Album Reviews


By: Youeal Abera and Zach Butler



Tha Carter V by Lil Wayne

With the new release of Tha Carter V, Lil Wayne reminds the often-forgetful hip-hop culture of just how skilled, explosive, and intelligent his lyricism is. The record tells the story of the personal and professional vexations Lil Wayne faced in recent years.

        Tha Carter V opens with “I Love You Dwayne,” an endearing voicemail Lil Wayne’s mother left the rapper for encouragement. Subsequently, the album offers a versatile tracklist few rappers manage to incorporate in their albums. “Dedicate” and “Uproar” serve as rude reminders of how lethal Lil Wayne’s skill is, as he delivers clever wordplay and multiple flows in both tracks. With “Dark Side of the Moon” (featuring labelmate Nicki Minaj) and “Mess,” Lil Wayne is vulnerable as he offers a glimpse of the hardships in his life offstage. The album ends with the sentimental, Sampha-assisted “Let It All Work Out.” Through this track, Lil Wayne tells his fans that in spite of his recent turbulent experiences, he’s made it out the other side stronger than ever.


Even when going through the album with a fine-toothed comb, it’s difficult to find any flaws in Tha Carter V. Lil Wayne has clearly dropped yet another classic. – YA


Rally Cry by Arkells

Arkells has never shied from making political statements with their music, and with Rally Cry, the Canadian band isn’t holding back. Over the course of 10 tracks, Rally Cry creates a sound that is ambitious as it is diverse.

      Continuing a trend set by their previous work, the band flirts with multiple genres and styles to evolve their traditional guitar-driven rock sound. Songs range from evoking U2 to combining elements of soul with the attitude of hip-hop. Lesser bands may struggle with genre-hopping, but Arkells perfectly balances diversity and coherence. There are no throwaway songs here; each of the album’s 10 tracks gives the impression there’s a story behind every lyric. From taking shots at the White House in “People’s Champ” to providing an uplifting anthem for the less privileged in “Hand Me Downs,” the album more than lives up to its name. Shining a light through confusing political times, Rally Cry stands tall among Arkells’ best work.