Tha Carter III is the sixth studio album by rapper Lil Wayne and it is the final album in Tha Carter trilogy. Originally known as the youngest Hot Boy, Lil' Wayne has orchestrated a steady stream of hits. The New Orleans rapper began his long career with Cash Money as part of the Hot Boys, a popular late-'90s supergroup consisting of Juvenile, Turk, and B.G.
Lil Wayne put out enough material in 2007 to inspire a Vibe
magazine list of the 77 best Lil Wayne songs of that year alone. That level of output is the primary reason behind Tha Carter III
's bumpy ride. The albums opens well with the appropriately boastful "3 Peat," followed by the symbolic torch-passing of "Mr. Carter," featuring Jay-Z. But nothing matches or exceeds that until the Swizz Beatz-produced lark "Dr. Carter" and the album's arguable high point "Phone Home." Framed by simple, bombastic beats from Cool & Dre, Lil Wayne argues in "Phone Home" that he's so far beyond the competition he's extra-terrestrial. Within that track comes a stellar example of how Weezy's reptilian flow can let an inspired aside such as "I'm rare, like Mr. Clean with hair" slip by almost unnoticed. But no artist this prolific can avoid dropping some duds amongst the winners. The disc's three monster hits sound silly ("Lollipop"), annoying ("A Milli"), and generally uninspired ("Got Money") when stacked up against the non-hits. David Banner's musical backing for "La La" provides the kind of brain-tickling inventiveness that Lil Wayne should always have in order to push his gift for verbal absurdity to greater heights. --Kris Kendall