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Let’s celebrate Lil Wayne’s ‘Tha Carter V’ like it’s our birthday

23 tracks, but so much more to bump to on his much-anticipated fifth album

8:18 PMRap legend Weezy F. Baby (the F stands for “finally”) celebrated his birthday by giving his fans the best gift ever. He dropped his fifth and much-coveted album, Tha Carter V (C5), at midnight Thursday and folks were hype.

The artist, also known as Lil Wayne, Lil Tunechi or, formally, Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., finally broke a three-year album drought, and he didn’t disappoint. Lil Wayne showed off the wide range of his artistry throughout the 23-song album, successfully appealing to the varying tastes of his fan base.

Want a song to get your shoulders moving, shoot right to track four for “Uproar” with the classic Swizz Beatz production, guaranteed to get your head bobbing. Need motivation to reclaim your worth or “get back into your bag,” jump right to track three, “Dedicate.” Longing for love or a sense of family, then tracks one and 11 will satisfy you. For something more romantic, check track nine, “What About Me.” For the culture followers who are into gossip blogs, yes, he included his daughter, Reginae, on track 11, “Famous.”

From a man who has dominated rap with mixtapes with only his voice, C5 had a wide variety of features, as well as samples on almost every song. His last mixtape, Dedication 6: Reloaded, was released in January.

You can’t spell fame without me, and may my hall of fame speech be short and sweet, like thank God, f— fame, and thank me,” said by Weezy on “Famous.”

Lil Tunechi definitely threw his name into the hat as one of the greatest lyricists regardless of era, after jumping into a sparring battle with current rap king Kendrick Lamar on the song “Mona Lisa.”

If you ask me, he cemented his title as the Best Rapper Alive. He not only reminded fans of his classic storytelling skills, but in an era that is now dominated by mumble rap, he also showed his style isn’t changing for anyone.

Tha Carter V isn’t flawless. I gave it a B-plus because some of the songs on the album don’t have the best replay value. Also, contrary to popular opinion, I think Nicki Minaj ruined his song on “Dark Side of the Moon” with her vocals. I’m not the only critic. Some tweets called the album “just mediocre.”

However, Lil Wayne still flows effortlessly, and his style of lyricism is still uncanny and unmatched, even when rappers are biting each other’s flows constantly (Desiigner being a carbon copy of Future.) Wayne has carved out his own space among the legends, from his double and triple entendres to his corny yet tasteful metaphors. Dwayne Michael Carter Jr. showed he can compete with not only your favorite rapper in this generation but your father’s favorite rapper too.

The icing on the cake was the shoutout to former President Barack Obama. You can hear No. 44 saying, “They might think they got a pretty good jump shot, or a pretty good flow, but our kids can all aspire to be LeBron or Lil Wayne,” on the track “Dedicate.” Wayne took this from Obama’s speech at the 100th anniversary of the NAACP. Brilliant.

Let us know what you think. Contact me on Twitter @ReyZach_