despite how teh ghey it is. But it fits right in at radio, with the likes of T-Pain, and Lil’ Wayne himself. I’m convinved that a lot of the success of Tha Carter III had to do with how utterly ubiquitous Lil’ Wayne has been for the past couple of years now. What do you fruits think? Will Lil’ Wayne actually put out a rock album? And if he does, will people actually buy it? Speak on it.