Lil Wayne & Rich the Kid – “Trust Fund Babies” review

This is a brand new collaborative album between Lil Wayne & Rich the Kid. One is a icon from New Orleans who had the rap game in a chokehold during the mid/late 2000’s & the latter being a 1-hit wonder from Atlanta who most people remember for “New Freezer”. Only reason being because of Kendrick Lamar’s odd yet show-stealing feature on there. We’ve only heard the 2 on a couple songs together within the last couple years but with the 1-year anniversary of the Nobody’s Safe joint album with YoungBoy Never Broke Again coming next month, he & Weezy are uniting for Trust Fund Babies

“Feelin’ Like Tunechi” has a bit of a jangly instrumental to it with both of them talking about being GOATed (which only Wayne has the bragging rights for in my opinion) whereas the orchestral “Headlock” doesn’t even sound focused lyrically. Tay Keith’s hazy production on “Trust Fund” is a breath of fresh air as is the concept about going from rags to riches leading into “Admit It” works in some uptempo synths admitting being wrong & being done wrong.

Meanwhile on “Shh”, we get the reminder that money talks on top of a reversed loop just before the spacious “Big Boss” declares themselves as such. Murda Beatz’ nocturnal instrumental on “Still” is another relief as they talk about being the same reckless dudes while the song “Bleedin’” serves as a boring ode to being fucked up with the penultimate track “Buzzin’” with YG taking another jab at it albeit being slightly better. As for “Yeah Yeah”, it closes the album with annoying cadences & a spacious beat.

Beyond that, what else can I really say about this album other than the fact that it just sucks? Wayne’s verses are just ok by his standards, but I can’t say the same for Rich’s at all & there’s no real chemistry between them on here. On top of that, the production is astoundingly cut-rate.

Score: 1.5/5

Lil Wayne – “Funeral” review

This is the long-awaited 13th full-length album from New Orleans veteran Lil Wayne. Who signed to Cash Money Records at the age of 9; becoming 1/2 of The B.G.’z, 1/4 of the Hot Boy$ & 1/6 of the Cash Money Millionaires. His first 3 solo albums Tha Block is HotLights Out & 500 Degreez were average at best but we then found him improving in the mid 2000’s with Tha CarterTha Carter IIDedicationDedication 2Da Drought 3 & my personal favorite Tha Carter III. He then started his own label Young Money Entertainment & followed his magnum opus up with a God awful “rock” album Rebirth along with the mediocre I Am Not a Human Being. He was able to bounce back in 2011 with Tha Carter IV, but things looked rough once again with the horrendous I Am Not a Human Being II in 2013 & then being entangled in legal issues with Cash Money from 2014-2018. Wayne eventually broke free from Birdman & was able to release Tha Carter V in 2018 to celebrate his 36th birthday. But to end the first month of 2020, Weezy is coming back with Funeral.

The title track that kicks the album off is a proper introduction as Wayne makes numerous references to death over some strings, but then it transitions into a grimy trap beat. The next song “Mahogany” gets braggadocious over a soulful trap beat from Mannie Fresh while the track “Mama Mia” continues to flex over an abrasive beat. The song “I Do It” with Big Sean & Lil Baby sees the 3 describing their work ethics over a bland instrumental while the track “Dreams” talks about his fear of losing it all over an atmospheric instrumental.

The song “Stop Playin’ with Me” speaks for itself over a weary instrumental while the track “Clap for ‘Em” is an ass-shaking anthem with a Jahlil Beats instrumental that sounds vaguely similar to T.I.’s “Ball”, on which he was featured on. The song “Bing James” with Jay Rock sees the 2 showing off over an eerie instrumental as well as a 24-second tribute to the late Kobe Bryant at the start while the track “Not Me” talks about his haters over a somewhat-cloudy StreetRunner beat. The song “Trust Nobody” has a great message about backstabbers & the guitar instrumental is pretty, but Adam Levine’s hook is just ok.

The track “Know You Know” sees ColleGrove getting together to talk about this hoe over a keyboard-inflicted trap beat while the song “Wild Dogs” talks about how much of a savage he is over a luxurious instrumental. The track “Harden” talks about how he isn’t the perfect lover over a grand instrumental while the song “I Don’t Sleep” with Takeoff sees the 2 talks about their grind & I really like the woodwinds in the production.

The track “Sights & Silencers” is an awkward love ballad with The-Dream & a buttery Mike WiLL Made-It instrumental while the song “Ball Hard” with Lil Twist sees the 2 talking about their hustle over an ominous trap beat. The track “Bastard (Satan’s Kid)” reflects about his childhood over a cavernous beat while the song “Get Outta My Head” with the late XXXTENTACION sees the 2 talking about fighting their inner demons & the instrumental has this horror-esque feel that fits in pretty great. Although Wayne’s lyricism gets more annoyingly repetitive on “Piano Trap”, I do like how it lives up to the title as he’s delivering these bars over a trap beat that later switches into a piano instrumental.

The song “Line ‘Em Up” gets confrontational over a Murda Beatz instrumental with an organ & a sample that gets so played out once the joint ends whereas the track “Darkside” talks about going to war over a grim instrumental. The song “Never Mind” compares himself to that of a pimp over a mellow acoustic instrumental & while the penultimate track “T.O. (Terrell Owens)” talks about selling coke over this lifeless trap beat, the O.T. Genesis feature is the most awkward part about it easily. Then the album ends with “Wayne’s World”, where Weezy talks about partying hard over a rubbery instrumental.

I thought Lil Wayne redeemed himself with Dedication 6 & Tha Carter V, but this was SUPER disappointing. He still has his passionate & witty moments on here, but it’s overloaded with filler & the production choices are pretty weak as well. If this is the way he’s going out, then I’d say it’s a mediocre one.

Score: 2/5

Lil Wayne – “Tha Carter V” review

Lil Wayne is a LEGENDARY rapper from New Orleans, Louisiana who was signed to Cash Money Records at the very age of 9. He then got started as 1/2 of The B.G.’z, 1/4 of the Hot Boy$ & 1/6 of the Cash Money Millionaires. His first 3 solo albums Tha Block is Hot, Lights Out & 500 Degreez were average at best but we then found him improving in the mid 2000’s with Tha Carter, Tha Cater II, Dedication, Dedication 2, Da Drought 3 & my personal favorite Tha Carter III. He then started his own label Young Money Entertainment & followed his magnum opus up with a God awful “rock” album Rebirth along with the mediocre I Am Not a Human Being. He was able to bounce back in 2011 with Tha Carter IV, but things looked rough once again with the horrendous I Am Not a Human Being II in 2013 & the legal issues that’s been tangled in with Cash Money for the past 4 years. But now that he’s free from Birdman, he’s finally delivering his long-awaited 12th full-length album to celebrate being the sole owner of Young Money.

After the 2 minute spoken word intro, we go into the first song “Don’t Cry”. Here, Weezy talks about the afterlife over an atmospheric beat & the posthumous XXXTENTACION vocals on the hook don’t sound that bad at all. The track “Dedicate” is about his influence on today’s hip hop landscape over a trap beat with some plinky keys & the sampling of the 2 Chainz song with the same name as the hook was pretty cool. The song “Uproar” is filled with clever battle bars & while I kinda feel like Swizz Beatz’ heavily sampling of the classic G. Dep song “Special Delivery” was too much, it does do it’s job. The track “Let It Fly” with Travis Scott is a modern day club banger with a moody beat with both parties complimenting each other very well while the song “Can’t Be Broken” is a middle finger to his haters over a piano & a BEAUTIFUL vocal sample.

The track “Dark Side of the Moon” is a romance anthem over a moody beat that works pretty well & I actually find Nicki Minaj’s singing throughout the 2nd half to be pretty empowering. The song “Mona Lisa” is about unfaithful women over an atmospheric beat & the Kendrick Lamar verse really makes it hard to decide who outrapped who. Especially with lines like “They started French kissing so he didn’t see moi” as well as that one about waking up to The Great Gatsby & then dogging it like Lassie. The track “What About Me” is a dedication to his ride or die chick over a decent moody trap beat & even the Sosamann verse doesn’t really do much for me personally. The perfectly-titled “Open Letter” is Wayne venting to the listener over a spacey beat with punchy drums while the song “Famous” is a piano ballad reflecting on the Lil Wayne’s feelings of fame & the hook from his daughter Reginae Carter worked out much better than I had anticipated.

The song “Problems” talks about the issues he’s having with this woman over a bass-heavy Zaytoven instrumental while the song “Dope Niggaz” talks about growing up in the streets over a banger beat that constantly from that I to a killer sample of the classic Dr. Dre track “Xxplosive”. The Snoop Dogg hook is charismatic too, but I really wish he had verse. The track “Hittas” talks about having shooters over a chilling vocal sample & the song “Took His Time” picks up where the previous joint left off albeit in a more introspective fashion over a trap beat with some piano chords & harmonious background vocals.

The track “Open Safe” sees Weezy flexing & it’s not bad, but the DJ Mustard instrumental sounds like any other instrumental that you’d hear from the guy. The song “Start This Shit Off Right” sounds like a vintage Early 2000’s club banger down to the Mannie Fresh instrumental & the Ashanti hook while the track “Demon” vents about all the demons in his life over a soulful trap beat from Cool & Dre. The track “Mess” is pretty much A Day in the Life of Lil Wayne over an spacey acoustic trap instrumental that’s very pretty while the song “Dope New Gospel” sees talking to himself in a mirror over a celebratory trap beat & the hook from Wayne’s ex-fiancé Nivea is beautiful.

The track “Perfect Strangers” is about switching women over an a trap beat from Mannie Fresh with somber piano chords while the song “Used 2” talks about his evolution over a spacey beat from non other than Metro Boomin’. The album ends beautifully with “Let It All Work Out”, which has a prominent Sampha sample throughout. Also, the final verse where Wayne recalls a suicide attempt at age 12 is damn-near heart-wrenching.

It’s been a long time coming but at the end, this was a strong return to form for Lil Wayne. I was a bit worried given that we’ve had many disappointing 20+ track albums this year, but the production is his best in years & Wayne himself has A LOT to say throughout it’s 87 minute runtime. It’s very remarkable & refreshing to hear him at his strongest in years after he went through so much. Welcome back, Weezy!

Score: 4/5