Tag Archives: lil wayne

Lil Wayne – Funeral

9 Apr

At this point, it’s nothing short of ridiculous to argue against Lil Wayne’s importance. Music today has his fingerprints all over it and his absence has been nothing short of criminal. Weezy’s singularity, his energy, his unexpectedness and creativity, and the fact that he has prodigious enough skill to pull off his more absurd tricks with all of the above are things that rap has sorely missed.

Funeral has Wayne return to something more of a mixtape sensibility and the return to mixtape Weezy is welcome, even if it’s not 2006 anymore. He’s loose and having fun here and there’s some quite good music that comes from it. Right at the beginning of the album he goes hard in “Mahogany.” He has a velocity with his raps that always feels breathless, but he’s in such control throughout.

When he goes hard here, he does really well. “Ball Hard” really stands out for what he can just do as a rapper. He just drops a stream of consciousness on the listener, but he’s so good a rapper that it grabs you the whole way. Throughout, when he just lets go and raps, the album shines. “Bing James” and “Not Me” showcase him as just a rapper and are highlights.

His experiments are more of a mixed bag though. “Dreams” is interesting and it’s a very Lil Wayne song. This is the kind of thing that we’ve been missing without him. However, while “Sights and Silencers” might be interesting for its inclusion as a slow R&B jam, it’s just not good enough to warrant that inclusion. “I Don’t Sleep” has a solid flow, but the venture into pop-trap with Offset ends up forgettable overall. “Trust Nobody” with Adam Levine is just unfortunate.

There is undoubtedly some air in this album, but it still has a lot of solid music. It doesn’t really have anything that’s a must-listen and that’s what really holds it back from being a full return to Weezy’s peak, but it’s still fun and a good reminder of who exactly Lil Wayne can be.

Lil Wayne – Tha Carter V

19 Oct

The return of Lil Wayne! For a few years there, Weezy was just the best rapper alive and no one was close. It’s hard to think of someone else quite as dominant during his prime. It’s been a long time since that prime though and a long time since we’ve heard really good music from him. It’s hard not to be excited about the end of the drought.

It starts strong with “Don’t Cry” which has an excellent hook from the recently deceased XXX and then swaggers in with “Dedicate” to remind us exactly who Lil Wayne can be. His flow and switches are endlessly clever. Similarly “Uproar” is classic Lil Wayne with that countdown and the chopped lines and then it goes into “Let It Fly” takes advantage of the Travis Scott pairing for some quite solid trap.

It’s hard to pin down what exactly made Lil Wayne such a beast. To start with, he has an impossible amount of natural talent. It oozes off him. He’s got an exceptional ear for sounds and their pairings. He has a gift for clever, unexpected lines. More than anything though, he just has such irreverent fun with it all. He’s clearly enjoying himself every time he steps in front of the mic and it’s infectious.

Something like “Hittas” is just Wayne with clever, effortless top-tier rapping. He’s able to expertly duel Kendrick in “Mona Lisa” despite Kendrick’s return to his old feature flow. This is actually really good Kendrick, but Wayne is at least able to keep pace if not outshine K.Dot outright here. They’re both really good, really technical, really clever rappers. Lil Wayne then shifts into soulful with “What About Me” and the slower cut works really well too.

There’s unquestionably filler here though, like “Open Letter”, but even that song has moments. “Mess” is pure filler though, much though I sympathize with Wayne. It’s in “Let It All Work Out” that you really start to feel for Weezy. His description of his suicide attempt is startling after years of denial and heart-wrenching in its honesty. It’s interestingly old school as well and the return to one of his older styles works quite well for Wayne here.

However, some of the features also just don’t pan out. “Famous” is unpleasantly reminiscent of recent Em with that saccharine stadium rap hook, Snoop Dogg is a little too lazy on “Dope Niggaz” and Mack Maine’s part in “Start That Shit Off Right” is honestly garbage. Lil Wayne is able to save all of those with energetic, skilled rap, but they might all have been better consigned to the cutting-room floor.

This is unquestionably the return to form of one of the greatest, most unique rappers of all time. It might not be the classics that Wayne was able to string together at his peak, but it is an excellent rap album with some stellar cuts. It’s good to see him back.

@murthynikhil
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