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Lil Wayne – No Ceilings



Patrick Jodoin of Flight Distance breaks down Lil Wayne’s newest mixtape by the track.

Roughly a year and a half after releasing his behemoth, Tha Carter 3, Lil Wayne offers another release to appease the folks awaiting his next studio album. No Ceilings, the mixtape, features Weezy F. Baby’s signature non-stop barrage of lyrics laced across a seemingly arbitrary selection of beats. Considering that Wayne’s popularity is clearly across-the-board, perhaps he is trying to please everyone here, or perhaps he doesn’t give a shit: People will check it regardless. This is a collection of dubs, and there are no original productions. Rap fans who heard that he’d be spitting on the classic posse cut, “Banned From TV,” from Noreaga‘s debut solo joint might have been hopeful that No Ceilings would feature more 90′s instrumentals. Don’t get your hopes up, this is an isolated incident.

Given the variety of track selections, which comprises current pop hits (Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling”) to recent hip-hop favorites (Jay-Z’s “D.O.A.”) to R&B productions (Mario’s “Break-Up”), it’s Wayne who is the uniting factor. He snarls his way through these soundscapes and makes everything gel, songs that would otherwise have little continuity from one to the next. Maybe that of an FM radio playlist. The mixtape’s highlight takes place on the second song, “Ice Cream,” where Wayne’s patterns and rhythm are off the hook. When the man gets in to a groove, it’s truly dope and unique.

Some songs are a little ambitious: “D.O.A.” is too recent: Listeners might find themselves expecting to hear Hova when the beat drops,1 and Wayne’s presence is disappointing. Other tracks, such as “Watch My Shoes,” are obviously much doper than the original.2 A subtle theme I’ve found is that, when presented with some of the weaker beat selections, Weezy delivers his more smirk-worthy, repetitious rhymes. For example, “Wayne On Me,”3 where he rinses the beloved pussy, “The pussy lips are smiling, I make the pussy happy/ take the panties off, the pussy lookin’ at me”, and continues on this tangent, as you might deduce. There’s been much debate in recent years as to whether or not Lil Wayne spits off the top.4 I won’t touch on that; I will say, however, there are certain instances in which he perfectly captures the adrenaline of zoning out in a freestyle. “Banned From TV,” for instance, makes for really good listening, and is a convincing argument for proponents of Weezy’s freestyle prowess.

Despite highlights, No Ceilings has a share of songs to skip from the 21 tracks. On “Oh Let’s Do It,” for example, Wayne is consistent, but the beat selection is lame. Also, I found that using a second Jay-Z joint (“Run This Town”) was not a good look. “I Got No Ceilings,” the B.E.P. “I Gotta Feeling” dubplate, is downright annoying, albeit not quite as much as the original. No Ceilings is full of the dope lyrical no-brainers we’ve come to expect from the off-the-cuff M.C. — “Tell Dad I’m a motherfucker” — and Wayne’s brooding, beastly delivery hasn’t wavered one bit. That said, it’s just a mixtape, there’s not as much invested in it for Weezy fans. If you are a fan of Lil Wayne’s style, I recommend No Ceilings, where Wayne takes some latter-day hits and gets busy.


  1. The BP3 line, "I might send this to the mixtape Weezy," remains, but as with all of the tapes originating from the Young Money camp, No Ceilings truly is a 4 a.m. on the tour bus affair. All guest spots come from those with access to this intimate world.
  2. By 3 Deep.
  3. On his mixtape songs.
  4. (This is one of my favorite songs on the tape, actually. — Ed.)