Lil Wayne's "Tha Carter IV" falls short with critics

Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:12pm EDT
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By Sabrina Ford

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Rapper Lil Wayne released his newest album, "Tha Carter IV," just after midnight on Monday to huge media hype following MTV's Video Music Awards, but early reactions show the record falling short of high expectations from fans and critics.

After several delays, "Tha Carter IV," hit digital music retailers at midnight, almost immediately following Lil Wayne's rowdy, rocked-out performance at VMAs.

The MTV honors show, where trophies are handed out in categories for best video among others, annually draws top stars in music and is a key promotional stop for singers trying to boost sales. Sunday's show drew a record 12.4 million viewers to the network, up from 11.4 million last year.

Fans watched Beyonce reveal she was pregnant with her first child, Lady Gaga dressed in male drag, Jay-Z and Kanye West perform a song from their new record "Watch the Throne," and the late singer Amy Winehouse remembered in a moving tribute.

Wayne closed out the show with his top 10 hit "How to Love," which with Weezy's crooning vocal, sounds as much R&B as hip-hop, and he performed "John," remixed over Black Sabbath's rock tune "Iron Man."

The crowd went crazy, and the show likely was a key factor in helping lift the album's 19-track deluxe edition, featuring an exclusive bonus track, to a fast start at No. 1 on iTunes.

Wayne's label mate and protege Nicki Minaj tweeted her support with a simple, "Buy the Carter IV."

Veteran rapper Busta Rhymes, who is featured on the album, was in a more celebratory mood tweeting that Wayne had "smashed the Vma's KRAZZZZYYYYYY!!!" Adding, "By the way CARTER 4   Continued...