Tha Carter IV is the 4th entry in Lil Wayne’s Carter studio album series and his ninth studio album overall. Released on August 29, 2011 the project is now 10 years old.
Recording sessions for the album began in late 2008, shortly after Lil Wayne’s sixth studio album Tha Carter III. These were put on hold as Wayne decided he didn’t want to do a follow up immediately to an album with such critical acclaim. In the interim he dropped his rock-themed album Rebirth and I Am Not a Human Being. Also during this period was his acclaimed No Ceilings mixtape.
Recording for the album was delayed once again after those releases due to Lil Wayne serving a prison sentence for illegal possession of a weapon. Upon its eventual release reviews were split with many finding that it didn’t live up to his previous work in the series. Tha Carter IV peaked at #8 on the RMNZ albums chart here.
“6 Foot 7 Foot” is the first single off the album. It was also the first single Lil Wayne recorded following his release from prison in 2010. The track was originally intended for rapper T.I. but a switch was made as the manger felt Wayne would be a better fit.
“John” was the second single from Tha Carter IV. It features rapper Rick Ross and uses the hook from his song “I’m Not A Star.” The song title is a reference Beatles member John Lennon.
The third single is the first one from Tha Carter IV to chart in New Zealand. “How To Love” would peak at #24 on the RMNZ Top 40. Wayne has said he got inspiration from the acoustic-driven song from Tupac Shakur’s inspirational 1993 track “Keep Ya Head Up.”
About his song Wayne said, “it’s about women who don’t know how to love because there’s deep reasons for them not knowing how to love…And what I mean by deep reasons is deep and dark reasons.”
The fourth single “She Will” features Drake. The Canadian rapper would also feature on the fifth single “It’s Good.” That track also featured Jadakiss. “It’s Good” is one of the more notable tracks on Tha Carter IV because it appears that Lil Wayne was taking some shots at Jay-Z with his bars.
The sixth and final single from the album was “Mirror” which featured Bruno Mars. “Mirror” is a bonus track on the deluxe edition of Tha Carter IV. Wayne’s introspective verses were praised along with the smooth hook provided by Mars. The music video was directed by Antoine Fuqua. It was the only other song to chart her in NZ peaking at #37.
Tha Carter IV is certainly not one of the standouts in Waynes’ Carter series. Many critics felt it was repetitive and noted that even Wayne sounded bored trying to tackle the subject matter. The album isn't one of our Wayne favourites, it has a moment or two but it isn't one we return too often.
What are your thoughts on the album? Give it a listen for its 10th anniversary!