The Carter

posted November 15, 2009 01:11:00 PM CST | 49 comments

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Lil Wayne, to put it simply, is Hip Hop's Jimi Hendrix. He has the mesmerizing verses, the experimentation, the eccentricity and the work ethic that results in prolific output. With a relatively public persona, cultivated via blogs, websites and cover stories in magazines detailing his latest gun charge and kids with different women, his life and music are readily available for the consumer to experience. With that said, is there really more to The Carter? The makers of the documentary by the same title, including executive producer QD3, think so -- and they are mostly right. 

The film opens with Weezy in a posh Amsterdam hotel room, pointing to an image on the flat screen where a man is seen wearing a T-shirt with Wayne's image and the words "greatest rapper alive." Oddly, Wayne's reaction is one of slight bewilderment, not the chest-beating self-assurance that is characteristic of his music. If there's anything that becomes evident here, it's that the director and his crew for all practical purposes became voyeurs into Wayne's life. Unlike Vh1's Behind the Music profile, where the 25-year-old Wayne answers questions in a typical sit-down interview format, The Carter follows him as he lives his life. Here, Wayne didn't want to sit down for interviews, instead instructing the filmmaker to "just follow" him.

The rapper's life, the viewer finds out, is filled with recording music and touring. It is expectedly stimulated by sizzurp and is driven by making wads of cash. The gift that attracts fans to Wayne is on full display in the many candid moments captured in the film. The funnies, almost like out-takes, are outrageous. None stand out more than his tale of being put in an compromising situation with Baby and the Cash Money Records crew early in his career with the New Orleans label. To make the long story short: a woman in the room with dozen or more guys was directed to perform fellatio on the young Wayne and she obliged. Wayne is depicted excitedly sharing this tale to his own protege, one of the youngest members of Young Money, Lil Twist, who is just 15 years old. 

To Wayne, sex is like an ordinary workout while weed and syrup are like Red Bull and cigarettes. At one point in the movie, Wayne is seen pouring cough syrup into a A&W Root Beer bottle. This scene is artfully juxtaposed with footage of Wayne's childhood friend, manager and deejay, Cortez Bryant, almost crying while describing Wayne's self-destructive drug abuse. 

As it stands, The Carter is an authoritative documentary of a rapper who has transcended into Rock star status. Its weakness, if any, is that it is a finished product while Wayne's life is in full swing, with many more documentaries likely to sprout over the years. With his new, Rock-inspired album Rebirth and Young Money compilation CDs scheduled to arrive in mid-December, The Carter seems to arrive prematurely. After all, most music documentaries reflect on a career that has a beginning, middle and end.  

Like Wayne himself states in The Carter, he doesn't want to go out like Kurt Cobain. With a decade-long run, many could say that Weezy has already made that fate impossible.



For more information, visit www.thecarterdoc.com.
 

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