Is Lil Wayne's Rebirth really a "rock album"? That's in the ear of the beholder. Sure, it's coated in squealing, multi-tracked guitars and boosted by (mostly) live-sounding drums, but it's also buoyed by big-money beats and propelled by [artist id="510062"]Wayne[/artist]'s syrup-thick, studio-tweaked voice.
The album's "On Fire" is a pretty good litmus test. Guitars? Check. Live drums and bass? Double check. Beat featuring a sample of a song from "Scarface," courtesy the production tandem team of Cool & Dre? You bet.
Here's one thing that's certain: the video for the song — which premiered on MTV.com late Wednesday (January 6) — is most definitely a rock video: A big, expensive-looking one, full of serpents and sparks and sexy-yet-devilish vixens. It's set in a spooky mansion. There's a band in it, made up of very rock-looking dudes. And Wayne clings to the mic stand (and fiddles with his fretboard) with a convincing level of conviction. To him, this is definitely rock music, no question about it.
Directed by Chris Robinson — who's made videos for Alicia Keys, Young Jeezy and basically everyone in between — "On Fire" looks great, the way those old rock epics used to. There's a live-wire energy to it, elements of danger and sweat and sex — you know, the things that arguably have been missing from rock and roll for nearly 30 years now. This is basically a throwback clip, only with a syrup-fueled Southern rapper as its focal point.
And with no official word on just when Rebirth will actually hit stores — and a jail-sentencing looming on the horizon — this might be the only Wayne you get for awhile, unless you find Rebirth online or were one of the lucky 500 to get the actual CD (by mistake). We can spend all day speculating on just what might be going on in Weezy's mind, but the best rock music doesn't necessarily come from the brain ...