Rap star turned rock star

Victor Duran

Larissa Hernandez

Infamous rapper Lil Wayne adds rock ‘n’ roll to his musical résumé with his seventh studio album: “Rebirth” set to debut Feb. 2, 2010. Lil Wayne pays homage to his muse, the Beastie Boys, by incorporating rap vocals and rock ‘n’ roll melodies. In addition to his distinct voice, Wayne shows off his guitar and bass abilities on most of his tracks. Wayne went all-out when choosing producers; “Rebirth” includes Grammy-worthy collaborations with DJ Infamous, Drew Correa, and Cool &Dre. Wayne, with his topnotch producers, joins forces with mainstream rock-pop group Fall Out Boy, and rap peer Eminem.
This is not Wayne’s first time experimenting with rock; back in July of 2008 Wayne released a rap-rock single with songwriter Kevin Rudolf entitled “Let It Rock”. The song was a hit and went platinum.
“Rebirth” went through six release dates until finally settling to Feb. 2. Wayne’s response to the changes was the goal of perfection.
The album transcends through various sub-genres of rock. The first track of the album “American Star” begins with heavy percussion reminiscent of a Queen album but paired with the rasp of Wayne’s vocals. As the album continues, it leads to familiar melodies of alternative rock, alternative metal guitar riffs, punk bass lines, Santana-esque guitar sounds, as well as 80s glam rock. It is evident that the rock ‘n’ roll tunes were not consistent but the voice remains all the same.
Junior and avid mainstream listener Maylin Gonzalez was not as excited when listening to the first track of the album.
“He’s a rapper not a rock star,” Gonzalez said.
Although Wayne’s new identity may not gain her acceptance, she believes the fans will follow and support him through this experiment. One thing that intrigued her was Wayne’s lyrics and how he would intertwine it with rock.
“He’s vulgar; it’ll be interesting to see how he incorporates it in rock ‘n’ roll,” Gonzalez said.
Another mainstream fan and junior, Ashley Evans differed with some of the opinions that Gonzalez held. The track she listened to, “American Star”, reminded her of a video game. Unlike Gonzalez, Evans thought the song wasn’t so bad, but Wayne should stick to rap.
In the end, Evans’ expectations of the album weren’t so optimistic.
“It’s not going to be great, just decent,” Evans said.
Overall, Evans said the she preferred his previous albums; they seem to suit him more than this rock persona.
Just like his other peers, rap aficionado Josh Contreras was not too impressed about Wayne’s decision; he believes that Wayne should stick to rap.
“It’s an embarrassment to rock ‘n’ roll,” Contreras said.
After his harsh criticism, Contreras confirmed that he would definitely not buy nor download the album.
Although the expectations for “Rebirth” aren’t so high, Gonzalez pointed out a possible fact:
“Everyone’s going to follow Weezy.”
Even though the album may not be a masterpiece it certainly will be interesting and a refreshing appeal to the music world.