Song 71: Lil Wayne, “Let the Beat Build” (2008)


There’s so much to like about this one. I love that we come in mid-sample, as if Lil Wayne has been there a while, espousing his greatness.

His verse ramps up slowly, just like the beat. He starts out muttering to himself, gradually increases the speed, peaks with a marathon verse introduced with “I am the best rapper alive, I will eat you alive,” and, as the beat gets stripped down, he strips his rapping down too. Lots of rap songs involve confidence, but this one is about confidence. He and the beat are one, ebbing and flowing together. Like Wayne says, he doesn’t need to sprint; he’s got so much of a lead that he can just let the thing play out with no strategy. In other words, fuck your plan.

Two more things: 1) Best album cover ever, and 2) “The beat goes boom, buh-boom buh-boom” makes me laugh every time. I want a Weezy track consisting of him just rapping the beat. Make that happen, please.

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