Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Travis Barker, Rick Ross | United Center | Hip-Hop | Chicago Reader

Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Travis Barker, Rick Ross Recommended Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Critics' Picks

When: Fri., April 1, 7 p.m. 2011

Right around the release of Tha Carter II in 2005, Lil Wayne went on a tear, putting out so much music that was so nearly flawless it was almost scary; he dropped mix tapes, an album (Tha Carter III), and individual tracks and made guest appearances at a bewildering rate. But in early 2010, he finally fucked up with his "rock album," Rebirth. It made him sound like a cough-syrup addict trying to make a Fall Out Boy record despite a total absence of talent for writing anything but rap songs—in no small part because that was exactly the situation. His return to more rap-oriented material, September's I Am Not a Human Being—recorded in a rush before an eight-month prison stint on gun charges—was shockingly unremarkable. Nightmarish visions of a world where Wayne had fallen off persisted until December, when he celebrated his recent freedom by dropping "6 Foot 7 Foot" (meant for the forthcoming Tha Carter IV), a massive, manic banger packed with astounding lyricism; not only did it mark a return to form, it also surpassed all but his brightest moments. Months later, I can still roll the line "real Gs move in silence like lasagna" around in my brain all day. —Miles Raymer

Price: $49.75-$115.75

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