Published Feb 03, 2020While Lil Wayne may have once been a top contender in the greatest rapper alive debate, Funeral proves that Wayne's quick-witted rapping might be the only quality keeping his music enjoyable in today's hip-hop scene.
Despite being teased for several years, the arrival of Funeral was swift and relatively quiet, leaving fans with little information as to what to expect from the New Orleans veteran's 13th studio album. Some of the only information Weezy teased is with was that he would sound more like current rappers, and that there may be a Young Thug feature involved.
Only one of those statements is partially true. While songs like "Mahogany" and "Ball Hard (feat. Lil Twist)" may sound closer to what we'd expect from modern rap, and are indeed some of the album's standout tracks, what we hear from Wayne on Funeral is not far off from what we'd expect. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as Lil Wayne's legacy is near unparalleled, but there's little indication that he is consciously trying to switch up his flow and get with the times. Prioritizing his rapping skills over his ability to ride a song's beat may be one of the greater misses of the album, as several songs with solid instrumentals could have benefitted overall from the use of better flows from Wayne.
Speculation from fans that a Drake feature may be on the horizon, or Wayne teasing a Thug collaboration to no avail, may be a slight cause for disappointment. These additions would have been an improvement from "Trust Nobody," the missed attempt at creating a radio-friendly pop song with Adam Levine.
While Funeral isn't necessarily a flop, the album would have ranked higher in Lil Wayne's discography had he cut the tracklist in half and opted for quality over quantity. Overall, Funeral lacks replay value compared to the multiple "best of the year" albums that Wayne has proven capable of creating. (Young Money/Universal)