A History of Lil Wayne as Rock Star

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Mine was delivered yesterday by the post office, and is, indeed, a copy of Rebirth.” Oops? Lil Wayne is no stranger to leaks, but this seems like a bad omen for an already troublesome album. After a year’s worth of false starts, push backs and leaked singles, the rapper’s foray into rock and roll, Rebirth, has been leaked, RapRadar reported yesterday. By Amazon. Via snail mail.

That’s right. Hip-hop’s presence on the internet is a strong one, and one Lil Wayne has battled in the past. When a number of singles intended for The Carter III hit the net early, he crossed them off the track list, threw them onto The Leak mix tape, and began anew. But this? Even if the mailman is a top-tier Weezy fan, it just seems different.

Rebirth has been a bit of a mess since the beginning. Initially slated for release back in April of 2009, a series of delays has it pushed back, most recently, to February of 2010. Singles have been released, beginning with “Prom Queen,” to mostly baffled reviews. (Yesterday’s warmer welcome of the Lil Wayne/Eminem track, “Drop the World”, being an exception — although, with no thanks to Wayne’s new-found rock inclinations).

Assuming that more than one fan received a copy of their pre-ordered disc from Amazon (we hear the number is around 500), the album is sure to hit the internet in no time. Wayne’s rock star dreams are innocent enough, and his reputation solid enough to withstand a fumble or two. But the unfortunate truth seems to be that he is a beast behind the mic, but a mess with the guitar — a problem that no amount of time can solve nor anticipation hide.

We’ve been seeing Lil Wayne with a guitar for a while now. In the beginning, he’d just kind of swing it around, and that was fine — we all have our rock star day dreams. Every once and a while, he’d give it a go, and he wasn’t that good, but he was having fun and it was kind of cute.

Then there was that weird, limo-top guitar solo on “Lollipop.” Yeah, okay, that probably wasn’t him, but he was having fun pretending it was. This, however, is actually Dwayne Carter’s very own shredding. Uh…

Then he did it again, but this time on national television.

He joined the hardest rockers, Fall Out Boy, for “Tiffany Blews” off of last years Folie a Deux. It’s almost impossible to make out Wayne’s famed croaking voice amongst the heavy auto-tuning, but he remains never the less loyal to his earth-defying tendencies: “Dear Gravity, you’ve held me down in this starlight city.” Sure, that’s Weezy.

A little more concerning was Wayne’s appearance on Kevin Rudolf’s debut single, “Let it Rock.” It sounds something like a watered-down jock jam, and while it was clear he was still having fun, we weren’t sure we were anymore.

Then Drake comes out saying Wayne was making a rock album. But rumors are rumors, and gossip has it’s way of wandering on til it finds Lil Wayne, you know?

Except this time, it wasn’t a rumor. “Prom Queen” began streaming on his MySpace and fans set out with their best explanations: Lil Wayne has always been nutty, it’s interesting, emotional, etc. The best justification, however, seemed to be: “What’s next?”

Unfortunately, the answer to that question seemed to be a whole bunch more auto-tuned, rock-influenced, Rebirth ready songs of varying degrees of success. All, very, very real.

Here’s one rock-detour we wish Lil Wayne had skipped:

So there you have it — Rock Star Weezy! Congratulations to those lucky few who managed to cop an early copy of Rebirth, and to the rest, happy internet hunting.