Lil Wayne’s 2011 was supposed to be historic. He got released from jail at the end of last year and was primed to make a Tupac-like, post-jail return that put all of hip-hop on notice. The promise of a more sober, more focused Weezy would make his Carter IV project an instant classic, especially after he treated fans to iconic verses from his jail phone. But something unexpected happened along the way: Wayne has seemed to lose steam.
The album’s first single, “6’7”” didn’t catch on as the second-coming of “A Milli,” and “How to Love” was a quizzical follow-up. Word circulated that songs were cut from the original track list, and suddenly Tha Carter IV was pushed back to August amidst rumors that the original incarnation of the album was less than stellar.
To appease disappointed fans and skeptics alike, Wayne dropped the mixtape Sorry 4 the Wait, a 12-track attack on the most popular hip-hop beats of the hour. Unfortunately, the project does little to make fans feel like Weezy is back in his prime form.
Sure, Wayne does service to beats on tracks like “Racks,” but such punch lines as “Everybody tripping, but I ain’t never tripping / Leave your ass flatter than my new television,” fall terribly flat. The instant quotables found on the legendary mixtapes Dedication 2 and Drought 3 just aren’t there for the most part. Instead, listeners get treated to Wayne’s sleepy rendition of Drake’s “Marvin Room”: “we f*ck around like we’re f*cking in a circle.”
Sorry 4 the Wait isn’t a skippable affair. Wayne is still more capable than most MCs making a living these days. The Young Money MC more than holds his own over “Grove St. Party” and opens the mixtape with a vicious obliteration of Rick Ross’ famous “Tupac Back” instrumental.
Sorry 4 the Wait was supposed to change a lot of minds. Those screaming that Tha Carter IV was delayed because of Wayne’s inability to put together a great album were supposed to shut up after listening to the mixtape. Those annoyed by the delayed album were supposed to have some vintage Weezy to whet their palettes. Unfortunately, both parties are going to be slightly disappointed by Lil Wayne’s most recent effort.