Pop & Hiss

The L.A. Times music blog

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Lil Wayne: Sippin' on sizzurp in documentary at Sundance

January 21, 2009 |  1:49 pm

Sundance offered plenty of musical fare for the parka-wrapped viewers of Park City --  like Melissa Auf der Maur's short film "Out of Our Minds," involving Vikings, bloody trees and time travel -- but Pop & Hiss thinks Chris Lee, one of the correspondents for the L.A. Times' Sundance blog, did right to check out "Tha Carter," a documentary on Lil Wayne:

In the shockingly intimate documentary about him that premiered Saturday night at Sundance, superstar rapper Lil Wayne is laid bare in several different ways.

He's shown as a guy with a protean work ethic and a creative process unlike any other hip-hop performer. A child prodigy turned relentless showman whose only solace comes from creating music -- Wayne is thought to have recorded more than 1,000 songs and has contributed guest verses on dozens of others. He doesn't bother to write down any of his lyrics but nonetheless retains total recall.

But the primary talking point of "Tha Carter" is certain to be none of those things. In the film, Lil Wayne's biggest professional liability gets thrown into stark relief. It's something that has managed to hide in plain sight throughout the rapper's rise from underground mix-tape phenom to the biggest selling act of 2008 and this year's leading Grammy nominee: his addiction to prescription cough syrup.

You see scenes of Weezy chugging the stuff mixed with soda out of giant styrofoam cups throughout the documentary. He raps about it more than a few times -- the lyrics of one song spelling out his devotion to the drug are emblazoned across the screen. And in another scene, the New Orleans-born rapper opens a Louis Vuitton travel case and there, next to a pile of rubber band-bound money as thick as a brick, he points to a bottle of Glaceau Mineral Water that is filled with the viscous purple syrup.

Read the rest of the post.