Hello, and welcome to Radio Rants. Hit me!
Yeah, Lil Wayne! The hottest, most prolific rapper around! Sure, he hasn’t had a hit since December, and he hasn’t really knocked a featured verse out of the park in awhile, but here he is with the third single for Tha Cater IV! Which…still isn’t out yet, because Camp Wheezey needed more time to promote the album. You know, the way a concert special and killer single would. But anyway, here he is with a hot new single, and I’m sure it’s got a hard beat and slick rhymes.
Is that an acoustic guitar?
At least the chord progression’s nice. But what the hell is this, did Lil Wayne start taking career advice from Boyz II Men? Not that I’m against artists trying new things, but taking a sensitive, stripped down acoustic number from Lil “Pop that pussy and shake that ass” Wayne seriously is a hard-bordering-impossible sell. When your career so far has objectified women at every chance, I’m not about to take your Sensitive Side Song in stride. But, for the sake of this blog, let’s try.
“You had a lotta crooks tryna steal your heart/Never really had luck, couldn’t figure it out/How to love, how to love”
Who never really had luck and/or couldn’t figure it out: her, or the crooks? This is why we need pronouns, Lil Wayne.
“You had a lotta moments that didn’t last forever/Now you in the corner tryna put it together/How to love, how to love”
No moment lasts forever. There’s a lot of pop songs that have covered this already, moving on.
Lil Wayne’s verses are usually wordy to the point of excess, but the first verse on “How to Love” blinks by so fast that I’m not even able to latch onto any particular line. Yeah, the hot girl has self esteem issues. Wait, I forgot to talk about the hook.
“It’s hard not to stare, the way you move your body/Like you never had a love, had a love”
That’s a fair observation; a lot of hurt people use casual sex or aggressive flirtation as a coping device when dealing with extremely hurt feelings or a traumatic past. Hey, didn’t his last hit include the line “Never met the bitch but I fucked her like I missed her”?
But wait, the second verse might actually go somewhere:
“Oh, you had a lot of dreams that transform to visions
The fact that you saw the world affected all your decisions
But it wasn’t your fault, wasn’t in your intentions
To be the one here talking to me, be the one listening
He might do it folks, he might be onto something…c’mon, Weezy!
“But I admire your poppin’ bottles and dippin’
Just as much as you admire bartending and strippin’
Baby, so don’t be mad, nobody else trippin’
You see a lot of crooks and the crooks still crook”
…what the hell did that mean? I just…I don’t know. He likes how she dances and opens bottles? She likes mixed drinks and strippers? What am I supposed to get out of this verse? There’s no real point in talking about the bridge since it boils down to you’re beautiful and great how you are and you deserve the best. And aside from that, we’ve covered all the lyrics for “How to Love”.
This rant has been so lyrics-heavy because “How to Love” utterly skeletal musically. The acoustic guitar and percussion make some 90% of the music, and the other 10% is a synth over the chorus (an admittedly nice touch), and guys randomly shouting “‘ey!” in the background. Lil Wayne’s voice is slathered in Auto-Tune, which I’d normally take issue with, but let’s be honest, Lil Wayne’s death rasp can’t translate to an angelic voice.
The importance of “How to Love” comes from what it is instead of what’s in it. As the first time that Lil Wayne changes his game and tries something different, it’s fairly important. As a song, though, it’s not a bad listen, but falls apart under closer inspection. I’m all for Lil Wayne exploring himself, I just wish he’d do it with more nuance and some better lines.