Lil Wayne — “Right Above It” (feat. Drake) (produced by Kane Beatz)
from the forthcoming I’m Not a Human Being (via)
Looks like September is heating up: Gucci’s The Appeal, Jeezy’s TM103, Waka’s Flockaveli tape, and Tune’s 10-song EP (is EP even correct? Ross just dropped an 11-song LP) on his 28th(!) birthday (Sept. 27). “Right Above It,” the EP’s first single, is all regal strings and the-king-is-coming horns while maintaining a cheap Casio undertone (not a bad thing). Drake drops his Westwood bars (many commenters are upset that they’ve heard them before and I’m not sure why; it’s obvious Drake isn’t a prolific enough writer to throw away lines), but they feel lukewarm compared to Wayne’s.
These Kane Beatz beatz are uncomplicated but effective, with a constant .99 cent snare and a catchy stuttering synth. Wayne finds a pocket similar to “Steady Mobbin’” (another Kane Beatz production), where he can clearly enunciate his punchlines (choice: “All of my riders do not give a fuck / X games”; “You niggas cannot see me but never overlook me”; “Limping off tour because I made more off my second leg” — think of that imagery) and Auto-croon his hook in a seamless transition. Another thing I love: Wayne could have looped the final hook but sings it in a higher, more forceful pitch (similar to the final chorus on “Single”). It’s a detail that makes a repetitive beat seem OK because he’s announcing its climax with his greatest asset, that still incredible voice. It also explains why he wears a light sprinkling of Auto-Tune better than his contemporaries — mutations aside, he knows he must carry the track on his own.
This isn’t a game-changer but that’s not the purpose. It’s a first taste of an EP, which is being released to merely remind fans that the guy is getting out of jail in six weeks (as if they didn’t have the date circled already). If “Right Above It” were Tha Carter IV’s first single, eyebrows would be raised, skepticism would permeate. But it’s not, so instead we bop our heads and eagerly wait.