Music production is a complex and expensive business – anyone who has ever entertained the thought of buying Logic Pro or Ableton Suite (plus all the necessary add-ons and plug-ins) knows what I am talking about. Everyone who hasn’t can just take my word for it. In times where apparently you have to spend the equivalent of a small car before you can even think about recording anything, it’s reassuring that one of the most common sound samples used by one of the commercially most successful artists of recent times costs less than a packet of cigarettes. The good old disposable Bic Lighter. I don’t know if you ever noticed (you’d be forgiven for not having paid attention to this before), but every other Lil Wayne song starts with the sound of him lighting a blunt (or a cigar ever since he has been on probation), and audibly exhaling. The song I posted some days ago, is a case in point, but I decided to dig a little deeper and went through my iTunes library to check all Lil Wayne songs for Bic sounds. Don’t tell me, that I should have better things to do! Below you find my Top 5:
Song: Fireman Rating: Triple Bic
Off ‘Tha Carter II’, Fireman was one of the bigger singles. Unfortunately it was a highly annoying song. There are two reasons to include it. First, a green lighter features in the video, where Birdman aka Baby aka the music industry’s foremost imbecile struggles to ignite a flame, but then appears to cause a massive explosion (as I said: imbecile).
Song: Carter II Rating: Triple Bic
‘Tha Carter II’ featured a lot of lighter action – and this song is no exception. Some very prominent lighter sounds here over the first twenty seconds or so. Did it ever occur to anyone else that ‘Tha Carter’ is a really strange mix of colloquialisms and proper spelling? Shouldn’t it be either ‘Da Carter’, or ‘The Carter’? Not that it really matters of course…
Song: I know the Future Rating: Double Bic
While not as pronounced as on the previous songs, ‘I know the Future’ features lighter sounds that are in sync with the beat. Nice touch! Also, Lil Wayne tells us that ‘like a circle of knifes, he’s got the sharpest flow around’. Obviously this has nothing to do with lighters but I thought it was worth mentioning nonetheless. This is off ‘The Leak’, or maybe ‘Tha Leak’. Who knows…
Song: Wasted Rating: Double Bic
The lighter sounds on this song, which was on the ‘No Ceilings’ mixtape are more subtle – you have to listen quite carefully to notice them in the beginning. They appear repeatedly though; at the 20 second mark, the beat even pauses briefly for Mr. Carter to light up again. Wayne must have finished off at least ten lighters while recording ‘No Ceilings’ – there are lighter sounds on almost every song. Which got me thinking. Does he actually ever experience that situation us mere mortals know, where your lighter is effectively empty and you just desparately try to get one more tiny little flame out of it? He probably doesn’t – I bet there is someone in his entourage who makes sure that he gets a brand new lighter every day. One of the advantages of being incredibly rich, I guess. That, and private jets.
Song: I Made It Rating: One Bic
I feel like I need to justify this choice. It’s an appallingly bad pop song, and features the imbecile mentioned above, as well as the highly annoying Jay Sean. Whatever happened to him, by the way? On top of that, on a first listen you may ask yourself, why it was included at all – it doesn’t seem to feature any lighter sounds. But listen closely, you’ll find that this song features very unusual mid-song blunt lighting. Just before Lil Wayne tells us that he’s getting money like he just found oil. For that reason alone, it had to be included.