Features | Awards

The “This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things” Award for Breaking My Heart

By Kaylen Hann | 18 December 2011

Lil Wayne :: “Marvin’s Room”
from Sorry 4 the Wait
(Self-released; 2011)

With a heavy heart I confess to you: my sex life has little in common with a rap star’s. A rap artist’s? A rapper’s. Mid-album track on Lil Wayne’s Sorry 4 the Wait mixtape, “Marvin’s Room,” begins as our narrator Weezy ignites a joint, takes a hit, and talks quietly for a second about his girl, Dana: she texted him a picture of herself in the mirror. “No clothes on, of course.” And this wistful, half-preoccupied thought, laid over the cloud of exhale and similarly hazy sample pulled from Drake’s Take Care track by the same name, ignites not another heavy-hearted and remorse-laden drunk dial rant, but instead: a candid and, unexpectedly accessible portrayal of a relationship in the throes of blinding mutual obsession and sexual dynamism. I’ve had this relationship. I know people, currently, in this relationship.

Their relationship, though, it’s completely spun from these rounds of gloriously uninhibited sex and the desire holding together the archipelago of booty calls. The sex is “awesome”; he knows it probably won’t last; but he is milking it for everything—savoring the moments as they play out. And he savors telling us about it with the same, lush ecstasy radiating from every emotive nuance in his voice. Highly graphic, he can’t seem to help himself from telling us everything, too much even: their appetites; her taste; their pet names for each other…

He fucking adores their sex, her body, her pussy, and as wet as the latter is, he recalls it with eyes even dewier. You can hear that adoration wrung out of his voice to the extent it’s difficult to hear Drake’s frosted-over, remorse-laden track and not instantly want to hear Lil Wayne’s. In comparison, Drake’s is numb; in comparison, Drake’s story is almost too resolved to its own post-romantic burden of hindsight and too steeped in isolation to endure. “Marvin’s Room” becomes the moment you crave when you listen to Drake, the way Lil Wayne has changed the entire climate of the track; he takes his time wading into the song, half story and daydream, and then the ambient samples are suddenly warm and it just sounds like two people being ungodly generous to each other sexually, and finding a however-temporary pocket of solace in each other.

Which is essentially what their relationship is. What they’re doing is reveling in a refuge they’ve erected built from their sex. “Spend some time by me / It’s a jungle out there, come climb my tree.” The way they’re “floating,” the way they “fuck around like [they’re] fucking in circles,” the virtual ethereality? It’s a sentiment that even resonates in the weirdly tender cuts of sports metaphors: “I slide in—safe.” I’ve never heard a baseball term appropriated for penetration, half so warm and…appreciative? He knows it, and while he radiates a refreshed and rampant joy for rapping on every other track, in this one alone he’d openly rather be inside her pussy—endearingly likened to a “wishing well”—than inside the studio recording this.

It’s not the first instance in his songs or even in the Sorry 4 the Wait mixtape where his expressions bleed through the delivery with sublime transparency. You can hear his glittery eyes, his glow, the giggles as he informs us they both call each other “Baby” and “Bay”—his voice warped by the unmistakable sound of a grin stretching to and beyond capacity. Personally, I don’t think I’ve ever said “yeah, that’s my boyfriend” with a fraction of as much tenderness and swelling pride as Weezy does when, after a beat, he finishes off the line “she take it every way except personal” with “yeah…that’s my bitch.”

And in case this leaves any question about the nature of this overwhelmingly adorable relationship unanswered: Wayne even subtly slides in the “L”-word, albeit in a twinge of foreshadowing, where the song begins alluding to an expiration date or a dark and hovering Drake-ish conclusion: “One day we gonna have to leave our love in the past.” And God but that turns heartbreaking and exhilarating in a beat. “Maybe we movin’ too fast / But, fuck it, let’s crash.”