Rap fans need not wait any longer; Tha Carter IV is here. Lil Wayne’s newly released album has been a long time coming. After the success of his previous album Tha Carter III, which featured such hits as “A Milli” and “Lollipop,” Lil Wayne began work on Tha Carter IV. Lil Wayne released two albums, the rock-themed Rebirth and I Am Not a Human Being, between the two Carter albums to allow time for the slow and steady production of what is now Tha Carter IV.

Fans have long awaited the release of Lil Wayne’s newest album, but in the end they didn’t have to wait quite as long as anticipated. After being rescheduled several times, the album was set to release Aug. 29. Unfortunately, the album was massively leaked on the web Aug. 24. 

Tha Carter IV is Lil Wayne’s ninth studio album and features an array of supporting talent including appearances by Cory Gunz, Drake, T-Pain, Tech N9ne, Andre 3000, Rick Ross, John Legend, Jadakiss, Bun B, Nas, Shyne and Busta Rhymes. Shortly after the early leak of the album, the song “It’s Good” featuring Jadakiss and Drake received the most attention. Twitter blew up with comments on the song, and questions arose about a possible diss to Jay-Z.

Controversy aside, Lil Wayne definitely brings his A-game. The album showcases Lil Wayne’s preferred themes of sex, drugs and violence; however, the album also features a new side of Lil Wayne’s music. 

The album is a breakthrough for Lil Wayne as he explores outside his usual music style. With the hit single “How to Love,” Lil Wayne not only explores a new style of music but also delves deeper emotionally than he has before. 

It’s a rare slow love song from the rapper, and instead of his usual aggressive rap style, Lil Wayne sings the song and does it without auto-tune or mix help. Hearing his unmixed voice makes the song very personal.

Lil Wayne fans shouldn’t worry: He stays true to his rough, Weezy roots in the song “Intro.” It is the perfect song to start the album as Lil Wayne spits three solid minutes of hashtag rap flows. 

The highest points of the album are definitely “Outro,” featuring Bun B, Nas, Shyne and Busta Rhymes, and “She Will,” featuring Drake. Both songs are intense with awesome beats and are good clean party music. 

There are a few songs on the album that aren’t as strong as Lil Wayne’s usual pieces, like “Blunt Blowin,” but Tha Carter IV is an overall great album that Weezy fans everywhere should enjoy. Although it doesn’t outshine the outstanding Tha Carter III album, Tha Carter IV is great party music.

4 stars out of 5