Lil Wayne’s recently released album “Funeral” came out on Friday, Jan. 31 via Young Money and Republic. With help from a long list of top tier producers, Lil Wayne put out his first album since 2018’s “Tha Carter V.” He also had features from Big Sean, Lil Baby, Takeoff, The-Dream and 2 Chainz, among others. The album is 76 minutes in length.
On the opening track, fittingly titled “Funeral,” Wayne continuously references caskets and death while welcoming the listener to the album. Lil Wayne’s famous lighter flick was a welcoming sound, but my biggest gripe with this album is boring instrumentals - and that’s the case on the first song.
The same can’t be said for the second track, though, as the knocking beat comes through from Mannie Fresh and Sarcastic Sounds on “Mahogany.” The only thing that holds me back from truly enjoying this song is the repetitive chorus. It’s not catchy or interesting and is annoying after the first listen.
Thankfully, Wayne picked it up on the fourth track “I Do It” featuring Big Sean and Lil Baby. I’m admittedly not a big fan of Big Sean, but he really impressed me this time around. Sean handles the chorus: “I don’t talk sh*t b*tch I do it, they say ‘all facts’ but don’t prove sh*t. You in my way need to move b*tch, shut the f*ck up, no excuses.”
Lil Baby keeps the energy high during his feature and then Wayne finishes the song off on high note with one of his best verses on the album: “I am a mess I am a mutant, bullets go through your vest like it’s translucent. I smoke the best exclusive, I’m somewhere else secluded.”
As much as I like the concept of “Dreams,” which features Lil Wayne discussing dreaming about not reaching his goals and then waking up from said dream, it’s just not executed that well. It’s a pretty good idea on paper, but it’s not a song that I’ll find myself going back to a lot.
“Stop Playin With Me” is another good performance by Wayne, as he makes sure people know that he’s still one of the best rappers alive, even though he isn’t nearly as active: “I know that times changed I don’t think I’ve changed, I changed my mind a bunch of times but that’s just mind games. Baby stop playing with me, do I look like I’m playing with you?”
Wayne uses the eighth track to pay tribute to former NBA player Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash on Sunday, Jan. 26 alongside his 13-year old daughter and seven others. The five-time champion wore No. 8 and No. 24 during his career with the Lakers, so Wayne put in 24 seconds of silence to honor Bryant and the other lives lost.
The 13th song, “Harden,” named after NBA MVP James Harden, is a soulful cut produced by Streetrunner and Tarik Azzouz. Wayne relates being rejected in his sex life to getting blocked on a basketball court. That’s not exactly the best comparison, but it’s a fine song. It doesn’t add much to the album, but it doesn’t hurt it either.
“I Don’t Sleep” is also one of my favorite songs on the album, as Wayne raps alongside Takeoff. The strong features continue with The-Dream’s performance on the following track “Sights and Silencers.” The remainder of the album is a mixed bag with some positives like “Ball Hard” and “Darkside” and negatives like “Get Outta My Head,” “Line Em Up,” and “T.O.”
On the outro, “Wayne’s World,” Lil Wayne raps about cars, money, and partying: “I pull up in a Bugatti for real, I pull up on the Ducati one wheel. Then I take off on the private the Lear, up to the clouds until I disappear. Ain’t where I live it’s about how I live, I’m outta here me and my mama mia.”
As a whole, the album is pretty good. It’s not Lil Wayne’s worst effort by any means but it’s also not close to projects like “Dedication 3,” “Tha Carter” or “Tha Carter III.” I think “Funeral” could have been a lot better if the instrumentals had more bounce, Wayne came with more energy on some songs and the track list was cut down to around 15 songs.
I would rate this album with 3.5 out of 5 Swoops.