Saturday, January 31, 2009
New Orleans rapper Lil’ Wayne is posed to continue this year with the winning streak that he had in 2008. His multi-platinum album, The Carter III is still on the charts with all most 3 million copies sold. But, now he has a new genre that he is attempting to conquer.
Yes, Lil’ Wayne wants (and is according to his tentative release date “releasing”) his new untitled rock album in April. But, one could question why would he want to attempt to sing?
He has sung on tracks with T-Pain, Kevin Rudolf and Kanye West. A quick analysis from those songs would leave one with the conclusion that he could not be serious about attempting his newest musical venture. His latest single “Prom Queen” has taken iTunes and many other blog sites by storm by curve ball of this Rock-influenced track.
This trend is not new in Hip Hop music. Many other prolific Hip Hop artists have taken the route of song with some varying outcomes. Andre 3000 along with rhyme partner, Big Boi released 10 + million selling Speakerboxx/The Love Below with Andre almost exclusive singing on his respective disc. Rapper Common tried a little singing on his album Electric Circus. Cee Lo (of group Goodie Mob) has always sung from his group beginning even until his newest collective Gnarls Barkey with DJ Dangermouse. So, Lil’ Wayne is in good company with his venture into Rock music.
It could be said with Wayne’s strong influence in Hip Hop right now many young children (especially Black children) will be drawn back into a genre that now seems further away from its Black roots. Some children don’t even know that almost all of today’s Rock music has been directly influenced by Southern bluesmen and jazzmen spanning far back into the early 1800’s.
It’s definitely not a race thing entirely. It’s an influence thing and Wayne is taking the flag and flying it very high with this next project. It may be destined for the inventors to re-explore the genre that was in many ways taken away from Blacks since the late 1960’s /early 1970’s. The fact that Lil’ Wayne is attempting to play a guitar is opening so many eyes to another dichotic facet that can be ingeniously Hip Hop and Rock at the same time. The children need to see some of their Hip Hop heroes break the oft-repetitious cycle of Hip Hop and explore other genres of music.
So, calling Lil’ Wayne an innovator in that sense is a stretch and a little overzealous. He’s only following in the line of musical tradition that his city has birthed from its inception. It was in his blood. It was only natural that he began experimenting with Rock music and maybe the game will be better because of it. Let’s be truthful: Many Rock singers can’t really sing per se. So, at least Wayne will at least be in good company if it doesn’t work out. He has swag, sales and a mean guitar and you can be sure that he will even any odds of him not rocking out to his fullest.
Lil' Wayne new single "Prom Queen" LIVE!