On March 14, 1995 Tupac Shakur released “Me Against the World” from behind bars.  People will always debate whether Tupac should be heralded as the greatest rapper alive, and why he is better than others, but there is one indisputable fact: he is the only artists to ever release a number one album while behind bars.  Granted this may not be a testament to character, musicality or even the strength of the album itself, but it shows the incredible amount of devotion, loyalty and trust he had developed with his fan base.  Few artists can boast such a following, but among them would have to be Dwayne Carter, aka, Lil Wayne.  15 years after “Me Against the World”, Lil Wayne hopes to be the second to release a number one album from behind bars with his recently released album “I Am Not  Human Being”.  With digital distribution underway on September 27th, 2010 and physical copies to be released on October 12,  the setting is right, but does this album have the strength to elevate Lil Wayne into the number one spot?

Production:

MATW:  Hailed by many as the best

production work of Tupac’s career

IAMAHB: A few good beats, but

hackneyed and predictable.

Single Strength:

MATW: “So Many Tears”, “Temptation”

and the  enduring classic “Dear Momma”

IAMAHB:  “Right Above It” has the hit

quality, but with Da Carter III giving us

“Lollipop”, “A Millie”, “Mr. Carter” and

“Got Money”, it is more suitable as a

filler track for another album than

a lead off single.

Cameos:

MATW: Dramacydal and Richie Rich

IANAHB: Wayne moves around Drake

like Eminem moved 50,but with a much

different outcome.  Drake’s fresh wit provides

formidable verses to hold rank with Wayne;

most disappointing is a less than impressive

cameo from Nikki Manaj, on a mediocre

hook devoid of her infectious wit and flow.

Lyrics/Flow:


MATW:  Enough of Tupac’s intimidating

persona to keep his pride,but an almost

scary vulnerability throughout that does

more to intensify your devotion than

question his image.

IANAHB: Too much of Wayne’s arrogant

persona…undoubtedly witty as usual, but

with quality varies from song to much as

much as the weather.

Concepts/Hooks:

MATW: Tupac realized the value of

melody, and varied his topics so as

to not become predictable.

IANAHB: Wayne’s verses are interchangeable.

Granted they are intriguing and creative, but

only within themselves, and usually have

nothing to do with the hook.

***

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It seems almost as if Drake has had more influence on Lil Wayne that the other way around.  But if Drake’s success in any indicator, Wayne may be soon to join Tupac as an incarcerated chart topper.

Vote Drake in 2012

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