17 Songs, 1 Hour 10 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

In the late ‘90s, New Orleans' Cash Money crew had overtaken Master P's No Limit as the Dirty South's most popular gangster rappers, thanks mostly to Mannie Fresh's absurdly funky production and crossover mega-hits like "Ha," "Bling Bling," and "Back That Azz Up." Their marquee supergroup the Hot Boys were riding high, with members B.G. and Juvenile already several solo albums deep. Tha Block is Hot would be Lil Wayne's turn, his first attempt to step out from the shadows and carry a whole record on his own. He still has plenty of help from the team, but definitely sounds more secure in his own voice, laying down his unique flow over an assortment of percolating beats and stuttering melodies. To be sure, this is not the same esoteric space cadet that would be chopping it up with Katie Couric and winning multiple Grammys ten years later. The Weezy on this album is a lot more straightforward and raw sounding, but that's actually a good thing. The title track is a near-perfect slice of menacing street science, while "F*** Tha World" is a surprisingly sensitive reflection of life's trials and tribulations. "High Beamin'" and "Not Like Me" are also outstanding. 

EDITORS’ NOTES

In the late ‘90s, New Orleans' Cash Money crew had overtaken Master P's No Limit as the Dirty South's most popular gangster rappers, thanks mostly to Mannie Fresh's absurdly funky production and crossover mega-hits like "Ha," "Bling Bling," and "Back That Azz Up." Their marquee supergroup the Hot Boys were riding high, with members B.G. and Juvenile already several solo albums deep. Tha Block is Hot would be Lil Wayne's turn, his first attempt to step out from the shadows and carry a whole record on his own. He still has plenty of help from the team, but definitely sounds more secure in his own voice, laying down his unique flow over an assortment of percolating beats and stuttering melodies. To be sure, this is not the same esoteric space cadet that would be chopping it up with Katie Couric and winning multiple Grammys ten years later. The Weezy on this album is a lot more straightforward and raw sounding, but that's actually a good thing. The title track is a near-perfect slice of menacing street science, while "F*** Tha World" is a surprisingly sensitive reflection of life's trials and tribulations. "High Beamin'" and "Not Like Me" are also outstanding. 

TITLE TIME

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