Tha Carter IV

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Tha Carter IV
Lil Wayne - Tha Carter IV.jpg
Studio album by Lil Wayne
Released August 29, 2011 (2011-08-29)
Recorded October 2008 – July 2011
Genre Hip hop
Length 60:25
Label Young Money, Cash Money, Universal Republic
Lil Wayne chronology
Sorry 4 the Wait
Tha Carter IV
Dedication 4
Singles from Tha Carter IV
  1. "6 Foot 7 Foot"
    Released: December 16, 2010
  2. "John"
    Released: March 24, 2011
  3. "How to Love"
    Released: May 31, 2011
  4. "She Will"
    Released: August 16, 2011
  5. "It's Good"
    Released: September 13, 2011
  6. "Mirror"
    Released: November 1, 2011

Tha Carter IV is the ninth studio album by American rapper Lil Wayne, released on August 29, 2011 through Young Money Entertainment, Cash Money Records and Universal Republic Records.[1] Recording sessions for the album began in late 2008, shortly after Lil Wayne's sixth studio album, Tha Carter III (2008) was released to strong sales and critical acclaim: however, the sessions were put on hold, as Lil Wayne claimed he did not want to follow an album he held in high regard so quickly with another, potentially inferior release. In the interim, Lil Wayne released his two other albums in 2010: the largely rock-themed Rebirth, and I Am Not a Human Being. The latter was reportedly composed from unreleased material from the original Tha Carter IV sessions, as the album was released whilst Wayne served a prison sentence at Rikers Island prison for illegal possession of a weapon, and was thus unable to record any new material: this also meant Tha Carter IV's recording sessions were once more put on hold.

Following Wayne's release from prison, the album was re-recorded from scratch. The recording sessions resumed at various locations, involving several record producers including Bangladesh, Detail, T-Minus, Noah "40" Shebib, Polow da Don, Jim Jonsin, Kane Beatz, Boi-1da, Willy Will, StreetRunner, Cool & Dre, Young Ladd, The Smeezingtons, and Kanye West. The album's largely concerns the themes of sex, violence, drugs and crime, but also love, hurt and emotional conflict. Appearances on the album include Cory Gunz, Drake, T-Pain, Tech N9ne, Andre 3000, Rick Ross, John Legend, Bruno Mars, Birdman, Kevin Rudolf, Jadakiss, Bun B, Nas, Shyne, and Busta Rhymes.

Following a heavily delayed release, Tha Carter IV was released to digital retailers at midnight on August 28, 2011, following Wayne's scheduled performance at the MTV Video Music Awards, and physical retailers received the album the following day. Tha Carter IV achieved first week sales of 964,000 copies in the United States and became Lil Wayne's second album to top the US Billboard 200 in its first week. The album received generally mixed reviews from music critics, who were divided in their responses towards the album's production and Wayne's own performances on the album: they felt it a disappointment compared to his previous work.[2] The entire album according to Lil Wayne is an allegory of the negative aspects of the West.[2]

Background and development[edit]

In June 2008, after a similarly delayed release, Lil Wayne released his previous album in the Tha Carter series, Tha Carter III (2008). The album sold 1,005,545 copies in its first week of sales in the United States, and produced three top ten singles in the US, including the number one-hit "Lollipop". The album became the highest selling of the year in the United States.[3] In a September 2008 interview with Shaheem Reid of MTV Mixtape Monday, Lil Wayne revealed that he had begun work on his next official mixtape, Dedication 3 (2008) and also confirmed a sequel to Tha Carter III, titled Tha Carter IV.[4] Initial recording sessions for the album began in early October 2008,[5] but these were put on hold, as later that month Wayne claimed that he did not want the album to follow Tha Carter III immediately.

No more information emerged on the album until October 2009, when Cash Money Records CEO Birdman reported that Wayne would release three studio albums on December 15, 2009: Tha Carter IV, Rebirth, an album currently being promoted as Wayne's debut rock music album, and We Are Young Money, a collaborative recording with members of Wayne's record label, Young Money Entertainment.[6] However, it was later confirmed that Rebirth and We Are Young Money would be released separately[7] and that Tha Carter IV would be released in 2011.[8] Tha Carter IV was going to be released in late May,[9] but was pushed back to June. Mack Maine confirmed that the album's release was postponed because they still needed time to make it perfect.[10] On June 2, 2011, the album was pushed back further, and the album was due for release on August 29, 2011.[11]

The album's cover was released to the internet on April 19, 2011.[12][13] A deluxe edition has been confirmed for Tha Carter IV, with the album's cover being released to the internet as well.[14]

Also the track "Dear Anne (Stan Part 2)" (originally "Anne") was originally supposed to be on Tha Carter IV but has since then been removed from the album. Lil Wayne recently[when?] said in an interview with XXL that he was not a fan of "Dear Anne" and that it was originally planned to appear on Tha Carter III. On July 8, 2011, producer Swizz Beatz hinted at Wayne possibly re-recording a new version of Anne, after he had said the verses were too "old". Prior to Tha Carter IV's release, Swizz Beatz released the song on his Monster Mondays free music program through his official website.[15]

On June 13, 2011, a track called "Nightmares of the Bottom" from Tha Carter IV was confirmed on MTV's Unplugged by Lil Wayne performing live.[16] On July 11, 2011, Lil Wayne confirmed in an interview with MTV that Tha Carter IV is finished and will be releasing on August 29, 2011.[11] On August 7–8, 2011 videos of Lil Wayne recording a song called "She Will" and featuring Drake was posted online and would be on the album. The song was released on the Internet on August 12, 2011.[17] HipHollywood released a YouTube video about T-Pain giving a song to Lil Wayne for his album called, "How to Hate," confirming that it will be on the album.


The album's lead single, "6 Foot 7 Foot", which features Cory Gunz, was released on December 16, 2010.[18] It peaked at nine on the US Billboard Hot 100 and at two on both the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and US Rap Songs chart, in addition to reaching the top fifty in Canada. The video made premieres on MTV on March 3, 2011 and on BET's 106 & Park on March 4, 2011. The video (directed by Hype Williams) was inspired by the film Inception, and consists of numerous scenes which visualize many of the metaphors and similes Wayne says in the song.[19]

"John", which features Rick Ross was released as the second single on March 24, 2011[20] and debuted at twenty-two on the US Hot 100. It also reached nineteen on US R&B charts and twelve on US Rap charts. The official music video was released on VEVO on May 12, 2011. The video also featured a cameo by Birdman and was directed by Colin Tilley, director of "Look at Me Now" by Chris Brown, and No Sleep by Wiz Khalifa.

"How to Love" was released as the third single on May 31, 2011.[21] It had peaked at number five on the US Hot 100, becoming Wayne's fourteenth top ten hit and the best performing single from the album. It also peaked at number two on US R&B charts and number two on US Rap charts, in addition to reaching the top forty in Canada and top fifty in the UK. Detail, the song's producer, claimed Lil Wayne used no Auto-Tune in the song;[22] The music video (directed by Chris Robinson) premiered August 23, 2011 on MTV Jams as "Jam of the Week".[23][24]

The fourth single, "She Will", which features Drake, was released on the internet on August 12, 2011.[25] The song previously was to be titled "Maybe She Will", and originally featured a verse from Rick Ross, however it did not make the final cut.[26][27] The single released on digital download format in the United States on August 16, 2011.[28]

"It's Good", which features Jadakiss and Drake, was solicited to urban radio as the album's fifth single on September 13, 2011.[29]

The sixth single from the album is "Mirror" featuring Bruno Mars, which is a bonus track on the deluxe edition. It was released to urban radio on September 13, 2011. It was sent to Rhythmic radio and re-released to urban radio on November 1, 2011.[30] Upon the release of Tha Carter IV it debuted at number sixteen on the US Hot 100 based on digital downloads alone.

Commercial performance[edit]

Tha Carter IV had 300,000 downloads in its first four days online, which broke an iTunes record previously set by Watch the Throne. In the United States, Tha Carter IV topped the Billboard 200 on the issue of September 17, 2011.[31] Selling 964,000 copies in its first week, it achieved the highest first-week album sales since Lady Gaga's Born This Way.[31] It retained the top spot in its second week, despite a 77% decrease in sales, selling 219,000 copies.[32] On November 16, 2011, the album was certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, for shipments of two million copies in the United States.[33] By February 2012, the album had sold 3.5 million copies worldwide.[34] By July 2013, it had sold 296,000 copies in the US.[35] In Canada, the album debuted on the top spot on the Canadian Albums Chart, selling 31,000 copies in its first week.[36]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[37]
The A.V. Club C+[38]
Chicago Tribune 2/4 stars[39]
Entertainment Weekly B[40]
Los Angeles Times 2.5/4 stars[41]
NME 4/10[42]
Pitchfork Media 6.2/10[43]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[44]
Slant Magazine 3/5 stars[45]
Spin 6/10[46]

Tha Carter IV received generally mixed reviews from critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 60, based on 29 reviews.[47] Many critics viewed it as a disappointment.[48] Robert Christgau wrote in The Barnes & Noble Review that the record "has its moments ... but its stunted sense of play is summed up by the T-Pain-aided 'How to Hate.'"[49] Chicago Tribune writer Greg Kot viewed that Wayne "sounds slower, more methodical, less unhinged" and felt that he is held back by "repetitive subject matter — even Wayne sounds bored by trying to flip yet one more clever couplet about blunts and 'hos."[39] Sean Fennessey of Spin wrote that "it's not a terribly ambitious mess, nor is it much fun, which for Wayne is a sin," and criticized his lyrics, stating "He rarely divulges specific moments ... usually keeping the gritty details unexplained."[46] Slant Magazine's Matthew Cole commented that the album's production "chases trends far more often than it attempts to set them" and found Wayne "not in exhilarating top form".[45] Los Angeles Times writer Jeff Weiss viewed his lyrics as "predictable" and called the album "more pedestrian than embarrassing."[41] Andy Hutchins of The Village Voice called it "a bad rap album" and criticized its music as "a composition of a lot of rapping styles Wayne's dabbled in and production styles that have been bubbling in rap for some time, except little of it clicks."[50]

In a positive review, Rolling Stone writer Rob Sheffield stated, "it's thrilling how unhinged Weezy sounds", adding that "even the failed moments sound like nobody else".[44] Allmusic editor David Jeffries stated, "If II and III were the arguable masterpieces, this one is less convincing, but it is a solid, above average hip-hop album".[37] Jon Caramanica of The New York Times felt that the guest rappers bring "their A game" and stated, "even on this album’s weak tracks, and there are several, [Wayne] remains a commanding presence, deploying just enough of his insistent croak to tether the song together."[51]

Track listing[edit]

Track listing and producers confirmed from the album booklet and Discogs.[52]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Intro"   Dwayne Carter, Jr., Willie Hodge, Jermaine Preyan Willy Will 2:52
2. "Blunt Blowin"   Carter, Bigram Zayas, Matthew Arthur DelGiorno Andrew Canton Develop, Filthy (co.) 5:12
3. "MegaMan"   Carter, Orville Mcwhinney MegaMan 3:18
4. "6 Foot 7 Foot" (featuring Cory Gunz) Carter, Peter Panky, Jr., Seandrae Crawford, William Attaway, Irving Burgie Mr. Bangladesh 4:08
5. "Nightmares of the Bottom"   Carter, Ben Vaughn, Kenoe, Preyan Snizzy,[53] Kenoe 4:41
6. "She Will" (featuring Drake) Carter, Aubrey Graham, Tyler Williams T-Minus 5:05
7. "How to Hate" (featuring T-Pain) Carter, Faheem Najm, Tremaine Winfrey Young Fyre, Andrew Lloyd (add.) 4:38
8. "Interlude" (featuring Tech N9ne) Carter, Aaron Yates, Hodge, Preyan, Andre Benjamin Willy Will 2:01
9. "John" (featuring Rick Ross) Carter, William Roberts II, Kevin Crowe, Erik Ortiz Polow Da Don, Rob Holladay 4:47
10. "Abortion"   Carter, Hacker, Preyann, Nicholas Warwar The Commission, StreetRunner (add.) 3:43
11. "So Special" (featuring John Legend) Carter, Andre Lyon, Marcello Valenzano, Eddie Montilla Cool & Dre 3:52
12. "How to Love"   Carter, Noel Fisher, LaMar Seymour, LaNelle Seymour, Preyan, Marcus Boyd Detail, Tha Drummahz (co.) 4:00
13. "President Carter"   Carter, Angel Aponte, Marco Rodriguez Angel "Onhel" Aponte, Christopher Allen, Infamous 4:15
14. "It's Good" (featuring Jadakiss and Drake) Carter, Graham, Jason Phillips, Lyon, Valenzano, B. Pickens, Alan Parsons, Eric Woolfson Cool & Dre 4:01
15. "Outro" (featuring Bun B, Nas, Shyne and Busta Rhymes) Carter, Hodge, Bernard Freeman, Nasir Jones, Jamal Barrow, Trevor Smith, Jr., Preyan, Ben-David Willy Will 3:52
Total length:

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits for Tha Carter IV adapted from Allmusic.[55]



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