Why the Hip-Hop Needed Lil’ Wayne
January 29, 2010

“He’s a martian, he’s retarded, he’s all those things, but he’s always himself.”

So a while ago I found myself listening to one, one of only four, of my favorite Lil’ Wayne Songs: Brand New. I started thinking back to the days of my first hip-hop album. It was a bootleg, of the Marshall Mathers LP containing only ten of the songs and two songs “Hellbound” and “Kids” which were never released on the album itself. So in all my nostalgia I remember thinking “Wow Lil’ Wayne in no way compares to anything I’ve heard before.” Now before the dick-riders suck that last comment off, it isn’t necessarily a compliment, so much as an observation. I don’t care for all of his music. In fact I’ve only got 5 songs on my iTunes, of which I have 4000+ songs (I have more Panic! at the Disco music than Lil’ Wayne, but that is for another post). But back to the point: nothing like Wayne. He’s a martian, he’s retarded, he’s all those things, but he’s always himself. He’s made his fame off of telling the world that he was hot and he was the best and the craziest part? The world listened.

“Even when Jay-Z came back, it was almost like watching Kobe score 33 on Jordan.”

So how did it happen? How did we find ourselves illegally downloading or purchasing The Carter albums like they were crack in the 80’s? One answer: we were abandoned. Jay-Zretired, Em was gone, Nas went underground, 50 cooling off and Kanye was TOO busy. So now the kids who were the same age I was when I picked up Eminem had no one to relate to no one really young and cool to give their generation a face, and like Nas said, hip-hop was dying. Even when Jay-Z came back, it was almost like watching Kobe score 33 on Jordan.

Lil’ Wayne, Weezy, Weezy F. Baby, Mr. Carter, all these names and of course the JR. He’s everywhere, and while older audiences cringe like Clark Kent to Kryptonite, the young kids are listing to Hip-Hop and sagging their tight jeans cause’ thats how Wayne does it. While I clean the vomit off my mouth from all this bullshit around me, I find myself in Seventh grade again, thinking “50 cent”.

50 was my Wayne. He had haters galore, and he was all I heard (being the smart kid I was, I knew Banks was the better artist). What I’m saying is this: beyond all the hating, Lil’ Wayne was someone’s first favorite artist and at the end of the day, the ends justify the means. It took Eminem for me to get to Biggie, Blackstar, Common, Lupe’, Nas, and every other artist I listen to. If Wayne gets a kid to Biggie one day, fuck it, let them have Weezy. Now it seems he’s cooled off a bit, but he’ll be back, and for better or worse, he’ll be Wayne. As much as you may hate to admit it, if rap is still going on in 10, 20, 30, or 40 years from now, Wayne helped get it there. See because rap is really pop these days and thats not going to change. Rap, like pop generates money, once that happens, well you know the rest. Before this gets too preachy, I’m gonna sign off.

-Roo