Don't Cry, TUNECHI's back!! A full breakdown of Tha Carter V track by track.
By Alexis Alex
Tha Carter V is finally out!! After SEVEN long years, we finally get the hear Lil Wayne’s long awaited project. Overall, this album is a straight FLAMES. Sorry, this is not up for debate. The fact that Wayne can still release a project in 2018 and it is still relevant and enjoyable for the culture is more than admirable. This is what we call a legend, kids!! This project is pretty lengthy, 23 tracks is super long for an album in Hip Hop today. But hey, it is Wayne so we are here for all of this content!! Let’s dive straight into the album track by track:
Don't Cry (feat. XXXTentacion) - XXX’s vocals are chilling on this track. Especially after Wayne’s mom finishes crying on the first track, XXX’s vocals are the perfect follow up. Don’t Cry sounds like a love letter to his fans, comforting them after years without a Wayne release. Don't cry kids, Tunechi’s back.
Stand Out Lyrics: “But if heaven’s as good as advertised / I want a triple extension on my motherf**kin' afterlife / Rest in paradise”
Dedicate - A true flex song. Wayne is discussing his influence on the culture and he's spitting straight facts. He tatted his face and changed the culture?? This is undeniably true. Think about it, what does every new pill rapper get before they blow up? A tattoo on their face. Can't deny the influence. These rappers are literally Wayne’s sons. “If it wasn’t for Wayne it wouldn’t be.”
Stand Out lyrics: “I started this shit, you just part of this shit / I'm the heart of this shit, and the heart doesn't skip / Take the heart of yo' bitch, 'cause like Bart, you a simp / And your water don't drip so your garden ain't shit”
Uproar - Okay, my New Yorkers this song was made for you to shine. That Harlem Shake is inevitable on this beat. Swizz Beatz even asks for you to work your shoulders, i mean COME ON. Especially with the Special Delivery sample, this is an infinite NY banger. I do have to admit that the existence of this song is actually very ironic considering Wayne already has a song on this beat on Dedication 4 (Green Ranger ft. J Cole), and Wayne begins his verse by saying he doesn’t like this same beat. (If you wanna be petty and listen to that part, here’s the link: ) I guess he likes the beat now! This is definitely a commercial hit. WARNING: Don't bring your shoulders out if they are trash though!
Stand Out Lyrics: “It's a shit show, put you front row / Talkin' shit, bro? Let your tongue show / Money over bitches, and above hoes / That is still my favorite love quote.”
Let It Fly (feat. Travis Scott) - Wayne and Travis is an interesting collab, never saw this coming. Although Travis did say something about a collab back in 2014, so this is it. To be honest, Travis’s verse is very subpar to me. His verse blends well with song, but we all know Travis can do better. He just sounds like a filler before Wayne’s verse. This is kind of disappointing considering Travis is one of the top rappers in the game now, therefore he missed the chance to really compete with an OG.. Just think about it, if Travis’s verse would have beaten Wayne’s on this song, he would gotten unlimited respect. You are on Tha Carter V Travis, you should have came with straight heat!! But, WAYNE on this track?? Bananas!! His lyricism and punchlines come all the way out to play in his verse, you are valid to skip through Travis’s part if needed.
Stand Out Lyrics: “Second line, second line, Tunechi got effective lines / Rough edges like a box of Checkers fries, that's a line / Catch the line, American flag, less stars extra lines / Stretch the line, skip the line, 'til you no more next in line, yeah”
Can't Be Broken - This is a sentimental song. It talks about having a preserving spirit. If you ever need to feel empowered, just run this song. Enough said.
Stand Out Lyrics: “Should I throw up the deuce or should I wave the deuce? / In 1982, my momma take me to a space shuttle / Say now I'm raising you and ain't no baby food / Unless you go and take the neighbors' food / And be afraid of who, I made the loot / When money went from army green to navy blue”
Dark Side of the Moon (feat. Nicki Minaj) - This is a cute love song, take my word for it. It makes you wanna have a Romeo & Juliet type of love. Maybe a little forbidden love affair?? It’s a vibe. I usually hate any song where Nicki Minaj is singing and i am usually not the biggest fan of Wayne’s vocals either, but this song is a perfect blend of these two and the lyrics are deep. And can we talk about these vocals??? No seriously, who mixed Nicki’s vocals on this track?? And why didn't they mix her vocals for Queen?? These are questions I need answers to.
Stand Out Lyrics: “But take her for a walk on the moon as she wear slippers / The end of the world is coming soon, I’ma miss it / The sky is falling down, I am falling for her quicker / We hide amongst the clouds, then we pardon the enigma / High above the ground but I'm under her charisma”
Mona Lisa (feat. Kendrick Lamar) - Ok so boom, this song is getting a GRAMMY. Yep, I said it!! This is top notch storytelling from Wayne and Kendrick. Wayne sets the story up, and Kendrick just knocks it out the park. The beat changes, the intensity, the different flows, JESUS. The two do a perfect job of blending their stories and giving the perspective of both types of men in this situation. Either you a pimp or a simp. Pick one before you get robbed!!! This story definitely needed to be told. Too many guys out here getting trapped by Insta models and scammers. Hello, Rich The Kid?? This is lowkey his story being told. Somebody check on him right quick.
Stand Out Lyrics: I.could.not.pick.just.one.lyric.
What About Me (feat. Sosamann) - This track definitely put you in the feels. This is a vulnerable side of Wayne we rarely get to see. Who hurt my dude?? My only critique of this track is the Sosamann feature, you can barely understand what he's saying and the verse sounds a little out of place. Especially after knowing that Drake and Post Malone were supposed to be features on this track. I can just hear their voices on it now, and i'm sad. But nevertheless, this track is still great and fulfills its purpose to get you in your bag. You see your ex moving on and you never thought what about me?? Don't lie to yourself.
Stand Out Lyrics: I let you cry, I let you worry / I let you yell, I let you hurt me (oh) / I gave you everything you needed / Now you gone, gone, gone / Tell me, how you do that to me? Yeah”
Open Letter - This is also another super vulnerable track. Wayne ponders on what his mark will be on this world and why is he alive. He talks about his past romantic relationships, his kids, questions about his legacy. Wayne is giving us substance in his bars coupled with vulnerability, I love it.
Stand Out Lyrics: “Lookin' like I'm lookin' for some grievance / 'Cause I been through way too much, don't wanna think about it / Cranky 'bout it, gotta drink about it / Gotta synchronize it, tranquilize it / Doctor ain't prescribin' what he ain't realizin' / Pain inside me got me thinkin' 'bout me / Tryna hang my body, sanctifyin' / I'm a gangsta dyin' 'cause all gangsters die.”
Famous (feat. Reginae Carter) - First of all, Reginae’s’ vocals are BOMB on this track. Don’t hate! The chorus is instantly infectious and catchy. In this track, Wayne talks about his struggles living in the spotlight for so long. He talk about he barely knowing who he is anymore, alluding to the fact that fame has a way of changing a person and making you unrecognizable to the people you grew up with. I see this song being played on a movie.
Stand Out Lyrics: “All I ever wanted was everybody's attention / 'Cause most people are nobody 'til somebody kill 'em / Probably thought that my career be short and sweet / Wishin' I was in your shoes, I'd take them off and find a beach / And superstars don't sparkle, we high-beam
And you can't spell fame, without me.”
Problems - Wayne does some mumble rap on this track, but I don't mind because, “if it wasnt for Wayne it wouldnt be”. Sometimes the OG’s gotta show the newbies how to do it. Now, this track does come off as a filler song, but a filler song for Wayne is better than a single off your fave’s album. We can debate that.
Stand Out Lyrics: Psychopath, blunt big, big as Mama June off the diet plan, smokin' science lab / I should have a tattoo that say, "I'm not like my dad" Jesus Christ amen / My hand in the psychic's hand, she see righteous plans”
Dope Ni**az (feat. Snoop Dogg) - This beat is flawless. The Xxplosive sample is beautiful. Then, Snoop Dogg’s feature adds the perfect vibe to this song. This definitely a West Coast vibe. Wayne gave both coasts a vibe for the Carter V, give him his props.
Stand Out Lyrics: “And you gon' respect my mind and my sign and my emblem / You got money on your mind and we aimin' at your temple / Check me out or just be quiet in the library, nigga / Or the flowers on your grave gon' be dyin’ every winter”
Hittas - This is vintage Wayne right here. Hittas sounds like the perfect drive - by preparation song, no joke. This is a warning song to all of Wayne’s enemies. Wayne got hittas and he always will, so act accordingly. The background vocals hidden in this track really amplify the production as well and coupled with Wayne’s cutthroat lyricism, this is definitely a favorite.
Stand Out Lyrics: “Nigga, I'm a ass with that semi, call me semicolon / Yeah I got hittas woadie, yeah I got plenty woadie / They kick the door and kill yo' ass and leave the children snorin’ / I'm sippin' lean out a glass, make me feel important / I made some green in the past and now it's good as golden”
Took His Time - In this track, Wayne starts off with a short interlude by his mom bragging about Wayne’s high IQ. Then, this track effortlessly follows up with Wayne bragging about how God took his time when he made Tunechi. I mean, where is the lie? Have you heard these bars he’s been giving us for the past 20+ years?? Yes, God definitely took his time and we appreciate it. We all have a gift that we were blessed with, Wayne just profited off his gift, and you should too.
Stand Out Lyrics: “ 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 / 'Cause in my eyes all that I see is dead meat”
Open Safe - Can we talk about this BANGER?? This is the strip club anthem of the year already. And this Mustard beat?? Nasty. Wayne’s bars and the beat go toe to toe the whole track and it just makes you wanna shake something!!! Pray for the club when the DJ plays this, i’m warning you now!!
Stand Out Lyrics: “Okay nigga, I just left José nigga, I just left José, nigga / Federales on my ass, fuckin' had a boat chase, nigga / They didn't see no face, nigga / Your bitch spent the whole day with us / If she open her fuckin' mouth, knock all the white out, no racism”
Start this Shit Off Right (feat. Ashanti) - Vibes, Vibes, VIBES. This song instantly gives you feel good vibes and there’s no denying it. Ashanti sounds like an angel and her vocals mixed in with the Mannie Fresh production is perfect. This is the type of early 2000’s vibes that we miss. BRING BACK FEEL GOOD PARTY MUSIC!!! I'm just trying to be cute at the pool parties this summer and Wayne has given me the perfect song. These other rappers definitely need to hop back on the wave. We wanna dance and two step, bring back the vibes to Hip Hop!! Definitely one of my favorite tracks.
Stand Out Lyrics: “Now baby make that ass clap like it's proud of me / She said, "I will," like ill with an apostrophe / Its Lil Tunechi, word around on the streets / That everything is workin' out like obliques, they wanna see it obese”
Demon - The poetry flow that Wayne does at the beginning of this track is SPICY. It reminds of something out of Love Jones, very nice way to start off the track!! In this song, Wayne discusses his inner demons and dealing with his vices. This song is super deep when you sit back and think about it.
Side Note: Where are these background vocals in the production coming from?? The vocals in the background of this track sound holy and sanctified and I love it.
Stand Out Lyrics: “Sleepin' with the enemy, my demons are too intimate / She's sleepin' very gently so now they're startin' to enter it / And now they're startin' to mentor me, geekin’ like Brittany / Tweakin' my energy, eat and die sympathy / Scream and cry infamy, come alive mentally / And love die physically, my love cry miserably
Mess - Whew chile, this song is about Wayne and his love troubles. We all know about the lifestyle of a rich and famous rapper, juggling multiple women at all times, it is a very messy life to live. This song actually gives us a different perspective on the love life of a rapper, having all of those women is not all it is cracked up to be.
Stand Out Lyrics: “I'm sorry babe, but I gotta let go / Now she feel like she on death row
She don't believe in ghosts 'til I get ghost / And I can hear her teardrops echo / Her teardrops turn into Petrol / Put yourself in my shoes but you got to tiptoe”
Dope New Gospel (feat. Nivea) - The Never Would've Made it sample from Gospel singer Marvin Sapp made me tear up lowkey. Wayne uses this song to open up about his past health troubles with lean and how he had to change his lifestyle if he wanted to be alive. Oh yeah, and Nivea’s vocals are NICEEEEE. We see you with the comeback sis!! This is how you support your child mom’s trying to make a comeback!
Stand Out Lyrics: “You always see me with the white cup / Some people say that is a bad look / But take a good look at what you are lookin' at / You never know when it's your last look / It's written all over my face / These tattoos, they can't be erased / One of a kind, I can't be replaced / In case that mirror breaks”
Perfect Strangers - I feel like this song is just a different version of Mess, but I like Mess better. Maybe this song just isn't for me, its for men and their commitment issues. I’ll let you guys have this one. I’d rather listen to Mess!
Stand Out Lyrics: “Every night a different woman doing the same shit / But, you don't even call anymore / And you don't even care / So who am I to love anyone / I know it's fucked up / Different city, switching women / Putting cups up, getting fucked up”
Used 2 - FLAMES. Just had to say that first. The buildup of bars at the beginning of this song is insane. In the beginning, the beat builds up while Wayne’s builds up his bars and energy simultaneously, it's just a beautiful experience. And I hear this track is possibly a Pusha T diss?? I could definitely believe it. I mean the whole song is confronting Wayne’s enemies and Pusha T has been an enemy of Wayne for years now, so I would not be surprised. Regardless, this song is a BANGER. The lyricism alone is praise worthy. This is definitely a contender for best song on the album.
Stand Out Lyrics: “Taking shots at my team, you must be getting senile / You goin' at my slime then you're going at me, slime / Your blood all over the scene, it look like red cheap wine / I'm smoking on a key lime, you look like tea time / Look like honey to my beehive, I close your sweet eyes / Shoot ya in ya head, give ya ass three eyes/ And you still ain't seen a fucking thing until you C5”
Let It all Work Out - This is arguably Wayne’s most vulnerable song. He candidly talks about his suicide attempt when he was 12 that led to him to almost losing his life. Wayne uses his personal story to inspire and encourage others to keep pushing and have faith in life. This is a great way to end the album, Wayne is telling his fans to let it all work because look what happened to him. We finally have the Carter V!!
Stand Out Lyrics: “I shot it, and I woke up with blood all around me / It's mine, I didn't die, but as I was dying / God came to my side and we talked about it / He sold me another life and he made a prophet”
This album was truly electrifying to listen to. You can tell that Wayne put his heart and soul into this project and it shows through his lyricism, beat selection, and productions. This is easily a contender for best Rap Album of the Year. Tunechi’s back and he’s here to stay!! Bow down peasants.