He created one of 2008's best albums, reinvigorated hip-hop with his raspy tones and became rap's biggest star. Less than two years later, Lil Wayne seems set for an inevitable downfall.
The cough syrup-sipping rapper, still just 27 years old, is destined to spend much of 2010 in jail thanks to charges relating to gun possession. Judging by the God-awful rap-rock of Rebirth, it might just be the best place for him.
Rebirth, Wayne's much-delayed seventh album and first since 2008's career-defining Tha Carter III, charts at just 35 percent on review aggregate website Metacritic. Needless to say, it's an unlistenable, directionless mess.
Wayne doesn't have the right voice to work with the tinny nu-metal of Rebirth. He sounds lost and directionless from Autotuned album opener American Star, and the warped metaphors that infused his last album seem to have gone missing.
Star guest Eminem can't save Drop the World, Wayne's attempts at emoting on Paradice are laughable, the punk-rock of The Price is Wrong should be avoided at all costs and when he starts singing about "funky monkeys" on Da Da Da, you'll be shaking your head in wonder.
They say there's a fine line between genius and lunacy, and Wayne has shown signs of both. Perhaps his real rebirth will come when he's had time to think things over in jail.
* What do you think of Rebirth? Post your comments below.