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Lil Wayne: Insane in the Membrane?

December 5, 2009

by Julie Hailue
Lil Wayne: Insane in the Membrane?

You may think you know Lil Wayne a.k.a. Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr., Weezy F. Baby, Birdman Jr., The Fireman, The Carter, Señor Wayne, or Wayne un Petit -- but you definitely haven't seen him like this... and by "this," I mean batshit crazy. QD3 -- Hip Hop producer and son of music legend Quincy Jones -- has created a surprisingly compelling documentary offering audiences a rare peek into the unusual psychology of Lil Wayne. When I first heard about "The Carter," I expected a self-gratifying Wayne tribute involving some combination of hoes, clothes, and automobiles. Imagine my surprise when the film was screened at Sundance and met with rave reviews. Contrary to my preconceptions, The Carter is not a trashy E! Hollywood story or an extended version of an ass  + titties + Hennessy music video, but rather a intimate portrait of one of the hardest working artists in hip hop. They shot direct footage of Wayne's touring life over a 6-month period, both before and after the drop of The Carter III. Everything is laid bare, from his non-stop blunt smoking and addiction to Codeine cough syrup and Soda (sizzurp), to the story of how he was raped at 11 (and loved it). You see rare creative moments like his "Swagga Like Us" verse in its infancy, created like all of his music -- with no pen and no pad, just his Mac and a stand alone mic. Lil Wayne later pulled his support from the movie and tried to remove the scenes showing him drinking syrup (impossible, cause he is "double cupped" pretty much the whole movie). In my opinion, he should be thanking the makers of this film, for capturing a genuinely interesting side of him that we don't get to see. His commitment to recording every waking second and his ability to retain thousand of verses by memory only ( so there is "no evidence," he says) has elevated him, at least in my mind, to a level possibly deserving of his most presumptuous of nicknames -- Best Rapper Alive.

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