After morphing into a critical darling with his fifth effort, Tha Carter II, Lil Wayne can do no wrong. Hoping to keep the Weezy bandwagon rolling, Cleveland mixtape maestro Mick Boogie serves up The W. Carter Collection, a compilation of outtakes, remixes and revealing live snippets.
For those wondering what Tha Carter II could have been had Mannie not jumped ship, there’s the exuberant Fresh-helmed, “Cash Money.” On the unreleased gem “When You See Me” Wayne speaks candidly over eerie descending keys: “We so strugglin’ like we poor/’Cause ain’t enough dough to get us equal with the white people/That’s what you need to know/And I’ma tell you why you need to vote/’Cause that muthafucka needs to go.” On the raunchy “Suck It or Not (Remix)” Weezy rattles off clever sexual innuendoes like, “Do you know who you’re playing with? Wayne/Chilling like a scarecrow, looking for some brain.” The Collection does briefly extend beyond Wayne’s abrasive bravado on “Boom Bap,” where Mr. Carter reminisces about his formative years over a wobbly baseline and quirky country twang.
Unfortunately, some of the unreleased material was rightfully left in Pro-Tools. The lethargic “In the Streets” and the stale crime-rhyme in “Gangsta” feel out of place among the more compelling offerings. Despite those missteps, Mick Boogie’s Collection turns out to be a much-needed companion to Tha Carter II.
Key Tracks: “Cash Money,” “Ain’t Got Time,” “Suck It Or Not (Remix),” “Boom Bap,” “When You See Me”