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“Funeral” is an uneven album, but Lil Wayne has still got it

“Funeral” is an uneven album, but Lil Wayne has still got it

“Funeral” is an uneven album, but Lil Wayne has still got it
February 06
14:00 2020

Lil Wayne’s 13th album came as sort of a surprise when it was announced only a mere week before its initial release on January 31. Foregoing a more traditional album rollout is always a tricky situation, but nevertheless, a new album from Weezy is always a welcome surprise. 2018’s “Tha Carter V” was a bit of a mixed bag with some odd choices and “Funeral” is unfortunately also an uneven album with some similarly odd composition choices and mix-matched sounds that deter the album a bit. But yet, as a complete body of work, I would still put “Funeral” above “Tha Carter V,” even if it does not compare to Wayne’s best work as the rap monster he is so capable of becoming as often as he does.

The album has a massive list of 24 tracks, so it is best to set aside a good 70 minutes of your time to listen to the album as a whole or even possibly more because sometimes it is a bit of a slog to get through. As I neared the middle of the album, namely from tracks 10-15, my patience ran a bit smooth as I wanted things to change up a bit. Beats sounded similar and guest features were not doing very much for me. Wayne is still a lyrical beast, and “Funeral” contains some really stellar bars and creative metaphors that Wayne is so often acclaimed for. Yet, when I am 10 or more tracks deep into an album already I can only hope for some different sounds and those do not come back until near the end of the album.

There is a really fantastic 13-15 track album in here scattered all around its massive 24 track list, so the main issue I have with the album is the lack of restraint. Wayne is a legend unto himself and deserves to flex his skills whenever he can, but when composing an album, quality over quantity matters and I wished this album favored that by having a leaner track list with at most a solid 13-15 songs on the list instead of throwing the remaining songs on there, hoping it would all stick together.

Wayne enlists a plethora of guest features from Big Sean, 2 Chainz, Jay Rock, XXXTENTACION and even Adam Levine to show Wayne’s interesting versatility, even if not all of those tracks with features are successful. My favorite track with a feature decidedly goes to “I Do It” featuring Big Sean and Lil Baby, while “Trust Nobody” featuring Adam Levine is a wildly uneven track that feels as utterly mismatched as, well, Adam Levine joining Lil Wayne on a track. “Get Outta My Head” featuring XXXTENTACION has some solid bars from Wayne, but XXX drags the track down with an awkward guest spot that does not quite match up to what Wayne brings to the track at all. This should be a given, frankly, but it is harshly noticeable.

There is a decent helping of other good tracks with guest features tacked on, but the arguably weaker tracks on the album all seem to be ones with a featured artist. It is best for Wayne to go bar for bar with himself or some who have already proven to be able to stand next to him comfortably regarding rap skills such as common collaborators like Jay-Z, Eminem or Nicki Minaj, who are surprisingly absent from the album.

The final five or so tracks on the album bring back the excitement I felt whilst listening to the first five, I only wish that the entire album felt like that. Despite this, though, Lil Wayne is still one of the greatest rappers alive and while “Funeral” may not be one of his best works, there are a number of extremely solid tracks in here that make up a truly great 13-15 track album.

Best tracks: “Mama Mia,” “Mahogany,” “Clap For Em,” “Bastard” and “Wayne’s World”

Skip it: “Trust Nobody,” “Wild Dogs,” “I Don’t Sleep,” “Sights and Silencers” and “Get Outta My Head”

Final rating: 3.5/5

Featured Image: Lil Wayne released his 13th album “Funeral” on January 31. Courtesy Ben Kaye for Consequence of Sound

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Spencer Kain

Spencer Kain

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