Day 321: "Weezy Baby" – Tha Carter II, 2005
You might get lost in this song's abysmal hook, but if you pay attention to the bars you also might find that it's one of Tha Carter II's most overlooked moments. Lil Wayne toys with the beat, prodding at it with different flows and hopping between syllables from the moment it begins with the snappy burst of "brim leanin' / cup tilted / blunt flickin' / get money, fuck bitches!"
There's a method to what he's doing here. Not only does he have word for "new pussy rappers," he spends most of the second verse commemorating the late legends 2Pac, Big Pun, Biggie, Aaliyah, and Left Eye. Wayne has never hidden his love of these classic stylists of 90s hip-hop, and pointing to them while drawing a line between himself and the newest generation of artists is a convenient way to outline his own goals.
By the third verse, he intones a bit of wisdom that DJ Screw used to kick to Z-Ro (no clue if there's somehow a connection): "I ain't talkin' fast you just listening too slow." It's a good line (one review compared its dexterity to JAY-Z's), and it adds to the tacit points about respecting Wayne's work that are laid out in the previous verse. Then, to prove that he's not just blowing hot air, Wayne continues into one of the most stylistically interesting turns in his whole discography, which doesn't fully connect written out but also, weirdly enough, is hard to appreciate for its complex progression until you see it in text:
If I'm in any predicament:
Nervous? Never that
Got a gat to knock whoever back
Back, very flat
Chest, caved in
Mess on the pavement
Splat! Cherry wax
Yrrrrah! Bury that!
Rats, scary cat
Rraaattt! Carry that
Hollygrove trigga man, guns in a knapsack
The way that last line pulls the verse out of the hypnotic cadence that it's fallen into should be studied in schools, if it weren't for the fact that we shouldn't encourage kids to put guns in their knapsacks. But damn it sounds perfectly cocky, unflappably cool. You could also teach rhyme schemes with this, the way he buries literally a dozen -at and -ack rhymes in here, all of them enhanced by his staccato delivery as he snarls out disgust and gunshot sounds. Lil Wayne doesn't claim to be anything more than what he is—this song also has the line " Tha Carter I was the dick for you hoes trappin' / this is Tha Carter II, and this is the ball sack"—but this song poses the possibility that what he is is far more complex than it appears. That maybe he just is the best rapper alive...
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