March 3, 2011

I never liked “A Milli.” This admission sets me at odds with 92 percent of Arbitron findings and 99.8 percent of those rocking facial tattoos — an unenviable percentage sure, but I’m sticking to my gun(z). To me, the street single from “Carter III” always seemed discursive and rambling — a wasted opportunity where Wayne let his desire for spontaneity override a need to craft tight rewindable punchlines. And the simile “pop Em like Orville Redenbacher” ought to be more muerte than the name Orville.

I suppose the point was to offer a five minute stream-of-consciousness jag through Wayne’s head, flipping Fatboy Slim’s “Vampire Mix” of “I Left My Wallet in El Segundo” into a runaway train wreck that substituted a lack of control for raw power. Maybe it worked. The world loved that shit. You couldn’t travel outside for an entire summer without hearing sub-woofers vomiting enough bass to satiate Rodney O and Joe Cooley. Most interesting was the fact that a song devoid of a real hook, structure, or sonic variance could become a summer anthem in a world saturated with pitch-correction, Cheddar cheese hooks, and Alex Da Kid.

So I’m not exactly sure why I love “Six Foot, Seven Foot.” Maybe it stems from Cash Money brass allowing Corey Gunz to rent out the last 16 bars  (the Gunz family has residual goodwill in my book still dating back to “Deja Vu.”) After all, Wayne’s latest smash takes a page from the Hollywood model: hire the same cast to make a sequel, overpay them, and cross your fingers that the people are willing to accept a carbon copy.

Except that the remake seems to correct my issues with the original. Bangladesh’s Harry Belafonte sample provides a breezy tropical lilt that nicely compliments Wayne’s fake patois (which has been neatly subverted into his style by now). Rather than capturing the feel of an inspired studio session, “Six Foot Seven Foot” is well crafted and almost linear. Wayne layers rhymes like Jenga, four or five on top of each other, preserving his wild style but never leaving the pocket.

Over the last few years, Wayne’s engendered comparisons to every rapper in the canon. But I’ve always felt that he’s most similar to Busta Rhymes. A rapper whose best moments come on posse cuts or hook-less rants. I’m not sure if this is Wayne’s “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See” or his “Dangerous.” Analogies are never perfect. All I know is that I really like this song and wish that Hype Williams had saved the number for those flourescent tribal dancers.

MP3: Lil Wayne ft. Corey Gunz-“Six Foot, Seven Foot”

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