Kim Kizyma
Graphic Designer + Creative Technologist

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We've been waiting for 6 years

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Tha Carter V is finally here. Wayne has been teasing the album since July 2012, when he said that it would “most likely” drop in 2013. Later in 2013, he called it his “last album.” He remained quiet about it until 2014, where release dates came and went. Typical Wayne. Then the entire situation came to a head in the month of December when the album was delayed indefinitely, and he tweeted, “I am a prisoner and so is my creativity.” Then, the legal drama began the following year with Cash Money.

Wayne sued Cash Money in January of 2015 for a reported $51 million, asking a judge to end his contract with the label. Then in the summer of 2017, he revamped the legal battle against Cash Money when he requested the ability to release the album in an amended lawsuit petition. Finally, in May 2018, Wayne settled his suit against Cash Money, allowing Universal to release Tha Carter V.

Throughout all the legalities, Wayne wasn’t silent. He released numerous projects in the time between Tha Carter IV and Tha Carter V. The projects released were: Dedication 4, I Am Not A Human Being II, Dedication 5, Rise Of An Empire, Sorry 4 The Wait 2, Free Weezy Album, No Ceilings 2, ColleGrove, T-Wayne, In Tune We Trust EP, and Dedication 6: Reloaded

Upon first listen, I am extremely impressed and it sounds super nostalgic to me. It takes me back to the days of Tha Carter III, one of my favorite hip-hop albums ever. The album opens up with a phone conversation, a voicemail rather, from Wayne’s mother. She goes on to say how proud she is of him and she knows the album is going to be beautiful and how everyone keeps asking her when it will be released. It’s an emotional voicemail, which shows how personal and thoughtful the project is. At least to Wayne. And I can’t lie, I felt it, too. 

The next track is the song titled Don’t Cry which features the late XXXTentacion. I heard rumors about a collaboration between the two but thought it was just that...rumors. It’s nice that I was wrong. To me, the more X we get to hear, the better. 

Though there certainly are a lot of features on this project, it still remains inevitably a Wayne album. The stage is still his. We know Wayne for his features. We know songs because of his verses or his choruses. It is only right that he features Travis Scott, Kendrick Lamar, Snoop, Ashanti, Nicki Minaj, and, low and behold, his first daughter, Reginae Carter. 

 Famous is the track with Reginae. The chorus, which features them both, goes: “Welcome to your name in lights/All the lighters in the sky/You must be famous/This is how you live your life/Different city every night/You must be famous, famous.” In theory it’s the same concept as Kanye’s song of the same name off his Pablo album, but the delivery and feel is different. It’s, again, a more personal track as it features Wayne with his daughter. I could be wrong but I don’t believe he’s done that before. That’s pretty special that he chose to do that on the last segment of the Carter series.

The track with X, Don’t Cry, focuses on Wayne’s emotions as he covers troubling situations of his life. It’s also rumored that the track is inspired by X’s Pain = BESTFRIEND, as he uses some of the same lyrics but sings them in a much calmer tone. During his short time on Earth, X spoke publicly about his love for Wayne and how he played as quite the influence in his music career. 

I’m so glad that Wayne has (largely) forsaken Auto-Tune, instead relying on his main strengths throughout Carter V—an elastic tongue, countless timbres, and innumerable flows. The album is as rappity-rap as Eminem’s recent Kamikaze, except Wayne sounds mostly resilient and reflective rather than angry and defiant. So, yeah: Wayne back.
— Kwak (The Ringer)

Overall, for Wayne’s 12th studio release, I am happy. I will continue listening to it for a while and see if it can become sort of a “new” Carter III for me. As for the end of Wayne? No. Just this year in an interview with Billboard he was asked about retirement. Wayne responded, “I do think about retirement. I think about how I don’t think I ever will.” 

kk