"How to Love"

How to love? Lil Wayne has a theory. You grab an acoustic guitar. You toss in some strings. You rap a little, sing a little, whisper sweet nothings: "I admire your poppin' bottles and dippin'/Just as much as you admire bartendin' and strippin'." This Tha Carter IV single is a casual ground-breaker – the gentlest, most melodic rap ballad since LL Cool J's "I Need Love." Wayne sings prettily – though he uses Auto-Tune, he doesn't sound like the cyborg Weezy of "Lollipop." He even channels James Blunt. "You're beautiful/You're beautiful," he coos. "You're far from the usual."

Listen to "How to Love":

Photos: Lil Wayne's 'I Am Still Music Tour' Kickoff

From The Archives Issue 1133: June 23, 2011