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How A Stereotypical White Girl Fashion Reporter Got A Baseless, Ignorant Article About Lil Wayne in England’s Most Prestigious Newspaper

How A Stereotypical White Girl Fashion Reporter Got A Baseless, Ignorant Article About Lil Wayne in England’s Most Prestigious Newspaper

by Kreston Kent

In Friday’s The Guardian newspaper, fashion writer Morwenna Ferrier departs from her usual fashion reporting beat to go after Lil Wayne, repeating a prevailing and egregiously ignorant narrative that Lil Wayne is experiencing a “tragic decline” in his career. The article, “Lil Wayne: the tragic decline of a hip-hop trailblazer,” fails to display even basic knowledge about Wayne’s actual output and instead repeats tired, clichéd falsehoods.

An advertisement posing as an article

Ferrier’s article is actually a thinly veiled promotional advert (as they call it across the pond) for her coffeetable picture book about Wayne. Indeed, Ferrier opens her article by noting “I can’t say I wrote the book on Lil Wayne but I did write a book,” with the last two words linked to the storefront selling her book online. 

Well, Morwenna, I did write the book on Lil Wayne. Wayne said reading my book was like “looking in the mirror" and tweeted this:


Let me educate you from that position. 

The tired, old “rise and fall” story

The media loves a “rise and fall” story. It’s no accident that Wayne facing the same attacks Bob Dylan survived before his career’s popularized renaissance. Both Wayne and Dylan found popularity with audiences who didn’t actually appreciate the artistic substance behind their work. 

Every time Dylan changed superficial styles, he was attacked by his fans and critics. But with few exceptions, Dylan’s music retained artistic integrity through those periods. Similarly, Wayne’s fans and critics lament his “lost relevance” and fail to appreciate, in Wayne’s case, the astonishing upward trend in the literary sophistication of his lyrics. 

Ferrier’s first absurd claim about Wayne is that “he is not the best rapper by any stretch.” Before anyone jumps on the “opinion” train, let’s unpack that. Ferrier doesn’t claim he’s not the best: she claims he’s not the best “by any stretch,” meaning he’s not even close to the best and he’s not the best in any way. This is pure ignorance and clickbaiting. 

In what ways can we say, beyond opinions, that Lil Wayne is the best rapper or at least up there with the best? 

  1. He has been proven by a computer algorithm to have both the longest “multi’s” [polysyllabic rhymes] and to have by far the most long rhymes (9 syllables or more)
  2. He is the top downloaded mixtape artist of all time
  3. He is one of only three rap artists to release a first-week million-selling album this century.
  4. He uses more different types of rhyme and literary devices than any other rapper  [or lyricist, period] by far, including most likely more puns than any writer of any kind has ever produced.
  5. He is noted as a favorite, if not the #1 favorite, of many of the best rappers out there, including Eminem, Chance the Rapper, 50 Cent and Kendrick Lamar.

These are a few of the arguments, beyond mere opinion, that show Lil Wayne is, if not the best, at least one of the best rappers alive. To write that he’s “not the best…by any stretch,” is absurd and thoughtless. 

Unfocused

Morwenna Ferrier further writes that Lil Wayne’s lyrics are “unfocused.” This buys into one of the falsest myths and misperceptions about Wayne. Calling Lil Wayne’s lyrics “unfocused,” is like calling Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity “simplistic.” Lil Wayne has the longest attention span of any rapper in history, where lyrics between verses, between songs and even between albums have complex connections and linkages. Don’t believe it? Here’s just one example:

In Street Chains, on Free Weezy Album, released this year on Tidal during Wayne’s supposed “tragic decline,” Wayne raps early in the song “like a heart rate…like an 808,” relating heart rate (beat) to 808 (the beat of a song). Toward the end of the song, he raps, “the heart and the beat.” Further, in the same song, he references “a date with the devil, but I changed schedules,” connecting with another song on the album, “My Heart Races On,” which talks about selling his suit [or some people hear ‘soul’] to the devil, who bought it then exchanged it. Note the resemblance between “changed schedules” and “then exchanged it.” Unfocused, Morwenna? Really?

Or how about his 9, 10, 11, 12,…15 syllable rhymes, where most rappers max out at fewer than six syllables? That degree of discipline and lengthy composition displays incredible “focus.” 

The fact that you, Morwenna, who by your own admission “cannot relate to anything he raps about on any level,” don’t notice the structural underpinnings of Wayne’s raps does not make them “unfocused.” It makes you oblivious. 

Not Unusual or Prolific Recently

Lil Wayne has released two mixtapes, an album, and numerous singles and features in the past two years. How is that not prolific? His style of tracks and vocal delivery has been more varied than at any time in his career. How is that not unusual? Have you even followed or listened to his recent work before claiming this? 

“Peaked in 2008”

Ferrier laments that Lil Wayne hasn’t been political or emotional of late. Wayne is perhaps more political AND emotional on Free Weezy Album than on any in his career, alluding to Black Lives Matter and his own family tragedies. His rhymes are longer and more complex on his last three outputs than on any in his career – and that’s a measurable, empirical fact, not an opinion. 

While there’s no question Wayne went through an uninspired streak for a couple years after prison [relative to before he went in], he is back stronger than ever in terms of his creativity and literary genius. To write otherwise is to write from utter ignorance of his recent output, including Sorry 4 The Wait 2, No Ceilings 2 and Free Weezy Album. 

Conclusion

Stick to fashion reporting, Morwenna.


Kreston Kent is the author of “The Literary Genius of Lil Wayne: to be counted among Shakespeare, Lincoln and Dylan,” a #1 bestseller on Amazon Rap and iBooks Music.

Comments

  1. damn. Kent!!! you are the greatest to ever do it; I could not stomach such an insane article. " He isn't the best rapper by any stretch"!! The founder of Hip-Hop named Wayne in his top 5 Emcee's of all time! You should look into it.

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