AOTY 2023
Lil Wayne - Funeral
Jan 31, 2020 (updated Dec 9, 2020)
Wow, this album really surpassed my expectations. With most projects like this, I winced when I saw the 24-song tracklist, with nearly 80 minutes of material. However, while bloated albums are often artistic blights that attempt to milk revenue from half-baked ideas, Funeral, while it definitely has its low points, is a shining example of Lil Wayne at his lyrical best. The album starts extremely strong, with the title track, Mahogany and Mama Mia back to back with hard-hitting flows, and wonky, angular beats. Later in the album, Wayne resumes this flow on a more traditional string backed instrumental on Wild Dogs, but despite the beat being nothing new, it's a tried and true combination that still makes for a highlight in the tracklist. The most unexpected stand-out was Sights and Silencers, a melodic ballad with The-Dream that by all measures should not be as good as it is, but the beat the pair end up on is blissful, and is a much welcomed change of pace on this lengthy project.

There are certainly dips in lyrical and songwriting quality here, with a painful Big Sean feature on I Do It and the expected but mind-numbingly uninspired Clap for Em. Wayne album relies on auto-tune heavily on a number of songs here, and it gets tedious to the point where 2 Chainz clearly out-performs him on Know You Know. Still, despite the handful of low points, Funeral is, for the most part, a return to form for Lil Wayne, with more of a reliance on improved songwriting instead of gimmicks or phoned-in features. I was not expecting to like this as much as I did, but with so many unexpectedly great ideas here, Funeral deserves high praise for just how much it gets right.

Favourite Tracks:

Mama Mia
Bing James
Know You Know
Wild Dogs
Sights and Silencers
Ball Hard
Piano Trap
Wayne's World

Least Favourite Tracks:

I Do It
Clap for Em
Not Me
Trust Nobody
Get Outta My Head


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