On December 4, 2014, just five days before Lil Wayne's Tha Carter V was due to be released, Wayne issued a statement saying the album would not be released on its expected release date, due to his displeasure with Cash Money Records label-boss Birdman, not wanting to release the album although it had been completed. Wayne also expressed his feelings by stating he felt both he and his creativity were "being held prisoner". On January 20, 2015, Wayne self-releasedSorry 4 the Wait 2, a mixtape to compensate for the continued delay of Tha Carter V. It is the sequel to 2011's Sorry 4 the Wait, which served for the same purpose during the delay of his ninth album, Tha Carter IV (2011). Upon Sorry for the Wait 2's release, it was noted Wayne disses Birdman and Cash Money Records, several times throughout the mixtape. On January 28, 2015, it was reported Wayne filed a $51 million lawsuit against Birdman and Cash Money Records over the delay of Tha Carter V.
In February 2015, due to Tha Carter V's continuous delay, Wayne announced a Free Weezy Album, would be released prior to the fifth installment in his popular series. In June 2015, Wayne announced he joined fellow American rapper Jay-Z's TIDAL, as an artist owner, kicking off the partnership by exclusively releasing a single on the service titled "Glory". The album's cover art and track-listing were unveiled on July 3, 2015. After the album was released on July 4, 2015, exclusively to TIDAL, Free Weezy Album had been streamed over 10 million times in first week of availability.
The album received generally positive reviews from music critics. The Atlantic positively stated, "Free Weezy Album at first seems like pure swagger. But then you realize what's really on the rapper's mind" and critiqued the first few tracks although praised closer "Pick Up Your Heart".HipHopDX's Ural Garrett enthusiastically said, "Free Weezy Album features both that lovely stream-of-consciousness lyricism and oddly refreshing conceptual themes that made him so worthwhile. Wayne sounds like he finally gets it."UPROXX wrote very favourably, "Free Weezy Album is proof Lil Wayne is on his way back" going on to say, "invigorated by his long, drawn-out dispute with Cash Money Records, Wayne seems to have new life in him on this impromptu project. For the first time since Tha Carter III, Wayne has put out a body of work that has inspired beats, as well as meaningful content" finishing the review with "Wayne has some kinks to continue to work out, but for an artist whose name was becoming more of a punchline with each release, FWA is a huge step forward."