Top positive review
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Cash Money's no longer an Army or a Navy, but Lil Wayne can stand on his own.
on February 19, 2006
I can honestly say that I had no idea what Cash Money Records was or who were the artists on there until I saw Juvenile's video for "Ha!". As far as Down South music was concerned I had just got into liking No Limit Records and I had awlays been fans of Down South artists like Outkast, Scarface & The Geto Boys, etc. Eventhough, I liked Ha!, I didn't know what to expect from a Juvenile CD, so I didn't purchase any Cash Money CDs. When I saw B.G.'s video for "Bling Bling" that fetaured all of the Cash Money artists then I decided to purchase Juvenile's "400 Degreez" and B.G.'s "Chopper City In The Ghetto". After listening to both CDs, Cash Money was addded to my favorite Down South list, especially once No Limit Records started getting weaker once they let their producers, Beats By The Pound, stop producing the majority of their tracks.
One of the first tracks that I remember hearing Lil Wayne on was a track called "Play'n It Raw" that was on B.G.'s "Chopper City In The Ghetto" CD. The song featured B.G., Juvenile, Lil Wayne & Turk, which I would later find out were The Hot Boys. Once I heard Lil Wayne on that track, I knew that once he made a solo CD that he would be a force to be reckoned with. Once The Hot Boys came out with "Guerilla Warfare", which was a nice CD by the way, Lil Wayne was amped and ready to drop "The Block Is Hot". Once I heard that CD I knew that Lil Wayne would be ready for big things. The CD would end up in heavy rotation and my favorite tracks ended up being the title track, "Kisha" w/The Hot Boys, "High Beamin'" w/B.G. and my all time Lil Wayne favorite track "Loud Pipes" w/Juvenile, B.G. & The Big Tymers.
Lil Wayne's next CD was entitled "Lights Out". He had nice tracks on there but "Lights Out" wasn't as good as "The Block Is Hot", in my opinion. My favorite tracks ended up being "Hit U Up" and "Shine" w/The Hot Boys, and "Get Off The Corner". Once controversy started hitting Cash Money with Juvenile and B.G. leaving, Mack 10 getting overpaid and the breakup of The Hot Boys, I didn't like the direction Cash Money was going in so I didn't purchase "500 Degreez" especially after hearing "The Way Of Life" with TQ of all people.
However, Lil Wayne rebounded immensely with "The Carter". Backed with Mannie Fresh beats, Lil Wayne even surprised me with his lyrical content and the overall flow of the CD. My favorite track was "BM J.R." but I loved the singles "Bring It Back" & "Go DJ" and his tribute to the Hot Boys, "I Miss My Dawgs".
To be honest with you, after I heared that Mannie Fresh was leaving Cash Money, I was saying to myself even if Lil Wayne decides to come out with a "Carter 2" that it wouldn't be tight without Mannie on the boards. I can admit, however, I was wrong.
"The Carter 2" starts off with a wicked 5 and a half minute, no chorus track entitled "Tha Mobb" where Lil Wayne sounds like he is freestyling over a Heatmakerz track. After listening to the track twice, I said to myself, I guess he doesn't need Mannie Freah after all. Then the 3 part track which includes "Fly In", Track 13, "Carter 2" and "Fly Out", I was amazed by how Lil Wayne is basically rapping which appear to be freestyle rhymes. Tmix & Batman should be commended by the track, as well as, giving the production over these tracks that are fed by Lil Wayne's lyrics. "Money On My Mind" features a tight sample and Lil Wayne is able to contibute 3 nice verses over the track. Now I know I may upset some people with this assessment but "Fireman" and "Mo Fire" are the two worse tracks on this CD. "Fireman" is clearly an example of when people say don't judge the CD by the 1st single, because if you did you would think "The Carter 2" was terrible. Lil Wayne could have easily released "Shooter", "The Best Rapper Alive", "Receipt" or even "Grown Man" before he released "Fireman". "Fireman" will definitely have you missing Mannie Fresh providing Mannie Fresh. "Mo Fire" is not even worth discussing. However, Lil Wayne rebounds very quickly by the time you get to Track 7. "Best Rapper Alive" is definitely in the running with "Shooter" with my favorite song on "The Carter 2". Big D should be commended with his production and the clever use of the sample on this track. Before Mannie Fresh's production would win over Lil Wayne's lyrics. Now with Mannie Fresh no longer producing him and with his lyrical wordplay stepping up, Lil Wayne's lyrics overshine the production. At first listen, "Grown Man" won't be one of your favorite tracks but the more you listen to the song that features Currency the track will be atleast something that you don't mind listening to every now and then. It's a contradiction to what Lil Wayne would usually make because usually he would make a song degrading women instead of making a nice rap song for the grown and sexy.
"Receipt" is another one of my favorite tracks as once again, the proudcers on the track, Heatmakerz, makes a clever use of an old school sample and Lil Wayne takes care of the rest. The more you listen to the track you will definitely think that this track is dedicated to his boo Trina. "Shooter" was taken from a track by Robin Thicke entitled "Oh Shooter" that was on his debut CD. Robin Thicke incorporates his use of the song and Lil Wayne is still able to drop 3 verses to this track. The reason why this track is one of my favorites is because this track is different from what Lil Wayne is accustomed to doing. This track should be the next single, but we'll see. Robin Thicke has a nice track out with Pharrell entitled "I Wanna Love You". "Weezy Baby" is a very catchy track as Nikki lays down some nice vocals to this midtempo track. "Get Over" is catchy as well as Nikki returns to lay down some more vocals and Lil Wayne is actually able to bring some substance to his tracks instead of trying to win with clever metaphors. The track sounds like a dedication to one of his homies. "Get Over" is a nice change of pace because most of the tracks on "The Carter 2" end up sounding alike.
Other than "Fireman" and "Mo Fire" there aren't too many things wrong with "The Carter 2". There are times where the metaphors that he uses aren't as strong as the others and there will be times when you hear a song with tight lyrics and wonder how the track would have sounded with a Mannie Fresh beat. Some of the tracks sound the same but you can pretty much listen to every track on this CD.
Cash Money may be on life support as a whole but Lil Wayne is doing his best to keep the label on his shoulders. If you liked "The Carter" then you should like "The Carter 2", even without the production of Mannie Fresh. If you liked "The Block Is Hot", "Lights Out" and "The Carter", then you will like "The Carter 2"
James' Top 5
1)Tie Best Rapper Alive
1) Shooter w/Robin Thicke
3) Money On My Mind
4) Fly In, Carter 2, Fly Out (Same Beat)
5) Tha Mobb