Lil’ Wayne, one of the rap industry’s biggest stars, just dropped what some people think might be his final studio album, “Funeral” back in January of 2020. From a long list of records dating back to his earliest in 1999, which was titled “Tha Block Is Hot,” Lil’ Wayne has an extensive discography and is one of the most influential and versatile artists in the rap game. “Funeral” has everything that a Lil’ Wayne album could offer, from the features to the instruments that are being used, to the versatility in his vocals. From when he signed to Young Money Cash Money Entertainment in 1998, who has now become the sole owner of the record label, Lil’ Wayne has been one of the most consistent and prominent rappers over the past 20 years. Not many rappers have been able to accomplish what he has, let alone stay relevant for that long, and continue to drop solid albums like this one.
One specific song that stands out as old school Wayne is Mahogany. It recons back to “The Carter III,” with the beat of the drums and the flow of the raps. Wayne really went back to his roots with that song. Throughout this album, Weezy showed us his versatility through his vocals by not just rapping to the beat, but further giving us a look at the way that he can sing and reach another audience with his music. Lil’ Wayne is and forever will be one of the best lyricists to ever hit the stage when it comes to rapping. Wayne has always given us this “listen first, and it’ll make you think later” mentality, and that has always been a part of his work and falls nothing short of this album.
I can still remember listening him back in middle school- certain lines that he spoke, the real meaning stood out to me months after I initially listened to it. Lil’ Wayne has been one of those artists that everyone has either wanted to work with, or someone else has picked up traces of in their music. From artists like 2 Chainz, Adam Levine and Jay Rock, he has collaborated with several artists on this album. This is a testament to who he can work with. Whether “Funeral” is Lil’ Wayne’s last studio album or not, it has the tracks that can included on summer playlists.
Lil’ Wayne has established himself as a self-proclaimed skater, and one way to describe this album by Lil’ Wayne is equivalent to him some of the skate tricks. He sticks and lands quite a few of them, but also misses some as well. Some songs are just flops and don’t hit as hard as others. The amount of time that Lil’ Wayne has been in the rap game and as much as he has contributed to it, I honestly wouldn’t be mad that this album would be his last. There were quite a few songs that were absolute bangers like Ball Hard, Not Me and T.O. but there were also quite a few that were just a miss. The past two albums by Weezy have had that same viability, with his long break from releasing a studio album until “Tha Carter V,” unto which he reclaimed his throne in the rap game. It just has not been the same Wayne we all know and love. With his teaching and ways interwoven throughout the rap scene and the credibility as one of the best rappers alive, Lil’ Wayne gave us one of his most diverse and nostalgic works with this album, even though it was not his best.