It’s been nearly three years since Lil Wayne released his critically acclaimed fifth studio album, Tha Carter II. Despite the layoff, Birdman Jr. managed to soar to the top of rap’s hierarchy by delivering countless guest appearances and simultaneously slaughtering the mixtape circuit. Now, with expectations for Tha Carter III at a fevered pitch, Weezy F. Baby has secured one of the most anticipated hip-hop albums in recent history. With nothing left to prove, Wayne is ready to close up shop with the final installment of his popular mixtape series, The Drought Is Over 5 (Grand Closing).
Wayne’s braggadocious swag is intact on the conceited “I,” where he rambles on about his favorite topics: sex, money and drugs. The aggressive “Walk It Off” also displays Wayne’s flamboyant side, but it’s the infectious Bangladesh-produced “A Milli” that showcases Weezy’s lyrical prowess, as he spits, “I’m a venereal disease, like a menstrual/I bleed through the pencil/I leak through the sheets of the tablet in my mind/Because I don’t write nothin’, ’cause I ain’t got time.”
While Young Moola is famous for stealing the spotlight, the rapper-eater’s voice surprisingly gets lost amid the abundance of guests. From his appearance on Glasses Malone’s street anthem “Certified” to his apologetic verse on ex-flame Trina’s “Single Again,” Wayne’s last hurrah is bogged down with overdone collaborations. However, Weezy gets his mind right on the melodic “Stunt When I See You,” featuring Bow Wow, where he delivers his signature power punch lines (“Got ya bitch blowing me like she played bagpipe”).
With a mixture of high-profile singles (“Lollipop”), freestyle one-offs (“I’m a Dog Ya”) and Internet favorites (“Nike Boots Remix”), the disc manages to entertain, but The Drought 5’s closing is all but grand. In comparison to the past volumes, here, Young Carter’s highlights are fewer and farther between, leaving this installment dry. Hopefully, for Tha Carter III, Lil Wayne can once again make it rain.—Thomas A. Harden