By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
That's not to say that there aren't plenty of stoned, off-the-dome moments on songs like "Dontgetit," in which he babbles: "Due to the laws we have on crack cocaine and regular cocaine, the police are only—" long pause "—I don't want to say only right, but shit, only logic by riding around in the hood all day and not in the suburbs." He continues briefly but then gives up. "You know where I'm going." But for better or worse, this is all part of Weezy's new (most would say, improved) aesthetic since the days of his hurried, more predictable style that characterized II and his earlier studio output. Though he used to struggle to stay within Cash Money's tinny-beats-and-two-dimensional-bravado paradigm, on III, Wayne is completely comfortable saying whatever the hell he wants and over whatever type of music he's feeling. (Even his own poorly played guitar.)
Much of Wayne's charm is that neither he nor anyone else knows what's going to come out of his mouth next. And because Wayne has finally mastered the art of knowing when to let himself go and when to reel himself in, III is a cohesive, fulfilling work.
"Are there any tracks you're surprised turned out as well as they did?" I ask.
"Um, no, all of them are exactly what I expected," he says. "I put my all into them, and I expect to get all out of them."
And Wayne knows exactly what he's doing.