The Problem With... Lil Wayne's "How to Love"

After a couple of delays this year, Lil Wayne's next album, Tha Carter IV, is coming out next month. And, presumably to make amends for the pushbacks, he went ahead and released a mixtape, Sorry 4 The Wait, yesterday.

I don't mind waiting a little longer for an album to drop if an artist is good for it. For sure, Weezy is good for it. What bothers me is his attempts at different genres, such as his latest single, "How To Love."

This track is a sappy acoustic ballad that has Weezy pouring his heart out. It sounds like a failed light rock experiment -- kinda like his failed hard rock experiment in last year's album, Rebirth. If your memory blocked it out for you, let me summarize: On Rebirth, Weezy tried to sound like the Red Hot Chili Peppers but ended up sounding like Ed from the movie Good Burger using Auto-Tune.

"How To Love" also doesn't have any of the simile-based punchlines we've come to expect from Weezy. Instead, we get a singer pining over a bartender with lines like (You see a lot of crooks/and the crooks still crook) with no clever punchline to cinch it like "Jesse James!" or "Sundance!"

The subject of the track is sorta like that of the Train song "Marry Me," which details a signer's love for a café waitress. There must be something about wait staff that gets musicians all mushy over them.

A few years from now, you might hear this track on adult-contemporary stations that play in diners -- likely between Suzanne Vega and Dave Mathews Band tracks.

The one saving grace here is that I imagine Weezy sounds like Barry White if you drop the pitch an octave. Other than that, this track is another reason Weezy needs to stick to rapping in front of minimally produced beats.

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Shahryar Rizvi
Contact: Shahryar Rizvi