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Editor’s Pick #210: “The Carter” Documentary by carlywolkoff
November 12, 2009, 11:54 pm
Filed under: Editor Picks | Tags: , , , ,
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Now you'll know what it's really like to be the "greatest rapper alive"

PREVIEW: STREAM “The Carter” Documentary trailer on YouTube

Lil’ Wayne’s influence doesn’t merely extend over rap music but permeates popular culture.  But throughout his short yet explosive career, the rapper has remained more of a behind-the-scenes puppeteer than the stereotypical limelight-loving rap superstar.  You’ll hear his music on the radio, but for the most part, you won’t see his face pinned against the pink pages of Perez Hilton (save for some recent legal issues).

Finally, this trailer for the upcoming Sundance documentary The Carter, pulls the curtain aside and provides a glimpse into the elusive life we all imagined but never really saw.  Director Adam Bala Lough shows us this diamond grilled, blunt smokin’ Lil’ Wayne who stores his stacks of g’s in suitcases.  But then there’s the dark side.  He often raps and trivializes his love of cough syrup and most think nothing of it, but somehow, watching him actually pour the cough syrup while a dramatic film score plays in the background, it’s not so funny anymore.  And suddenly we have the raw, troubled “I Feel Like Dying” Lil’ Wayne  rather than the mere superficial “Lollipop” hit-maker.  This may only be the trailer, but it’s likely that The Carter will dispel any glamorized notions we had regarding the rapper.  Yes, he may be decked out in diamonds, but in reality, he’s like any other workaholic with a dirty secret.

— Carly Wolkoff, Front of Book Editor


The thing is, he never hid any of it from anyone. First of all, he’s been on Cash Money since he was still in grade school, so his career has been anything but short (as well as having million selling albums since the beginning of the decade).
But it’s true, his success has exploded and been the rarest of stories especially in today’s recording industry climate, and his model of flooding the market with mixtapes to build anticipation for a forthcoming album was genius (Gucci Mane is doing that now…)

Anyway, Wayne has always been completely up front about his drug use except for the fact that for the most part it has been referenced to in ways that are clever/witty/funny which take away from the emotional heft that normally goes along with such confessions. This is part of the reason why tracks like ‘I Feel Like Dying’ hit so hard, because he doesn’t like to explore that side of his excess.
It’s wrong to say that he’s a behind-the-scenes guy, as he’s one of the biggest focuses of any hip hop blog, at his birthday party he had an ice sculpture with $1 Million cash in it from Birdman, his tour last year was HUGE, and musically, he’s one of the most excessive artists at this time.

His interview with Katie Couric last year gave a lot of insight that this movie seems to delve into… when she asked him about his cough syrup, he refused to admit that he was addicted, but he did have a really interesting to say on the subject: What went into his cup was no one’s business but his own, because it was his cup. When he said “because it’s my cup” it’s almost heartbreaking because you know he realises what he’s doing to himself but it doesn’t matter what other people say because he likes what it does, and if he can’t at least have control over what is in his cup and can’t have a say about what goes into his cup, then what does he have.

I’m excited to see the movie and see how it discusses this stuff, as Lil Wayne is an incredibly gifted but incredibly tortured individual with a lot of demons.

Comment by Cory Stout

You seem to idolize this dude and say his situation is heartbreaking, but it’s not. Addiction isn’t about having control over what you put into your body; it’s quite the opposite.

As for the clever, witty ways he references drug use, I would say that hiding behind verse is just that, not being “completely up front.”

No matter what you may say or no matter how much of a sweet guy Weezy might be, you can’t deny that he, as a flawed celebrity, is just going to make money off this documentary in the long run. All that’s going on here is a dude who likes to here the sound of his own voice (because what MC doesn’t? it comes with the territory) exploiting his flaws for cash.

Comment by vilbobag

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