Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Album Review: Lil Wayne - No Ceilings 3 (B Side)

Lil Wayne
No Ceilings 3 (B Side)
**and 1/2 out of *****

Lil Wayne has been performing for decades and released some solid records, but perhaps his peak came with the release of his 2009 mixtape No Ceilings. The album was a tour-de-force as Wayne used beats from everyone from Gucci Mane to Fabolous and owned each and every tune with a confidence via X-Rated assaults and humor. He continued the series in 2015 with No Ceilings 2 and now comes the newest installment of No Ceilings 3 (B Side).  

The best song on either of the No Ceiling 3 albums comes first here as Wayne and Big Sean both sound like they have something to prove over "Tyler Herro"'s flute accented beats. The pumping lyrics and earnest of the opener stands in stark contrast to the majority of the record which slips back into the minimalist modern R&B thin sound that has overtaken recent hip-hop. 

"Layaway", "Ring Ring", and "Burner" all feature this dull style with auto tuned slowed down Wayne over forgettable thin beats while "Throat Baby" does the same thing but makes a porno out of it with Rich The Kid on board to make it a threesome.

"Low Down" is a flow of consciousness from the warped mind of Wayne that once again proves there are wild words bouncing around his head while "Peanut Butter" has the skittering trap beats but Wayne just slams right through the sound to show off his skills in grand standing fashion not caring about the beat. "Pop Off" is a crisp adventure over "Down Bad" with Wayne sounding powerful while album "Sum 2 Prove" stutters it's way back into the strip club around the original by Lil Baby. 

Wayne takes precautions and makes an effort to always sound like what is currently going on in hip hop, always following trends rather than starting them so the mixtape style is where he excels. No Ceilings 3 (B Side) is shorter, more streamlined and thus more successful than the A-Side but it still represents the modern state of hip hop feeling sluggish, stale and light musically. 

Lil Wayne still expertly plays with vocabulary, but unlike the original entry of this mixtape series, no song redefines the original or invigorates the listener to get down or even revisit once it concludes.
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