“This is that rock shit/this is hip-hop, bitch,” spits Lil Wayne on an as-yet-untitled a track off his upcoming rock record Rebirth. While the lyric — uttered between dark, synthy strings and wailing electric guitar — may not be Weezy’s cleverest, it’s one of his most momentous: he’s announcing that he’s reinventing both genres.
And he does a pretty good job of it. One cut — about a dude who’s begging his girl not to “walk out the motherfucking door” — features Prince-inspired guitar, bombastic drums, and, of course, lots of Auto Tuned singing. It could almost soundtrack an ’80s teen movie, though probably not one directed by John Hughes. Another untitled song — on which Wayne addresses haters in an R. Kelly-style rant (“What the fuck you looking at me for? If you motherfucking hate me, get a life”) — is a reimagined skate-punk anthem. Even Avril Lavigne makes a cameo!
But Weezy doesn’t totally ditch rap: He pays homage to the Beastie Boys with giant 808s on another awesome tune, and yet another song finds him rhyming over strings reminiscent of the ones in Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida.”
And even though the self-proclaimed best rapper alive is swapping genres, he’s keeping his studio-rat habits: Wayne has recorded around 30 songs for Rebirth, says his manager, Cortez Bryant. “He’s still trying to give me tracks, and I’m like, ‘You gotta stop,'” says Bryant. ” ‘You’re driving me crazy.’ “
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