On Jan. 1, 2020 Hip Hop artist Lil Wayne released his thirteenth studio album “Funeral.” Shortly after, on Jan. 9, 2020, “Funeral” became Lil Wayne’s fifth studio album to reach number one on the billboard charts. Many artists struggle to maintain relevance and popularity as their careers age and new artists arrive on the music scene, but Lil Wayne has managed to remain a large part of the culture and his streaming numbers are certainly a reflection of this. However, despite the commercial success of “Funeral” it is one of Lil Wayne’s lowest quality albums produced to date and is a definite regression from his previous album, “Tha Carter V,” which was released towards the end of 2018.
Lil Wayne is known for producing long albums filled with plenty of songs for his fans. In the past, this length has not been a problem, but for “Funeral,” it certainly stands out as the album’s biggest weakness. The project contains 24 songs and lasts one hour and 16 minutes. If Lil Wayne decided to cut out some of the weaker tracks in the album like “Get Outta My Head”, “Bastard” and “Bing James,” the album would have been much more fluid and a better listen for fans. In addition, the hooks for the majority of the tracks were very weak and forgettable. Once again, cutting out tracks would have solved a lot of the hook problems that Lil Wayne’s tracks posed throughout the album.
An additional solution would have included Lil Wayne bringing in more guest features or samples oriented around providing the hook for the track. Two of the stronger tracks on the album “I Do It (ft. Big Sean, Lil Baby)” and “Trust Nobody (ft. Adam Levine)” included features providing a hook, allowing Lil Wayne to focus on his plethora of strengths which include his famous ad lib verses, vocal inflections and transitions throughout a song. Despite the flaws, these strengths are utilized a good amount of times on the album, producing tracks reminiscent of prime Lil Wayne as a result.
Managing expectations is the biggest factor in the enjoyment one will receive listening to Lil Wayne’s latest album “Funeral.” If a fan goes in expecting to hear prime Lil Wayne and 24 high- quality tracks, that person will certainly be disappointed with the project. However, if one goes in understanding that this is the fourth different decade that Lil Wayne has dropped an album and not every song is going to be amazing, that person will certainly enjoy this album and easily be able to find tracks worthy of adding to their playlist.
Overall, after lowering my expectations for the album I found it was more enjoyable than I initially thought. There are a few tracks that I really enjoyed and will listen to on repeat over the coming weeks. My favorite moment on the album was the touch- ing 24-second silence that Lil Wayne added to the eighth track on the album to honor the late Kobe Bryant. The two were close friends and it was amazing to see Lil Wayne use his platform to pay homage to Kobe in his own special and meaningful way.