Lil Wayne dropped ‘How To Love,” the third single from Tha Carter IV yesterday, and I absolutely hated it.

Then I realized that I love it. Listen to it here.

Over acoustic guitar and understated percussion, Wayne gets his Chris Brown on, crooning to a special lady about learning how to give and receive love from a honest and truly genuine person. Obviously, these are charming sentiments.

And there’s nothing wrong with a “song for the ladies.” At this point, such blatant pandering is to be expected from an artist like Lil Wayne. Clearly feeling the heat, Weezy is doing what he’s got to do to give Tha Carter IV (which, at the very least, has the best cover art of all time) the buzz it needs to do respectable numbers as the follow-up to the smash hit that was Tha Carter III. C3 had “Lollipop,” and now C4 has “How To Love,” auto-tune and all. Fair enough.

But “How To Love” is not “Lollipop.” “Lollipop” actually kinda bangs in the club or out of car speakers. It’s a pop song with an definite edge, both lyrically and musically. “How To Love” is a straight-up ballad. Romantic, totally sincere and quiet as a mouse. Drake hasn’t even made anything this flowery and non-threatening. We’re talkin’ B.O.B. territory with this one, guys.

Naturally, my initial reaction was utter horror. I listened to it a couple more times, and hated it even more. To release a song like this after the stream-of-consciousness, bat-shit “6 Foot 7 Foot” and the uber-gangsta, Rick Ross-assisted madness of “John” just felt like a slap in the face; a more than obvious reach for Bruno Mars fans. I was disgusted.

Then I listened to it again. And again. And again. And inexplicably came  to the conclusion that “How To Love” is a nice song. A really nice song.

It’s simple and classy, and it doesn’t overreach. Hatred for auto-tune is entirely understandable at this point, but no other rapper utilizes it better than Weezy; his vocals here are refined and mature. And while the song is clearly meant to propel C4 to the top of the charts (and it very well might), Wayne sounds genuinely sincere on “How To Love.” In fact, this song might actually be about someone.

Guys, I think Weezy’s in love.



Sound off on “How To Love” below.