Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Lil Wayne: We the Best [RBC, 2007]
Exemplifying the pitfalls of the mixtape hustle is this item, which I bought blind from Amazon earlier in the year; it has now disappeared there, while mixtape king and sometime Weezy packager DJ Khaled's different CD of the same name remains on sale. Biggest problem with this one is, it isn't a Lil Wayne record. With four features and some cameos, he clocks fewer minutes on these 25 tracks than not just New Orleans rap daddy Birdman but Atlanta's carrot-nosed Young Jeezy and two of the dullest thugs in the lying business: college-educated Miami brutalist Rick Ross and elephant in the Bronx Fat Joe. Were Wayne to toss off "I am a professional/I will cut your testicles," he'd sound wicked sharp; when Fat Joe recites the line, of which he's plainly very proud, even the opera sample can't dispel the impression that he's hoping to find employment as a veterinarian's assistant. While everybody else's criminal boasts are delivered in bench-press mode, Wayne can't stop dancing. Sure he'll entertain at "The Crack House," but: "This is the crack house welcome to the crack house/Man I'm talking more parties than a frat house/This is the problem, this is not music/I hope you find it, 'cause he about to lose it." C-