By Chris Yuscavage
Compared to his fellow rappers, Lil Wayne has been relatively quiet since emerging from prison last November. A little too quiet, if you ask his fans. Sure, he dropped a series of show-stealing bars on his comeback single "6 Foot 7 Foot" in December, but he hasn't dropped nearly the amount of music that we predicted he would at the end of 2010.
Fortunately, he's already starting to make up for it in 2011. On "Roman's Revenge 2.0" — a track that leaked to the Internet on Monday afternoon — Wayne borrows the beat from Nicki Minaj and Eminem's Pink Friday collaboration, "Roman's Revenge," to prove that he's still just as potent on the microphone as ever. But was he able to upstage the performance Em delivered on the original? Let's find out.
On the original version of the Swizz Beatz-produced song, Em immediately slipped into the Slim Shady character that he created at the beginning of his career and sounded right at home as he unleashed almost two dozen bars of fury on his opening verse. He starts by rapping: "I ain't into S&M but my whips' off the chain/ A little bit of candy paint drips off the frame/ Twisted-ass mind, got a pencil for a brain/ An eraser for a head/ F---ing pencil for a frame/ You don't like it, then peel off, bitch/ Every last woman on earth I'll kill off and I still wouldn't f--- you, slut/ So wipe the smile on your grill off/ I swear to God I'll piss a Happy Meal off."
And he only gets better as the song goes on. After Nicki drops another verse, Shady steps back up to the plate and knocks his second verse out of the park as well, despite the fact that it's half as short as his first effort. He raps: "All you li' f----ts can suck it/ No homo, but I'ma stick it to 'em like refrigerator magnets/ And I'm crooked enough to make straightjackets bend/ Yeah, look who's back again, bitch, keep actin' as if/ You have the same passion that I have/ Yeah, right, still hungry, my ass/You a--holes had gastric bypass."
In his defense, Wayne only takes one crack at the "Roman's Revenge" beat on his version of the song by dropping a single verse that is more relaxed and tongue-in-cheek than either of Em's aggressive verses. But he still manages to get off a number of clever punchlines and utilizes a handful of truncated similes and sound effects to get his points across.
Sandwiched between Nicki's two original verses, he raps: "I'll eat your face off/ You n---as sweet as pie like this is a bake-off/ I love Nicki's curves, swing at the baseball/ Rrrrrrrrrr, I beat your brakes off/ H-h-hi, I'm Tune, salt in the wound/ I'm up in this bitch, pardon the goons/ Throw dirt on the floor and get caught in the broom/ I like a big wet pu--- with a fork and a spoon/ I got money and the power/ A woman in the shower/ And she don't want nothin' but my johnson, Howard."
Weezy also stirs up a little bit of controversy towards the end of his verse by dropping a subliminal sneak dis at an unnamed group of MCs. "Old-ass rappers, I'm still the sh--, old-ass Pampers," he raps before finishing off his verse strong. "Rah, rah, like a dungeon dragon/ Foie gras, I hear you ducks is quackin'/ I'm just pluckin' my ashes, I'ma puff and pass it/ I'm a f---in' assassin, you should jump in a casket."
Overall, both Em and Wayne made the most of their opportunities to shine alongside Nicki and played into her playful, no-holds-barred approach to "Roman's Revenge." Each MC attacked the beat in a different way and they both delivered while maintaining a clear chemistry with the track's gracious host. But thanks to the fact that Em had not one, but two chances to show off his skills, we've gotta give him the W here. Hey, Wayne: Maybe a "Roman's Revenge 3.0" would make us change our minds? Just a thought.
Do you think Eminem was better than Lil' Wayne on "Roman's Revenge" or did Weezy steal the spotlight from Slim Shady? Tweet us at @MTVRapFix or tell us in a comment below!