Rapper/rocker/pop singer Lil Wayne released his latest studio album, Tha Carter IV, last week and, according to Billboard, already sold around one million copies of it–964,000 to be exact–making it his first album since Tha Carter III (2008)to sell that many records in a week.
The 15-song album features artists ranging from Tech N9ne to John Legend and lyrics ranging from puns about painkillers to puns about pain. In other words, there is something for everyone. In “How To Love,” Wayne paints a portrait of a hurt, helpless and beautiful woman, crooning in his signature smoke and syrup scratched voice over acoustic guitar and minimal percussion. In “How To Hate,” he does the opposite. But one still gets a sense that there is more to this album, more thought, heart, effort, than any of his previous releases, and, though maybe not the same Weezy F Baby we’ve all grown to know and love, ultimately more greatness.
Recording sessions for Tha Carter IV began back in 2008 after the release of aforementioned Tha Carter III, but were put on hold and pushed back while Weezy went to jail, where, by the way, he managed to release a full-length studio album. When he was released from Rikers this past year, he teamed up with a whole hodgepodge of rappers and producers and started over from scratch. He even released a free mixtape online titled Sorry 4 Tha Wait, to tide fans over until the release of Tha Carter IV. I guess they weren’t that upset.
Whether one agrees with Wayne that Wayne is “the best rapper alive” or not, the numbers speak for themselves. One million copies. To put it in perspective, Jay-Z and Kanye’s new album Watch The Throne sold 436,000. Red Hot Chili Peppers I’m With You? 200,000.
Mack Maine, CEO of Young Money Entertainment, the record label Wayne founded in 2007, has been tweeting about the event all day. Upon hearing the news, Weezy tweeted “Thanx to all who bought my album and helped me feed my family! I love u all! I honestly do. God knows this is true.” He later wrote, “Jus fin sk8’n @ The Berrics wit Steve Berra & Mike Mo! Wtf! I got 2 see Mike break a board & still do trix wit jus half of board & 2 wheels!”