Results for Lil Wayne

reviews
Rebirth (Deluxe Version)Rebirth available on iTunes

Lil Wayne Rebirth

The final album this week is Rebirth, the highly anticipated rock record from Lil Wayne. The rapper has become one of the most important figures in hip hop, so people are anxious to hear how he sounds with a guitar. In fact, anxiety abounds with this release-even over the release date. To say that Jim and Greg were disappointed would be putting it mildly. Neither critic hears anything original on Rebirth and wonders why Lil Wayne would pick the worst elements of rock to use. It's a substandard, Neanderthal Linkin Park rip-off. In other words, it's a double Trash It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 216
Raditude (Deluxe Version)Raditude available on iTunes

Weezer Raditude

15 years after its debut album, Weezer is back with a new record, Raditude. The band has always been defined by Rivers Cuomo's personal songwritng, mirrored with heavy guitar riffs. But, last year's self-titled release was a controversial one for Jim and Greg. Jim loved the naïve, heart-on-sleeve recording, but Greg felt the lyrics were adolescent and patronizing. Now they can agree. Both Jim and Greg find Weezer to be making smart, heart-felt pop music. And the highlight is an amped up version of "Can't Stop Partying," co-written by Jermaine Dupri and featuring a cameo by Lil Wayne. Greg even compares this loss of innocence record to Pet Sounds. Raditude gets a double Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 207
Tha Carter IVTha Carter IV available on iTunes

Lil Wayne Tha Carter IV

Lil Wayne is fresh out of Rikers with the 4th album in his Tha Carter series, Tha Carter IV. But curiously, he doesn‘t give much time to his jail experience. For the past decade, he’s been one of the most successful rappers in the business, both with his releases and mixtapes, but also as an ever-present cameo fixture. Jim describes Weezy as an interesting producer, but he can't get over the hip-hop clich'es. Tell us about prison, he pleads. Without those insights, this is a Trash Italbum. Greg was surprised to find that the most interesting rapping on Tha Carter IV was not by Lil Wayne himself. Rather, guests like Andre 3000, Tech 9 and Busta Rhymes take the prize. So for those tracks alone, Greg says Burn It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 301
Thank Me LaterThank Me Later available on iTunes

Drake Thank Me Later

Thank Me Later, the debut album from rapper Drake, went to #1 this week, and Jim and Greg have no doubt that the young Toronto artist has a long career ahead of him. Previously best known as the wheelchair-bound Jimmy on the teen soap Degrassi: The Next Generation, Drake and his MC skills caught the attention of Lil Wayne. Wayne, along with Kanye West, Alicia Keys and a number of other heavy hitters join Drake on Thank Me Later, but it's a testament to his strength as a performer that he's not overshadowed by any of the guest stars, according to Jim. He presents a thoughtful album that focuses on hip hop's latest drug–celebrity. Jim calls the record introspective and brilliantly minimalistic and gives it a Buy It. Greg agrees, noting that Drake lacks the typical rap bravado. It's fascinating, but also monochromatic, meaning you'll need to sit and live with the record for a while. Thank Me Later gets a double Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 239
Tha Carter IIITha Carter III available on iTunes

Lil Wayne Tha Carter III

Lil Wayne has been an inexplicable sensation for years, but now that has translated into big sales. The rapper's third album, Tha Carter III, sold over a million copies in its debut week alone. This is the first time sales numbers have crossed into seven figures since 50 Cent's The Massacre in March 2005. Jim and Greg explain that you are certain to hear a lot about Lil Wayne all summer long, but the question is whether or not he deserves such success. Greg explains that the rapper is all over the map lyrically and musically on this album, but that's not such a good thing. He loves that“bullfroggy”rapping style, but wishes the album was more focused. Jim doesn‘t think Wayne is as outrageous and off-the-cuff as people perceive; he sees this release as a very carefully executed and marketed attempt at a crossover. The subject matter isn’t without subtlety, but some of the production is terrific. Both Jim and Greg give Tha Carter III two Burn Its.

JimGreg
Go to episode 134
WZRDWZRD available on iTunes

WZRD WZRD

Kid Cudi made a name for himself first as a protégé of Kanye West, then as an innovator of a unique emo-rap sound with Man on the Moon Parts One and Two. And now he's picked up a guitar. With WZRD, his project with Dot da Genius, he is fusing elements of hip-hop and rock, and to great effect according to Jim. He admires his cockiness (covering Where Did You Sleep Last Night?) and his sense of experimentation, especially when compared to unsuccessful fusion efforts like Lil Wayne's Rebirth. Jim tells you to Buy It. Greg only needs to describe WZRD in two words: Amateur Hour. If he didn‘t know Cudi was behind this album, he’d instruct these kids to go back to the drawing board, learn to play guitar and learn to sing. Sorry folks, this one's a Trash It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 328
lists

The Best Songs of 2008 - Mixtapes

At the end of the year, many music fans take on the challenging task of making a mixtape. And, Jim and Greg are no exception. They've both made compilations of their favorite songs of 2008.

Go to episode 162
news

Music News

It's no secret that Lil Wayne and his label, Cash Money, are not the best of friends these days. In fact, Cash Money boss Birdman and rapper Young Thug were recently named in an indictment for the attempted murder of Lil Wayne back in April during Wayne's tour in Atlanta. While Thug's manager Jimmy Winfrey was the only person charged with the shooting itself, the incident is yet another installment in the decade old conflict between Weezy and his label. To add to the drama, Wayne sued Cash Money earlier this year for $51 million over losses from the recorded but unreleased Carter V album. Instead of settling the suit, Cash Money has responded with its own $50 million suit against Jay Z's Tidal streaming service. Wayne's The Free Weezy Album was released earlier this summer as a Tidal exclusive, and Cash Money claims that Jay Z is using the profits in a“desperate and illegal attempt to save their struggling streaming service.”

German/Swiss electronic musician Dieter Moebius has passed away at the age of 71. The Krautrock experimentalist had a prolific career, releasing a total of 17 albums credited to his name in one way or another. Moebius is best known for his work with Harmonia and Cluster, his collaboration with Jim's old friend Brian Eno. The musician's passing was confirmed by bandmates Michael Rother (of Harmonia and Neu!) and Hans-Joachim Roedelius (of both Harmonia and Cluster) on their personal Facebook pages. Eno once called Harmonia“the world's most important rock band,”and Jim agrees that the band has influenced the work of many modern rock artists. Jim plays "Dino" by Harmonia to honor the great electronic pioneer's legacy.

Go to episode 504

Music News

The Michael Jackson posthumous money grab has begun. The new single "This Is It" has been released. It's likely to be the final new piece of music from the King of Pop and coincides with the release of a greatest hits album and movie of the same name. The film captures Jackson's L.A. rehearsals for what was to be his comeback tour. Greg saw This Is It earlier this week and describes it as a first hand glimpse of the artist in his final days. Greg was surprised to see how sharp and detail-oriented Jackson was, especially considering his frail appearance. Jackson lost some of his voice, but still knew how to make great theater, and Greg believes this comeback attempt would've been a success.

Next in the news, another successful rapper is headed for prison. Lil Wayne, the number one selling artist of 2008, pled guilty to gun possession and is expected to be sentenced to a year in prison. He has a new mixtape out this week and will likely continue releasing and promoting music throughout next year-especially if he follows the lead of T.I. That rapper is serving a prison sentence he began in May and is not only still a Billboard Top 200 seller, but recently won a BET award.

Go to episode 205

Music News

Last week the Atlanta Police Dept., in conjunction with the RIAA, raided the Aphilliates Music Group office in Atlanta. The result was the confiscation of 81,000 mixtape CDs and the arrest of DJ Drama. Drama is one of the top mixtape DJs working today, having created pre-release buzz for rappers like T.I., Young Jeezy and Lil' Wayne. 50 Cent, Lupe Fiasco and The Clipse can also credit mixtape CDs with laying the foundation for their careers, and many of the best hip hop tracks released each year are put out by these underground DJs and not by the major labels. The question is why some members of the record industry are now treating this useful form of publicity as contraband. Jim and Greg invite hip hop historian and journalist Jeff Chang to join them in a discussion of the role of mixtapes in hip hop and the effects of this recent raid on the rap industry.

Go to episode 61

Music News

It's been a busy week for the pop charts. For 45 years, Elvis dominated the Billboard Top 100 with 108 career hits. This week Lil' Wayne beat The King's record with his 109th hit - a cameo in The Game's "Celebration." And with 600,000 in first week sales British folkies Mumford & Sons had the biggest opening of 2012 with Babel. They also beat Spotify's streaming record, with 8 million listens in its first week. So much for the theory that streaming cannibalizes sales.

After upsetting fans at New York's Global Citizen Festival with the announcement that the band had no upcoming shows, Dave Grohl has finally put those Foo Fighter breakup fears to rest (or not?). In a letter on the band's website, Grohl says the band is simply on hiatus. Jim says he wouldn't mind if the hiatus were permanent.

Go to episode 358

Music News

It's always interesting to see what the Brits pick as the winner of the Mercury Prize. The almost 20-year old award grants a lb20,000 prize to an act from the U.K. or Ireland. And unlike many of our awards, the Mercury usually recognizes unique artists rather than popular ones. This year's winner is PJ Harvey, making her the first person to take home a Mercury Prize twice. Her first win was for 2001's Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea, an album Jim and Greg loved, unlike this year's Let England Shake. They gave it Burn It and Trash It ratings.

Despite Jim and Greg's review of Lil Wayne's new album Tha Carter IV, sales approached 1 million records in the first week. It also broke iTunes single-week record. Weezy is contributing to what's proving to be a successful year for the music industry, thanks to a couple of factors. First, retailers discounted the prices of back catalog items, encouraging consumers to go out and shop. In addition, digital sales are up, perhaps because consumers couldn't rely on LimeWire for their free goods.

Legendary guitar manufacturer Gibson (of Les Paul fame) has been catching the attention of the US government. Recently their factory was searched by agents of the US Fish and Wildlife Service looking for illegally obtained exotic hardwoods. This is the second raid in two years, but Gibson denies any wrongdoing. The Rainforest Alliance and Greenpeace also give the company good marks. But, since recording this episode, this story has gone political. Gibson's CEO has taken to conservative airwaves and become a symbol for anti-big government and pro-"Made in the USA" proponents.

Go to episode 302

Music News

After a number of postponements, Lil Wayne has finally had his day in court. And the results weren't pretty. The multi-million selling rapper has been sentenced to one year in prison, and not the kinda digs most wealthy criminals face, but Riker's Island. This is the result of Wayne pleading guilty to gun possession last year. In an absurd chain of events, both of his previous sentencing dates had to be postponed–first because of“emergency dental surgery,”and then because the courthouse went up in flames. Greg likens Lil Wayne's situation to if Elvis or The Beatles had been jailed at the height of their chart success, and Jim wonders how fair this sentence really is.

Also in the news, Mark Linkous, aka Sparklehorse, committed suicide last week at age 47. Linkous had been battling severe depression for years, and his use of prescription drugs even left him paralyzed for several months. As Jim explains, Linkous used his life challenges in his music, and a new collaboration between the singer and Danger Mouse was set to be released this summer. To honor Linkous, Jim and Greg play "Grim Augury," a track from that album that also features another recently departed musician, Vic Chesnutt.

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Go to episode 224

Music News

After 31 years at EMI, The Rolling Stones have moved over to Universal Music. The label is boasting about its acquisition, but Jim and Greg wonder if the Stones are such a catch after all. As a“heritage artist”they surely bring rock-cred to any company, but as former Chicago rock critic and NPR arts editor Bill Wyman points out, EMI only sold about a million Stones albums a year, which is about as much as a single Eagles album alone sold. A million records is certainly nothing to sneeze at, but it may not warrant the expense of housing such a band.

In other Stones news… Abkco Music Inc., the publishing company that owns the right to the British band's song "Play With Fire," is suing rapper Lil Wayne for what it claims was an unauthorized release of an altered version of the song. Lil Wayne's new track "Playing With Fire," does not list any samples in its credits, but Abkco believes the song is clearly derivative. You be the judge.

While it holds a place in the hearts of a generation of music fans, the cassette tape has almost gone the way of the 8-track. The New York Times recently published what is essentially an obituary of the cassette, pointing out the one area the technology still thrived was the audiobook industry. But now, even books on tape are being dumped. Add this to the fact that none of Billboard's Top 10 albums last week were issued on cassette, and it seems time to say goodbye to our dear friend.

Go to episode 140

Music News

Go to episode 585

Music News

These days it's not unusual for pop stars to simultaneously be topping the charts and filling the court dockets (T.I., Lil Wayne). But it is unusual for a commercial, family-friendly star to have such infamy. Singer/songwriter Bruno Mars has the #1 song in the country, "Grenade," and he's been all over mainstream TV this year with appearances on The Today Show, Saturday Night Live, Ellen and Glee. Now he's pleading guilty to cocaine possession charges, so Jim and Greg are interested to see if this affects his popularity. Our guess? It won't.

After Wilco's first label, Reprise, refused to put out their critically acclaimed 2002 album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, many people thought they should abandon the major label system. Now, almost a decade later, they're doing it. Wilco is leaving the Warner subsidiaries to form dBpm Records. It will be run by the band's manager, with distribution provided by ANTI-.

Oscar-winning composer John Barry died last week at age 77. The Guardian claims he's as "pop as the Beatles," and Jim and Greg agree. It's hard to imagine the '60s without Barry's brassy, melodic orchestrations. He was not only the man behind the iconic Bond music, but his compositions were critical to many other films. So to honor Barry, Jim and Greg play the theme to Midnight Cowboy.

Go to episode 271

Music News

With CD sales down by 50%, the music industry has been counting on digital sales, which have been climbing steadily for the past few years. But now, according to Nielsen, digital sales have stalled. Most analysts attribute previously high sales to consumers wanting to replace their physical music with digital files. But now most people have digitized their collection and the flurry of sales have ended. Jim thinks it might just be the music.

Lil Wayne recently released a digital album calledI Am Not A Human Being…weeks before his CD "drops"…and from jail! The rapper, who made his name through self-released mixtapes, has always embraced the digital realm. But brick and mortar stores are not happy about this trend.

In the past royalty organizations only needed to worry about radio, and perhaps, television. Ah, the good old days. Now there are tons of internet streaming sites, and a federal appeals court admits it's more complicated than once thought. A recent ruling, involving Yahoo/Real Networks and ASCAP, says that a lower court's method for calculating music royalties is flawed; streaming royalties shouldn't be the same as radio. This decision is significant, as Greg explains. Had it gone the other way, many music sites would either start charging or make less music available to fans.

Go to episode 253

Music News

Universal Music, the home to U2, Eminem and Lil Wayne, has decided to drop its CD prices to $10 or less. These new prices will certainly be welcome by both consumers and retailers, but Jim and Greg wonder if this is a case of too little, too late for the music industry. CDs were nearly $20 a decade ago when physical music sales were at a high. Now that those sales are down, $10 may draw some consumers back in, but it's still a heck of a lot more expensive than an mp3.

Alex Chilton Next Jim and Greg remember musician Alex Chilton who died last week at the age of 59. Chilton first came on the scene as the 16-year-old singer of The Box Tops' "The Letter." He then joined Big Star, and as Jim and Greg explain, became hugely significant to musicians in the 1980's. Big Star was never a commercial hit, but everyone from REM to The Replacements has name-checked Chilton and the band's power-pop sound as an influence. The singer and songwriter died only days before a scheduled Big Star reunion at SXSW. The event turned into a tribute, one that Greg describes as one of the most memorable shows he's ever seen. To honor Alex Chilton Jim and Greg play a song from Big Star's third release Third/Sister Lovers called "Thank You Friends." For more Big Star love, check out the Sound Opinions Classic Album Dissections of #1 Record and Radio City.

Go to episode 226

Music News

2008 has come to a close, and the numbers are in. According to Nielsen SoundScan's end-of-year report, Taylor Swift was the top-selling artist of 2008. Lil Wayne and Coldplay also had good years, but overall album sales were down a whopping 14%. It's not all bad news for the music industry, however. While physical sales for complete albums continue to plummet, music sales overall are up; more than 1 billion digital tracks were sold. And, profits from concert sales are up 8%. This figure is the result of fewer tickets being sold for more money, and Jim and Greg wonder if consumers will be able to keep up with rising ticket prices in this failing economy.

It looks like digital music sales will only continue to increase. Steve Jobs of Apple has made it even easier for music fans to purchase and download music from the iTunes store by removing all Digital Rights Management software from its files. But, accessibility comes at a price—$1.29 to be exact. Amazon and other online stores have been selling DRM-free files for almost a year, but iTunes was the last to hold out with the labels' demands. So if both Apple and the music industry are winners, where does that leave the consumer?

Pioneering punk guitarist Ron Asheton of the Stooges died this week at the age of 60. While he died at young age, Asheton lived long enough to experience a Stooges reunion and revived fan interest. He is best remembered through his music, in albums like Fun House. And you can listen to Asheton's 2006 interview with Jim and Greg during this Sound Opinions episode.

Go to episode 163