The Carter III is going to be coming out soon and it’s fair to say it’s the most anticipated album so far.

Yesterday, Blender traveled to Atlanta to visit Lil Wayne — it was our second Weezyscursion in three months, the first being for this recent feature — and the wildly prolific MC was nice enough to play us several tracks intended for his forever-delayed LP, Tha Carter III. We didn’t hear final mixes — and it’s anyone’s guess if titles (much less entire songs) will stick — but what we did hear was enough to convince us that the album will (almost) be worth the long, long wait. (It’s currently set for an April release.) The rundown below is lighter on lyrics than sonic description largely because the internal rhymes, dazzlingly extended metaphors and references to food stacked up faster than we could write them down — a good sign for Weezy diehards.

>> “Lollipop”

“I’m not a lollipop rapper,” Wayne told us, by way of introducing this song as the radio single, “but this track is cold.” It’s one of many new Wayne songs to feature T-Pain/Roger Troutman vocoder singing effects and it transcends its boner-as-blow-pop conceit on the force of its strangeness: Wayne’s singing isn’t just a run through the T-Wayne ProTools patch, it’s chopped up and layered over itself in a dense, alien collage. It actually de-naturalizes the vocoder gimmick, which is as common as high-hats nowadays. “Dudes are gonna hate this one,” he said. “Ugly dudes, that is.”

>> “Beat the Block”

Hollowed-out and bleepy. The percussion approximates African hand drums, which is why Wayne refers to the track as “Kunte Kinte” at one point; he rides the Alex Haley reference, rapping that he eats “Roots for dinner,” before adding that he’s “In the garden, feeding fruits to sinners.” He also tells us about a girl who likes “the Weezy F — I bad-grade her.”

>> “Eat You Alive” [ft. Ludacris]

The T-Wayne effect is back and pushed to an avant-garde extreme: multitracked, demonic, paired with pained female vocals that intone “he’s gonna eat you aliiiiiive.” Wayne likes food, and this is about comparing rappers to food and then going Audrey II on them. The math here is simple: Wayne makes any track he’s on better + Ludacris makes any track he’s on better = A Möbius strip continuum of WTF?!

>> “I’m Illi”

This “street single” produced by “Bossy” beatsmith Bangladesh should be released to radio next week. There is no hook — just non-stop rhymes over a thunderously spare backdrop: a screwed-down vocal sample repeating “I’m Illi,” pounding 808 drums and claps.

>> “Let the Beat Build”

Drums by longtime Wayne producer/engineer Deezle, ethereal soul sample by Kanye West. Structured something like Coldplay’s “The Scientist,” which is to say we start with nothing but melody for about 8 bars, and then 808 drum sounds are introduced glacially: high hats for four bars, high hats and snares for the next four, and so on, so that the song revs up in an excitingly disjointed, slow motion way.

Illest Lyrics will keep you updated with all the latest news and music from Lil Wayne.

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