This year continues to be an absolute mammoth one for new music: Lil Wayne's manager revealed today that Weezy will release his much-anticipated sequel to Tha Carter III, or Tha Carter IV, on May 16th. And unlike all those other release dates written in pencil and quickly erased -- cough, Detox -- both Wayne's manager Cortez Bryant and Wayne promise that the album is already finished and May 16th set in stone. We'll believe it when we hear a second single; "6 Foot 7 Foot" came out back in December and we haven't gotten anything since. If May 16th is true though, it looks like Lady Gaga's Born This Way will have some major competition on the Billboard charts when her album comes out May 23rd.
The pressure's on Weezy for Tha Carter IV to mirror the critical and commercial success of TC3: Since Tha Carter III sold a million copies in one week -- a near-impossible feat in today's music industry -- Wayne released the maligned rap-rock album Rebirth and the stop-gap, still-in-prison EP I Am Not a Human Being, and neither came close to achieving the success of its predecessor. Instead of elevating his game, Wayne appears to be satisfied giving verses to Limp Bizkit and Weezer and counting his fortune. The prison stint didn't dilute Wayne's skills, but he's since surrendered his "Best Rapper Alive" mantle to Kanye West and Eminem, and that's a claim Wayne hopes to retrieve with the next chapter in the Carter saga. Can he do it? Can he match My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy on a critical level? We'll find out May 16th.
[Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage.com]