Rebirth (Lil Wayne album)

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Rebirth
Studio album by Lil Wayne
Released February 2, 2010
Recorded 2008–09
Effigy Studios
(Ferndale, Michigan)
Record Room Studios
YMCM Studio
(Miami, Florida)
Genre Rap rock, pop rock, hip hop
Length 46:43
Label Young Money, Cash Money, Universal Motown
Producer Bryan "Birdman" Williams (exec.), Ronald "Slim" Williams (exec.), Infamous, Andrew "Drew" Correa, Cool & Dre, J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, Travis Barker, StreetRunner, Chase N. Cashe, DJ Nasty & LVM, Hit-Boy, Kevin Rudolf
Lil Wayne chronology
Tha Carter III
(2008)
Rebirth
(2010)
I Am Not a Human Being
(2010)
Singles from Rebirth
  1. "Prom Queen"
    Released: January 27, 2009
  2. "On Fire"
    Released: December 3, 2009
  3. "Drop the World"
    Released: February 9, 2010

Rebirth is the seventh studio album by American rapper Lil Wayne, released February 2, 2010, on Cash Money Records, Young Money Entertainment and Universal Motown.[1] Originally set to be released in early 2009 before several delays, the album was produced primarily by Cool & Dre, DJ Infamous, DJ Nasty & LVM, Kevin Rudolf, and J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League. Rebirth was promoted as Wayne's rock music debut, though it includes some hip hop tracks.

The album debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 176,000 copies in its first week. It became Wayne's seventh top-ten album in the United States and produced four singles that attained Billboard chart success. Upon its release, Rebirth received generally negative reviews from most music critics. It has been certified gold in sales by the Recording Industry Association of America, with domestic shipment of 500,000 copies.

Background[edit]

The album was originally thought to be the re-release of his triple-platinum album Tha Carter III.[2] The album was supposed to be released December 21, 2009, but Wayne pushed the date back. A week before its first scheduled release Amazon accidentally shipped 500 copies of the album to customers who pre-ordered it.[3] On January 23, 2009 Wayne told MTV that the album will not be a re-release, but will be his rock album debut. The album was originally scheduled for an April 7, 2009 release,[4] however it went through multiple release dates and was finally released on February 2, 2010.[5] Young Money artist, Shanell, stated that the delays were due to Wayne's desire for the album to be "perfect".[6] The first single, "Prom Queen", was produced by Infamous and Andrew "Drew" Correa. The song made its official debut on January 27, appearing on Wayne's MySpace page. Wayne performed the single live for the first time during a concert in San Diego, which was streamed live by Ustream[7] on AT&T’s FREEdom of Choice and Mobile Music Facebook pages that evening.[8] "Prom Queen" peaked at No. 15 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.

Lil Wayne stated he collaborated with Fall Out Boy for his album,[9] while he also lent his vocals for their Folie à Deux album.[10] He will reportedly pay homage to the Beastie Boys,[11][12] and a song that involves him rapping over stringed instruments, described as being similar to Coldplay's "Viva la Vida" will be on the album as well.[13] Young Money artist, Shanell, has been collaborating with Wayne on the album.[6] She has been credited for her vocals on a track called "Most Wanted Rockstar" which may appear on the album.[14] Eminem has been confirmed to have an appearance on a track titled "Drop the World".[15]

Birdman had confirmed that Tha Carter IV would be packaged with Rebirth as a double disc album.[16] However, Wayne denied this idea saying that "Tha Carter IV deserves Tha Carter IV". He went on to say that We Are Young Money may be packaged with Rebirth.[17] However, in November 2009, Wayne said that the albums would be released separately.[18] Billboard magazine received an e-mail from a customer of online retailer Amazon.com stating that Amazon.com shipped copies of Rebirth as early as December 14. Amazon shipped about 500 pre-ordered copies and blamed a "shipping error".[19] Young Money Entertainment president Mack Maine stated that the album would have different tracks than that of the leaked version.[5]

Recording and production[edit]

The first single, "Prom Queen", was produced by the duo of DJ Infamous and Drew Correa, notable for producing the Grammy nominated track from Tha Carter III, "Mr. Carter". Cool & Dre and Develop also aided with production.[20] Birdman also stated that the album would feature a song entitled "I'm Not Human".[21] When the lead single, "Prom Queen", quickly fell off of the charts shortly after entry, there was some speculation that the album would be shelved.[22] Despite these rumors, Lil Wayne released the single "Hot Revolver" to iTunes on March 17, 2009.[23] On August 18, 2009, in an interview, Wayne confirmed that the album was completed and ready for release.[24] On the single "On Fire" produced by Cool & Dre, Lil Wayne has been said to play the guitar; he plays bass in "Da Da Da".[25] Most of Lil Wayne's vocals are recorded using AutoTune. He considered naming the album: "Rebirth Of Auto-Tune".[26]

Singles[edit]

"Prom Queen" (feat. Shanell), the album's lead single, was released on January 27, 2009. It peaked at No. 15 on Billboard Hot 100 being the highest charted single from the album. The video features members of Korn. "On Fire" replaced "Hot Revolver" as the album's second single due to "Hot Revolver" 's absence from the album. "On Fire" was released on December 1, 2009. It peaked at No. 62 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song contains samples from Amy Holland's song "She's on Fire".[27] "Drop the World" (feat. Eminem) was released as the album's third single on December 28, 2009. It peaked at No. 18 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was praised by critics as the album's highlight.

"Hot Revolver" was intended to be on Rebirth. The single was released on iTunes on March 17, 2009. It reached No. 33 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number No. 54 on the Canadian Hot 100. The song did not appear on the album and was replaced by "On Fire" as the album's second single. "Da Da Da" was released to the US iTunes Store on December 1, 2009.[28] The song failed to chart. A music video was filmed in February 2010.[29] "American Star" (feat. Shanell) charted at No. 91 on the Billboard Hot 100 following the album's release due to strong digital downloads. "Knockout" (feat. Nicki Minaj) debuted on Billboard Hot 100 at No. 44 following the album's release due to strong digital sales. A song titled "Fuck Today (Rebirth Mix)" featuring Gudda Gudda was released on iTunes to promote the album's release on February 2, 2010.[30][31] The song reached No. 76 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Reception[edit]

Commercial performance[edit]

The album debuted at number 2 on the US Billboard 200 chart with first week sales of 176,000 copies, exceeding expectations.[32] It serves as Wayne's seventh U.S. top-ten album.[32] It also debuted at number 1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and the Top Rap Albums. In its second week it fell to number 4 on the Billboard 200 selling 89,024 more copies making its total sales so far 265,400. On its third week it fell one spot and brought its total sales to 324,470. On its fifth and sixth week it stayed at number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100.[33] It remained at number 1 on Top Rap Albums for 6 straight weeks. Rebirth also entered at number 24 in the United Kingdom and at number 86 in France.[34][35] On March 5, 2010, the album was certified gold in sales by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), following shipment in excess of 500,000 copies.[36] On September 5, 2011, the album has sold 775,000 in the United States.[37]

Critical response[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars[38]
Drowned in Sound 5/10[39]
Entertainment Weekly D+[40]
The Guardian 2/5 stars[41]
Los Angeles Times 1/4 stars[42]
NME 4/10[43]
Pitchfork Media 4.5/10[44]
Rolling Stone 2.5/5 stars[45]
Slant Magazine 1.5/5 stars[46]
Spin 3/10[47]

Rebirth received generally negative reviews from contemporary music critics.[48][49] At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 37, which indicates "generally unfavorable reviews", based on 21 reviews.[48] It is ranked seventh on the site's list of worst-reviewed albums.[50] Los Angeles Times critic Jeff Weiss called Rebirth "one of the worst albums of the year so far",[42] and Sam Wolfson of NME called it an "absurd" "shlock-rock record".[43] Chicago Tribune critic Greg Kot panned Wayne's stylistic change and described his lyrics as "crushingly banal".[51] Allmusic's David Jeffries called the album "a loud and ignorable bore".[38] Christian Hoard of Rolling Stone found Wayne's "taste in rock" to be "very questionable" and the album's flaw.[45] Joe Clay of The Times panned Wayne's singing and songwriting, calling his lyrics "devoid of humour and imagination".[52] M.T. Richards of PopMatters panned its music as "an endless stream of abysmally written, Auto Tune-drenched nothings".[53] Nathan Rabin of The A.V. Club viewed the album's music and lyrics as clichéd, writing that it "plays like an over-the-top parody of a rock album".[54]

Christopher R. Weingarten of The Village Voice wrote that Wayne's lyrics "still walk some fascinating line between signifying unmistakable genius, curious savant, or total dick", but viewed the album as lacking substance, stating "Wayne's big problem is that he seems to like the idea of rock music more than any actual rock music itself".[55] Pitchfork Media's Ryan Dombal called Rebirth "an unlikely, unqualified, and quite unbelievable rock album".[44] Slant Magazine's Jesse Cataldo described it as "a total misperception of what makes a rock record" and found its sound "mostly unrecognizable, a twisted amalgam of tacky set pieces collected from throughout the genre's history".[46] Alexis Petridis of The Guardian stated, "Given that everyone knows Carter can do so much better than this, it all smacks a bit of condescension, of locating a different audience, then talking down to them".[41] Leah Greenblatt of Entertainment Weekly stated, "[Michael] Jordan returned to the basketball court after one ill-fated season in the farm leagues; we can only hope for the same for Wayne".[40]

Despite the album's negative reception, several music critics wrote favorably of the single "Drop the World" and Eminem's verse on the song, viewing it as a highlight on the album.[40][43][46][52][56][57] Charles Aaron of Spin commented that "perhaps the greatest musical tantrum of 2010 ... occurs on perhaps the most misbegotten musical pratfall of 2010."[47] In his consumer guide for MSN Music, Robert Christgau felt Rebirth was "underrated" and gave it a two-star honorable mention ((2-star Honorable Mention)),[58] indicating a "likable effort consumers attuned to its overriding aesthetic or individual vision may well enjoy."[59] He cited "Drop the World" and "American Star" as highlights and quipped, "So smart and scary about death as the flip side of ecstasy, so unperceptive and embarrassing about emo".[58] Jon Pareles of The New York Times wrote that its lyrics "stay dutifully on topic" and found "how it reveals a rapper’s view of rock" as interesting, writing "For Lil Wayne rock is bombast and cliché in which high-school traumas are avenged, heaven and hell are frequently invoked and existential predicaments are taken seriously".[56]

The only website to give the album a positive reception is RapReviews, whose author, John-Michael Bond, gave it a score of seven out of ten and said that the album "has moments of genius, and those moments almost always coincide with coupling fiery emotion with punk's propulsive rhythm."[60] Other reviews are average or mixed or negative, with Devin Chanda of Billboard giving the album a score of 56 out of 100;[61] Steve Jones of USA Today giving it two stars out of four;[62] Uncut giving it a score of two stars out of five;[63] Jason Draper of Yahoo! Music UK giving it a score of three stars out of ten;[64] Joseph Patterson of BBC Music giving it an unfavorable review;[65] Ryan Faughnder of No Ripcord giving it a score of two stars out of ten;[66] and Joshua Errett of Now giving it a score of only one star out of five.[67]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "American Star" (featuring Shanell) Dwayne Carter, Jr., Johnny Mollings, Lenny Mollings, Shanell Woodgett DJ Nasty & LVM 3:37
2. "Prom Queen" (featuring Shanell) Carter, Jr., Marco Rodríguez-Díaz, Woodgett DJ Infamous, Drew Correa 3:37
3. "Ground Zero"   Carter, Jr., Rodríguez-Díaz, Nicholas Warwar StreetRunner, DJ Infamous 3:57
4. "Da Da Da"   Carter, Jr., Andre Lyon, Marcello Valenzano, Eddie Montilla Cool & Dre 3:40
5. "Paradice"   Carter, Jr., Lyon, Valenzano, Montilla Kevin Rudolf, Cool & Dre 3:57
6. "Get a Life"   Carter, Jr., Lyon, Valenzano Cool & Dre 3:12
7. "On Fire"   Carter, Jr., Lyon, Valenzano, Montilla, Peter J. Bellotte Cool & Dre 4:08
8. "Drop the World" (featuring Eminem) Carter, Jr., Marshall Mathers, Jesse Woodard, Mike Strange, Chauncey Hollis Hit-Boy, Chase N. Cashe 3:49
9. "Runnin'" (featuring Shanell) Carter, Jr., Erik Crowe, Kevin Ortíz, Woodgett J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League 4:31
10. "One Way Trip" (featuring Kevin Rudolf) Carter, Jr., Kevin Rudolf, Rodríguez-Díaz Travis Barker, Kevin Rudolf, DJ Infamous 4:38
11. "Knockout" (featuring Nicki Minaj) Carter, Jr., Crowe, Ortíz, Onika Maraj J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League 4:09
12. "The Price Is Wrong"   Carter, Jr., Rodríguez-Díaz DJ Infamous 3:28
Total length:
46:43

Personnel[edit]

Credits for Rebirth adapted from Allmusic.[69]

  • Sandy Brummels – creative director
  • Katina Bynum – project manager
  • Dwayne "Tha President" Carter – executive producer, additional guitars
  • Jonathan Mannion – photography
  • Vlado Meller – mastering
  • Scott Sandler – logo design
  • Mark Santangelo – assistant
  • Raheem "Rahlo" Thomas – A&R
  • Bryan "Baby Birdman" Williams – executive producer
  • Ronald "Slim Tha Don" Williams – executive producer

Charts and certifications[edit]

Preceded by
This Is It by Michael Jackson
U.S. Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums number-one album
February 20, 2010
Succeeded by
Soldier of Love by Sade
Preceded by
We Are Young Money by Young Money
U.S. Billboard Top Rap Albums number-one album
February 20 – March 20, 2010
Succeeded by
Battle of the Sexes by Ludacris

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rebirth album
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  9. ^ Lil Wayne Rocks Out with Fall Out Boy. Rap-Up. Accessed February 20, 2009.
  10. ^ Montgomery, James (2008-10-03). "Fall Out Boy's New Album To Feature Lil Wayne, Pharrell And ... Blondie's Debbie Harry?". MTV.com. Retrieved 2009-03-17. 
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External links[edit]