Lil Wayne, Tha Carter III
Official Release Date: June 10
The Verdict: Upset by Wayne's recent, purportedly taken-out-of-context comments about mix-tape D.J.'s ("Fuck you if you're a mix-tape D.J."), mix-tape D.J.'s leaked his new album on Friday night. So, after multiple hype-ratcheting do-overs and delays, is Carter III the epochal, world-changing rap event we've all been promised? Yeah, basically. Based on a weekend of nonstop listening, we're quite prepared to declare it totally, unequivocally awesome. We didn't love either of the lead singles ("Lollipop" and "Got Money"), but, happily, it's otherwise stinker-free — a pretty even balance of dark, smart epics to please the blogosphere ("Misunderstood," "Let the Beat Build," "Shoot Me Down") and radio-ready hits-in-waiting ("Mr. Carter," "Tie My Hands," "Comfortable"). Good luck trying to be disappointed!