from a recent essay by M.A.N (about Coltrane, Lil Wayne, black masculinity, and the post-trauma blues)

Unlike historical figures like Doug E. Fresh and Biz Markie who used their voices to create new sounds, Lil Wayne, like Coltrane is really using his voice to find alternative registers for what has clearly been a life lived in absurdity and pain–even if some of it might have been self inflicted. And perhaps it is as it should be, as Lil Wayne’s urges us to come to terms with the first edge of the Post-Katrina Blues.

Lil Wayne – Real Rap


A Blender magazine cover story offers a glimpse into the world of Wayne –

Like any rock star, Lil Wayne isn’t immune to self-mythologizing. To hear him tell it, he’s a superman: He describes surviving two bullets—one a self-inflicted accident at age 12 and one fired into his bus by an angry groupie—with chuckling élan; he’s an indefatigable hustler: “I’m always in the lab”; and he’s an artist beholden to no one but his own codeine-addled muse: “The word pressure is not in my vocabulary.”

But the man desperately needs a vacation. The first day we meet, he’s running 10 hours behind—handlers try to rouse him from bed throughout the day, but word keeps coming back that “he’s in a coma.” The next day, at his condo, he snaps at T for failing to pack enough cough syrup for the trip to Atlanta. “I thought you said you were doing it,” T protests.

“Me? Why would I say that?” Wayne snarls. “Since when is that my job?”


  1. ive been thinking about the interpretive impulses that Lil Wayne brings out… its pretty fascinating, everyone wants to graft his work onto some Larger Idea.

    There’s something very non-postmodern about it, his decipherers are uniformly in a High Modernist mode.

  2. The rush and impulse to over-analyze Lil Wayne’s work, which to me is still too fresh to actually conceptualize historically, has been dizzying and at best only produces and offers us fragments of understanding. I think Wayne’s work is still under-construction (something like the Obama campaign) and it’s difficult, perhaps even impossible to offer accurate, remotely complete analysis of an ongoing work or campaign.

    The two pieces offer completely different depictions and analysis… the second article portrays him as a doped-out workaholic martian, while the first one tries to tap into the humanity and artistic side of his work.

    I’m also fascinated by questions like this one posed by lone wolf; “Is not Auto-Tune the wah pedal of today’s Black pop?”

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