Lil Wayne's "Prom Queen" debuts


Lil Wayne-- judge, jury, and executioner.

As if rock and roll didn't have enough on its mind already. As if Hinder and Hoobastank weren't doing more than their parts to pound in the coffin nails. As if there wasn't enough hostility between hip-hop and rock music.

The torpedoes be damned, Lil Wayne debuted "Prom Queen," the first single from his upcoming rock album Rebirth. To review the song is to draft a eulogy for a genre, and Gimme Noise adjusts its tie and soberly takes on the task.

The song makes itself such an easy target that one almost feels cheap and dirty for piling on. But bad is bad, and news is news. And this is some supremely bad news for Lil Wayne fans and rock and roll lovers alike. In just four minutes, "Prom Queen" makes a urinal of its genre, carelessly tearing its bodice straps away to reveal a sagging, varicosed bosom. To the bone, this is exactly the kind of musical androgyny that does a disservice to all genders.

The entire affair is a room temperature coleslaw, and one hears Garage Band straining under its leaden weight to carry the coffin from the chapel to the graveyard. The music behind Lil Wayne's whinging autotune deeply echo the menu music for so many Playstation hockey games- the snare drums ping like a carabiner, and the guitars chug along, bored with, and ashamed of, themselves.


But Lil Wayne's vocal performance is the real pickled onion here. It's a drooling, auto-tuned glaze over this Salsbury steak, a shame to anyone who has even the slightest care for either genre on which Wayne has left his indelible stamp. It's poorly mixed, slackjawed, and pays so little attention to the music behind it that one imagines Mr. Wayne loudly having a Bluetooth conversation in a library, where people are too afraid to tell him to pipe down.

The entire affair indicates so deep an ignorance of rock music that a description seems almost cruel to the man. To say that this single is a bad omen for the album (which debuts in April) is an unforgivable understatement. At best, the album will be born into the crypt, fated to be a forgettable anomaly in what has otherwise been a remarkably imaginative career.

At worst, this is the death rattle of rock and roll-- the melting of its polar ice caps, the San Andreas quake that sends it adrift in the pacific. The comet that wiped out its dinosaurs.

It's bad. Exceedingly bad. And not just musically bad-- morally bad. It's that ominous headline that makes your hand tremble as you lift your coffee mug to your lips. It's an old woman being mugged for her social security check. It's a whole musical genre lying in the gutter with its throat slashed, quietly bleeding out while onlookers take footage on their iPhones.

If you dare, hear for yourself. Then tell us that this is all just hyperbole.