A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Lil Wayne is not for kids. His lyrics are explicit and so is his content. Think of a profane word and Lil Wayne surely rhymes to it on this album. Sex is discussed (usually with women as sex objects) on a number of tracks, such as the hit single "Lollipop," an homage to oral sex, in which the rapper describes a woman's body parts graphically and compares oral sex to the candy.
What's the story?
Lil Wayne is huge. His single "Lollipop" reached No.1 on the Billboard charts and this album's release has been widely anticipated for months. Combining irreverent lines with a raunchy sensibility, Lil Wayne is a lyrical live wire that doesn't fit the typical mold of rap superstar. THA CARTER III, Wayne's sixth album, includes a variety of producers and collaborators, including Kayne West.
Is it any good?
This CD takes listeners on a chaotic trip into the manic mind of Lil Wayne. At times he's sublime with his word crafting, flowing effortlessly from rhyme to rhyme making words connect in novel ways that fit into his own brand of logic ("We pop 'em like Orville Redenbacher"). But at other times the lyrics appear forced and uninspired. Lil Wayne is at his best when you really feel that his rhyming is a stream of consciousness, but he sometimes stumbles on his own hype and his cockiness trips up his lyrical flow.
The expressive experimentation transfers into the music which is chock full of electronic touches, from the synthed-up effects of his hit "Lollipop" to the mixes and samples used effectively throughout. Lil Wayne also surprisingly does a good job of altering his vocal stylings which keep things interesting.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Lil Wayne's popularity. This album was supposed to be released a year ago, it was delayed and tracks were gradually leaked online -- which only added to the anticipation. How do you think this played into Lil Wayne's marketing strategy? How long can an audience wait for an album? Does waiting an extra year increase the hype? Lil Wayne boasts a lot about being the "greatest rapper." Do you think this type of self-promotion helps an artist sell more music? Is this self-pride more acceptable in rap than other musical genres? Why do you think that's so?