Few artists have made the impact that Lil’ Wayne did over the course of his career. Before we had Future and a slew of dread heads dominating urban radio, we had Weezy F. Baby providing us with tunes such as “Fireman”, “Go DJ”, and “Lollipop”. Before Drake became the biggest star in all of the music, Lil Wayne had the greatest mainstream run of any black rapper arguably of all time on several crossover tracks. Most notably, his five chapter installment of Tha Carter albums has shaped rap music for the last decade. Following the critical and commercial success of 2018’s ‘Tha Carter V’, Wayne has returned once again with the stuffy “Funeral” album. Has he risen from the casket or properly introduced what should be his curtain call from music?
The answer is a mixed bag. Sure, he is no longer in his prime and honestly has nothing left to prove to anyone. Yet, that doesn’t stop him from creating tracks that still feel as though he is very much still a formidable force, as evident in standout track “Mahogany” and subtle banger “Harden”. In other instances, where he lacks his feature guests roc the mic. An example would be in the tracks “Know You Know” with 2 Chainz and “I Do It” with guests Big Sean & Lil Baby.
For all of his leaps to remain current, there are few moments where the veteran verse to his glory days, in tracks such as “Bastard (Satan’s Kid)” and the 2020 aimed attempt at the 2008 classic “Let the Beat Build” entitled “Piano Trap”, but they just don’t feel as organic or effortless as one would anticipate. The same could be said for the forced collaboration featuring fallen rapper XXXTentacion, “Get Outta My Head”. It doesn’t quite match the fire that came with Wayne and Kendrick Lamar on Tha Carter V.
Perhaps the biggest disappointment with the album is how oversaturated it is. In terms of consistency and cohesiveness, the album feels far more jampacked than it needs to be for 2020 when people can only bear to listen to 5-6 tracks consecutively by the same artist. While this is likely to benefit Wayne fans, for your average teenager this won’t be pleasant listen as it is gruelingly long. The frustrating part of it is that its inconsistency in sound makes it a difficult listen. The product is far from bad. But perhaps it is indeed proof that for the year 2020, the Wayne train just isn’t where it was and never will be again with current music fans.