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Is Lil Wayne Washed? Ask Complex,First Impressions of the ‘Free Weezy Album’

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It’s July 4th, but Lil Wayne hasn’t taken the day off, so here we are. The beleaguered Young Money spitter can’t really afford to take holidays off. Thanks to shine-blocking from Birdman and a feeling of insecurity towards Young Thug, he’s out here fighting for relevance. He’s a veteran with an album that he can’t even release. All of which brings us to the Free Weezy Album, recorded and released irrespective of Cash Money. Is it even free if it’s on Tidal? Never mind, I have a subscription anyway. It seems like something of a defining moment for Wayne. I’m going to take a listen before I get too gone at the BBQ and see how Weezy fares with my first impression. Fingers crossed.

1. “Glory” — Wayne is spitting but like wow, this beat gets seven Zs for putting me to sleep. It works a little better here as an intro than it did when it dropped dolo, though.

2. “He’s Dead” — My first thought: “Oh God, is this some Rebirth shit???” But wow, I’m into it. “Rest in peace to the Cash Money Weezy, he’s dead.” Wayne is really going there off the rip. This Birdman split really has him fucked up on an emo level. What I’m feeling most about this is it doesn’t sound like the same Weezy song I’ve heard 18 times across his last seven projects.

3. “I Feel Good” — Lmao…is this a breakup album??

4. “My Heart Races On” — “Reality bit me, and continues to bite me.” :-( Wayne is going through it. This is a lightweight memorial to the good ol YMCMB days. It’s getting dusty in here.

5. “London Roads” — This album is so mellow so far. I thought we were feeling good? (Also, London on da Track is bipartisan in this Wayne-Thug schism, I take it?)

6. “I’m That Nigga” — Be careful what you wish for, Frazier. Wtf is this Lil Chuckee ass beat, bruh? What the hell is a HoodyBaby? My uncle just very un-subtly dumped headphones in my lap, I’d better put them on before I get kicked out of the family BBQ.

7. “Psycho” — “I fell asleep in it like Whitney”…


8. “Murda” — Cory Gunz is alive? Junior Reid’s hook is basic, but I’m feeling this otherwise. Wayne and company didn’t quite murder this, but good effort.

9. “Thinking Bout You” — “Bow wow wow yippie yo yippie yay/Can’t trust these hoes to-day.” sjdflsdfjlksdjfklsd Pardon me just had a Sorry 4 the Wait PTSD flashback and passed out on the keyboard.

10. “Without You” — Bibi Bourelly kills this. She wrote Rihanna’s “Bitch Better Have My Money.” I don’t know if this feature is a step forward or backward, but good for her. Simp Wayne is one of my favorite versions of Weezy.

11. “Post Bail Ballin” — Guess the bail was high because this track sounds like a cheap ass time, cuz.

At this point, the gif-review is:

12. “Pull Up” — This album is boring me, fast. I need an Independence Day wine cooler to wake me up. Euro had dope bars on that last Young Money tax-write-off group album. It’d be real cool if Wayne could put his technical skills to use for like, a better song.

13. “Living Right” — My cousin just collected $50 from me. I bet against Brick Khalifa and what do you know? He lowkey housed Weezy on this. Wtf is happening?

14. “White Girl” — This song is Modern Wayne in a microcosm. A song in 2015 about cocaine titled “White Girl,” over a plodding beat that Wayne nevertheless attacks (“It’s Lil Wayne, nigga/I been the shit since Lil Zane, nigga”). One step forward, two steps back. Also, Beyoncé and Solange are, like, not white, my guy. At least stay on theme with the metaphor. Do you even know your Tidal co-owners? Jeezy does work, as the Snowman should on a track dedicated to coke. Overall though, I’d advise listening to 

, you know the one that almost made CTE a thing and on which Wayne raps “Got that Lindsay Lohan, and you can just ask Lindsay Lohan.” >>>>>>>

15. “Pick Up Your Heart” — And now we’re back in Breakup Album mode. This is the best beat on the entire album. Do Cool & Dre even answer the phone for anyone except Wayne these days? This song is great. It might be the only song I will willingly replay after this.

SPIN CYCLE. Look, during tracks 2-5, I was excited by the chance to go against the grain from what I glimpsed on Rap Twitter last night and declare this album as Not That Bad. Unfortunately, it quickly falls into the same traps that have plagued every Wayne project since Carter III, save No Ceilings. It’s boring. I need the fireworks to pop off right now just to wake me up. After one listen I was left with the desire to replay maybe two or three tracks, tops. I really don’t want to count Wayne out. I defended him against Young Thug. But this is not the way forward, b.

A couple of tactics could’ve prevented this album from being so damp. More of the super personal subject matter found in the first few tracks and the outro that would’ve molded this into the Breakup Album that I joked it was (and which it actually is, in parts). And a foray into more exciting production. “He’s Dead” shouldn’t be the only track that made me sit up. Stunna stiffed you, but you still have money and connections, fam. Why not call Mannie up? Hang with 40 at the Yolo Estate and cook up another “I’m Single”? This isn’t an Instant Recycle Bin classic like Sorry 4 the Wait 2, but that’s the best I can say. July 4 release notwithstanding, this is one boring-ass Declaration of Independence.

Album Grade: W for Wet Firework.

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