Revisiting the King of Hip-Hop's Emo Phase: Lil Wayne's 'Rebirth'


This is the latest episode of Not a Phase, a weekly video series where Jezebel remembers some of the most delightfully cringe-worthy phases of a celebrity’s life, even though they would probably like us to forget.

Remember when rapper Lil Wayne went emo? I didn’t think so. But don’t worry. This isn’t a complete pop culture failing on your part. Many are likely unaware of (or actively repressed) Lil Wayne’s short-lived Rebirth era. The 2010 album was Wayne’s first and last foray into rock, and you only need to give it a listen to understand why. Playing the guitar, hanging out with Fall Out Boy and Green Day, and having a “misunderstood” tattoo may have upped Wayne’s pop-punk/emo cred, but it couldn’t save that album from getting panned by critics.

But maybe we needed an emo detour before Wayne gave us “real Gs move in silence like lasagna” upon his hip-hop return later that year. And there’s even a case to be made that Wayne’s ill-fated brand of auto-tuned rap-rock was actually a precursor for SoundCloud rap.

Rebirth is borderline unlistenable, but props to Lil Wayne for trying something entirely different. Most of his peers can’t say the same.

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