MP3: Lil Wayne's "Dear Anne (Stan Pt. 2)" Eerie With Swizz Beatz and t.A.T.u's Help
Most of the time, hearing a song like Lil Wayne's latest masterstroke, "Dear Anne (Stan Pt. 2)," brings out a flood of emotions directly connected with the content (a semicreepy letter to a fan) or the beats (Swizz Beatz' wise repurposing of t.A.T.u's "30 Minutes"). After several listens, though, the chills and rabid thoughts provoked by this track, which should be on Tha Carter IV without question (sample clearance issues?), provided a reminder of what Odd Future can't seem to figure out.
Disturbing music isn't always a blunt steel beam to the face. Even if Nine Inch Nails' "Heresy" packs the "If there is a hell, I'll see you there" line, the most fucked-up song Trent Reznor can ever hope to release is the (mostly) ever-so-quiet "Hurt." So while Tyler the Creator's "Yonkers" is brusque and strident, that is the only possible way it can be consumed.
As for "Dear Anne," the premise of trying to follow up Eminem's dark "Stan" in itself shows what the song could achieve. Odd Future obviously look to Em's misogynist, homophobic, and generally pissed-off moments for inspiration, but again, the reason horror movies (and therefore horrorcore rap) aren't that scary is because they lose touch with humanity abruptly. Putting Dido's "Thank You" as the hook in "Stan" balances out the compulsion and anger expressed by the song's character -- another bit of artistry from part one.
Obviously, Swizz Beats can take a load of credit for piecing together the spooky musical backdrop for Weezy, but the original song that it comes from had the stuff of Dido's nightmares in it. Even without the Heathers-conjuring video, Russian pop duo t.A.T.u packs all of the desperation and obsession that a pop song can handle in "30 Minutes." After Katy Perry's repurposing of "All the Things She Said" on "E.T.," this is getting around!
Now, we're in the right mood to drop Lil Wayne's "sequel" on you. That is, unless a relisten to "I Feel Like Dying" is in order first. "Dear Anne (Stan Pt. 2)" starts with a bit of scene-setting: "With my pen in my right hand, and that's also my mic hand/Codeine in the Sprite can, ink on the white pad." And whether Weezy is on a tour bus or in a prison cell, whether he's literally writing down his thoughts or in some sort of hazy, possibly masturbatory ("Let me switch hands") dreams, the desire for a connection -- be it with a person or a chemical substance -- coats this track thick. "Sometimes I wish I wasn't him, but I am" are the words of someone who has ceded control of his being to another force. You can decide what he's talking about.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.