We Are Young Money (Cash Money/Young Money/Universal Motown)
Young Money, Lil Wayne’s ragtag posse of child proteges, weed-carrying cronies and Toronto breakout star Drake, are the greatest group assembled since 50 Cent’s G-Unit. Which isn’t saying much. Actually, they’re more like Puff Daddy’s post-Biggie Bad Boys. All Drake needs is the shiny suit and he’s Ma$e incarnate.
But Drake doesn’t earn any spotlights here. Nicki Minaj, the Lil Kim-esque nasty-as-she-wants-to-be femcee, is the only voice besides Wayne’s worth listening for on this too-many-rappers-in-the-kitchen album. In the space of two rhymes, she goes loud to soft, brash to demure and inexplicably flips into a faux British accent to make words fit. Her nonsensical punchlines and train-wreck flow have been accurately described as Lynchian – kooky and captivating.
Being out of control is a hallmark of Wayne’s style and what’s made him impossible to ignore for the last two years. In this crew, only Minaj’s paying attention.
Top track: Roger That