The Balls on this Guy

I heard this sick freestyle from a Lil' Wayne mixtape today, and it made me remember how he released a track from his upcoming rock album, which I never got to hear. I remember the general internet backlash that took place, but then again, that always takes place. After searching a bit, I found the song on youtube. After a couple of "hmm?"'s and a few "wtf?"'s I started thinking about the motivations behind the song, and I came to the realization that Lil' Wayne knows exactly what he's doing.

The song kind of reminds me of some late-ninties post grunge-pre-nu-metal era shit until the vocals come in. The sound that it makes after that isn't at all unfamiliar; but because it sounds to me like some shitty band that I would never listen to enough to know the name of, I can't really place it. The tinny autotune vocals recall a Prince influence too, I suppose. I'm actually one of the 5 living people that don't really like that prince that much, not to mention Minnesota's only one.

Aside from being an endangered species, I know my music. And when Lil Wayne's rock opus drops, it's going to sell faster than free pussy. Prom Queen really takes three listens to appreciate: It takes the first one to convince you that he's lost his mind, the second to get the feeling that he's utterly selling out; and the third to realize that he isn't alienating his fan base, he's actually playing to them.

Let's face it: if you are reading this, chances are you have heard The Carter III. Chances are even better that you didn't pay to hear it. Those that did? Suburban tweens, and all the boys that thought it might help them "hit that shit." I can also tell you for a fact that everyone 15 and under that plays Xbox live has a copy of it laying around somewhere. This is his demographic now-and has been ever since Carter III went halfway diamond and he became a superstar; It certainly isn't you and me.

That being said, I am really not a Wayne fan. I have been listening to him since Get It How U Live!, and watching him blow up in 2008 was kind of wild to me. However, he hasn't done anything that has really impressed me musically since some parts of Carter II a few of the mixtape freestyles around that time. But his business sense is very keen, and I respect that.

Kanye definitely had the idea first, releasing 808's and Heartbreak despite much of that internet backlash he received due to the excessive use of autotune in "Love Lockdown" when that got leaked. It went on to go platinum, although by judging some of his behavior I can't be sure if this was Mr. West's most foremost intention or if he just needed to vent a little.

Like him or not, Wayne is just that guy, the one bringing in that lethal combination of charisma and unpredictability to the table right now. Not the hip-hop or rap table though; I'm talking about the pop music table, where the grown-up money sits.

The Rap attitude, and for the most part, Rap music itself, does not sell anymore. Some hip-hop artists, like Andre 3000 have been able to see this and branch out. And if there is something that he, Kanye and Wayne have in common, it's that they have the ability to see the game for what it is and adapt to the way it's changing now.

As well as enormous balls.

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