This past Fourth of July, Lil Wayne unleashed his long-awaited ‘Free Weezy Album’ to his fans. Many dismissed the album before it even dropped. As mentioned in a recent article on Lil Wayne’s downfall (read article here), his career has been in a downward spiral ever since going to jail in 2010.
The recent courtroom battle with former mentor Birdman over the never-released Carter V has not helped either, although it has shined some light on why he’s had such trouble making release dates on time. Since Wayne has parted ways with Cash Money Records, he knew that a comeback album was still in order. If it wasn’t going to be Tha Carter V, then he must move forward with another release: The Free Weezy Album (FWA).
The album starts off with the lead single, ‘Glory,’ which is a classic combination of Lil Wayne’s silliness and crafty lyricism. We’re then brought into ‘He’s Dead,’ a track that includes the line: “Rest in peace to the Cash Money Weezy, gone but not forgotten.” He is showing a level of seriousness here we haven’t seen in quite a while. He then lightens the mood with ‘I Feel Good,’ sampling the James Brown classic of the same title; a track that bumps and really gets the album going.
Throughout the rest of the album, we have a mixed track list of songs that are rather hit or miss. The fortunate thing is that each track is at least listenable, which hasn’t been said about a Lil Wayne release in quite a while. Even 2011’s Tha Carter IV had some tracks worth deleting (need we be reminded of ‘How To Love’). We have standout tracks like ‘Pick Up Your Heart,’ ‘Pull Up,’ and ‘Without You.’ Meanwhile, there are mediocre duds like ‘Psycho’ and the Wiz Khalifa-featured ‘Living Right.’
So where does this album stand when we discuss Lil Wayne’s career? Well, it by no means has the staying power of a classic like Tha Carter III. However, with that said, it has the potential to surpass albums like Tha Carter IV. It is not close to a perfect hip hop album, but then again, Lil Wayne has become an acquired taste. He is no longer the standard for rapping like he once was back in 2008. However, Wayne’s rep in the rap game was practically gone (outside of signature features) before this release. Now, it’s safe to say Lil Wayne is BACK.
If Lil Wayne has finally made another successful album, this brings another question: What prevented him from creating such a decent release all these years? His record label was surely a big issue, not to mention constant substance abuse issues. The biggest reason is a much simpler one: He tried for the first time in years! This release shows that Wayne still has the skills that made him the rap legend he’s considered to be. His continuing divorce with Cash Money Records has put a stop to the laziness we’ve seen from him in the past, and now he is hungrier than recent years. While the passion has returned, it’s still clear that he is in the twilight of his career.
Is The ‘Free Weezy Album’ worth adding to your summer soundtrack? That all depends on how big of a fan of Lil Wayne you are. There are many people who didn’t even care for him back when he was in his prime. If you fall into that category, skip this like you would any other Lil Wayne release. However, if you’re a discouraged Wayne fan who has nearly given up on the former Young Money leader, then it might be time to give him a final chance!