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Album Review

Five years have gone by with no albums from Weezie, or Lil Wayne, as most know him. Now he's back with his long-awaited, fourth number-one studio album, Tha Carter V. This latest work features names like Nicki Minaj, XXXTentacion, Snoop Dogg, Ashanti, Kendrick Lamar, Travis Scott, Nivea and many others, including his own daughter, Reginae Carter.

As with his past work, Lil Wayne openly discusses his desire to be a better person (with shoutouts to his mom), communicate with God and give good advice to fans. But he also dives deep into extremely problematic content, which gives this album (and its 23 songs) its well-deserved explicit rating.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements

Conclusion

Pro-social Content

Amidst all the problems this album contains, including sexual ones, Wayne desires to have a steady relationship (even though he's not always faithful). On "Perfect Strangers" he wishes that a broken relationship would be made right: "Acting like I've hung out of intention/I'll be watching television/And it's painless/We act like we strangers." And on "Dark Side Of The Moon," Wayne promises to be there for a lover through difficult times: "And I'll be waiting for you, for you, for you/On the dark side of the moon."

Wayne also wants to be a better person, often questioning the man he's become in his quest for change. In "Problems," Wayne makes it clear that he's unlike his biological father, who abandoned his family: "I should have a tattoo that say, 'I'm not like my dad' Jesus Christ/Amen." In "Famous" he admits that the flashing lights of fame make it hard to choose rightly. And in "Open Letter" he wonders why he's on earth and desires to protect those he loves. "I hope I leave more of an impression on my kids/To be destined to have blessings to believe in, Lord." Listeners hear similar thoughts on "Can't be Broken."

As you can tell, Wayne mentions God a few times on this album (though sometimes these references have their own problems). On "Took His Time" Wayne thanks God for creating him ("God took his time when he made me/Got my pride to the side, off safety/On a diet, on a diet from the fake beef"). And on "Let It All Work Out" he says that after his near death experience, "God came to my side and we talked about it/He sold me another life and he made a prophet."

Wayne gives listeners a few positive points of advice. On "Don't Cry" he says "Talent is God-given, be grateful/Fame is not a given, be humble/And conceit is self-driven, drive carefully/Stay in your own lane, seat buckled." On "Let It All Work Out" he advises listeners to "beat odds, never beat women."

Wayne's mother is featured in a few of his songs, calling out some of his best attributes and reminding him that he's loved. On "Hittas" she says "He's a very smart child. And I just said he was a genius, you know what I'm sayin'? Which I used to pray, and ask the Lord to send me one." And on "I Love You Dwayne" she says "I just pray things go well with you in life/…Mama love you/I love you Dwayne, with all my heart." Wayne also mentions on "Dope N-ggaz" that his mother has shaped the man he is today "Momma was a go-getter, a coach, n-gga/Taught me everything I know, n-gga, a soul sister/Taught me how to be a goal tender, support system."

Objectionable Content

Excessive drug use, alcoholism, partying, sex, derogatory sexual language and a mansion full of profanities are heard on nearly every song, earning this album its explicit warning. Multiple songs begin with Lil Wayne lighting up a joint (we hear it in the background) and continuing onward.Graphic sexual references and sexually explicit content is heard routinely. Perhaps the most problematic of all the songs is "Mona Lisa" where Wayne and Kendrick Lamar talk about sending a woman they know to seduce a man for his money and valuables—including graphic references to oral sex. Another example is found on "Demon," where Wayne equates an unfaithful woman and his genitals to a demonic force (again, in graphic terms). And in "Perfect Strangers" Wayne admits that he's "Sleepin' with these strangers/Every night a different woman doing the same s---." Other explicit content is far too graphic to include.

Jealousy and dysfunctional relationships also find their place as Wayne repetitively mentions he will always choose money over women on "Uproar" ("Money over b--ches, and above hoes/That is still my favorite love quote").

Alcohol consumption and excessive drug use is often glorified as both are discussed in nearly every song. Wayne is not ashamed to admit that he drinks too much, smokes marijuana and takes Oxycodone, Xanax, Percocet, Promethazine and a myriad of other pills. In "Used 2" he says "I used to smoke to get high, now I smoke to get vibes/…Percocet, promethazine, you can call me P-Rod." And on "Dope New Gospel" he says "Pill bottle only half full/But f--- it, my n-gga, I'm past good/… You always see me with the white cup/Some people say that is a bad look."

Death and violent references (normally directed at haters and those who threaten to come up against Lil Wayne, or the character he takes on) are also frequently heard. On "Open Safe," Wayne talks about torturing a woman to get to an enemy. "I stick her hands in the fan blades, n-gga/That's when she told me where her man stayed, n-gga/I ran up in that b--ch on a rampage, n-gga/In the morning, brains in the pancakes, n-gga." And on "Uproar" he says "I sleep with the gun, and she don't snore/…Trade the ski mask for the muzzle/It's a blood bath, where the suds go?"

On "Let It All Work Out" Wayne recalls a graphic memory where he tried to commit suicide. "I found my momma's pistol where she always hide it/…Hung up, then put the gun up to my heart and pondered/…I shot it, and I woke up with blood all around me."

Excessive profanity includes God's name being misused (often paired with d--n), multiple uses of the f-word and s-word, and other profane language like "n-gga," "b--tard," "b--ch," "a--," "d--n" and "p-ssy." Wayne also raps about rude physical gestures directed at his enemies and references visiting a psychic, calling out spirits and using voodoo.

Summary Advisory

Many fans have waited for Lil Wayne to drop Tha Carter V for years now. Following issues with his label, Wayne eventually broke away to give his fans what they wanted: four years' worth of songs.

In some of the songs, it sounds as if Wayne has matured. He talks about protecting and providing for his children and family, talking with God and improving as a person. And while these are all really great things, the album itself is a huge mess. We hear scads of harsh sexual content where women are degraded, sex is stripped of its value and drugs and alcohol flow freely. Extremely violent metaphors seem second nature to Lil Wayne, too.

So even though people may have waited a long time for this album, they'd do well to look (and listen) elsewhere.

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

Credits

Rating

Readability Age Range

Author

Cast

Director

Distributor

Network

Performance

Debuted at No. 1

Record Label

Young Money Entertainment/Republic Records

Platform

Publisher

Released

September 28, 2018

On Video

Year Published

Awards

Reviewer

Kristin Smith

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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