Funeral (Lil Wayne album)

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Funeral
Funeral (Lil Wayne album).jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJanuary 31, 2020
Recorded2016–2019
GenreHip hop[1]
Length76:04
Label
Producer
Lil Wayne chronology
Tha Carter V
(2018)
Funeral
(2020)
No Ceilings 3
(2020)
Singles from Funeral
  1. "I Do It"
    Released: January 31, 2020
  2. "Shimmy"
    Released: July 28, 2020

Funeral is the thirteenth studio album by American rapper Lil Wayne. It was released on January 31, 2020, by Young Money Entertainment and Republic Records.[2] It features guest appearances by Big Sean, Lil Baby, Jay Rock, Adam Levine, 2 Chainz, Takeoff, The-Dream, Lil Twist, the late XXXTentacion and O.T. Genasis. On May 29, the deluxe edition of the album was released with guests appearances from Doja Cat, Tory Lanez, Lil Uzi Vert, Benny the Butcher, Conway the Machine, and Jessie Reyez.[3]

"I Do It" featuring Big Sean and Lil Baby was released as a single the same day as the album.[4] "Shimmy" featuring Doja Cat was sent to rhythmic contemporary radio on July 28, 2020, as the album's second single.[5][6]

The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, while charting moderately in other territories. It was relatively overlooked by professional review outlets, although several critics were somewhat positive in appraising the album.

Recording and production[edit]

In 2016, while Lil Wayne was in the midst of the legal battle with Cash Money Records over contractual disputes, it was announced that his next album would be titled Funeral.[7] The album was completed in 2019, as Wayne started promoting the album again.[8][9] In an interview with Vibe, Lil Wayne spoke on how his recording process changed throughout his career, saying:

I love the difficulty of trying to fit in with what's going on today, making sure I sound likeable to the ears today and having to remind myself that it's not about what it was back then. […] I can't wait to get in the studio now every night, just to see what I can come up with. [Before] it was just me going to the studio and saying, let me kill ten more songs and then I'm going to go home or do whatever I was doing. Now, it's let me see what I come up with. Self-discovery, rebirth – call it whatever you want to call it but it feels awesome, I swear to God.[10]

The track "Bing James" concludes with 24 seconds of silence, paying tribute to the death of Kobe Bryant. The album also contains 24 tracks on the standard edition and 8 tracks on the deluxe edition, honoring Kobe Bryant's jersey numbers with the Los Angeles Lakers.[11]

Release[edit]

In an interview leading up to the album's release, Lil Wayne explained the title Funeral as a continuation of his album Rebirth in 2010, to follow-up on the series.[12][13] The calligraphic text on the cover features a rotational ambigram. It reads Funeral right side up and Lil Wayne upside down.[14]

On January 23, 2020, Lil Wayne revealed the album's release date and artwork.[15] With the announcement, he also teased a snippet of the album's title track.[16][17][18]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
AnyDecentMusic?5.9/10[20]
Metacritic62/100[19]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic2.5/5 stars[21]
And It Don't StopA–[22]
Clash6/10[23]
Consequence of SoundB–[24]
Exclaim!6/10[25]
HipHopDX2.9/5[26]
NME3/5 stars[27]
The Observer3/5 stars[28]
Pitchfork7.3/10[29]
Rolling Stone2.5/5 stars[30]

Funeral was met with a lukewarm response from critics.[31] At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from professional publications, the album received an average score of 62, based on 10 reviews.[32] Aggregator AnyDecentMusic? gave it 5.9 out of 10, based on their assessment of the critical consensus.[33] According to Robert Christgau, the album was "downplayed by most of the few outlets that bothered to review it at all—five mostly kindish notices are nonetheless stuck down in Metacritic’s dread 50-60 zone, with only Rolling Stone's a takedown pan."[22]

Reviewing in February 2020 for Consequence of Sound, Christopher Thiessen said that "Funeral plays less like an album and more like a mixtape" and wrote of Lil Wayne: "He still has endless punchlines to punctuate his effortless flow. He still has clear vision and awareness of his place in the hip-hop game. However, Wayne is not a great editor, and thus listening to Funeral can become exhausting about halfway through."[34] Jacob Carey of Exclaim! also criticized the length of the album and concluded that, "overall, Funeral lacks replay value compared to the multiple 'best of the year' albums that Wayne has proven capable of creating."[35] NME's Thomas Hobbs felt that the songs lack a unifying quality within the context of an album, while interpreting the large number of tracks as "an attempt to play into streaming politics". He added that, "it's a real shame that the ambitious druggy swirl of some of the earlier material is replaced with more formulaic songwriting".[36] Danny Schwartz wrote in Rolling Stone: "Funeral is wildly uneven, a landscape of pronounced highs and lows. In truth, it peaks early, on 'Mahogany'." Schwartz called "Trust Nobody" the worst song on the album, labeling it a "sunk by a banal and out-of-place Adam Levine hook, while noting that "Get Out Of My Head" is "soured by the great rap pedant XXXTentacion" and called "Sights and Silencers" a "surprisingly limp The-Dream ballad that he should have just given to Jeremih". While applauding the parental neglect-themed "Bastard (Satan's Kid)", he ultimately found Funeral to be "emotionally adrift".[37]

Other reviewers were more enthusiastic. In The Observer, Kitty Empire wrote that Lil Wayne's "flow can still be fearsome, even if his edit function remains iffy", and that songs such as "Clap for Em" are more than lively enough to render the album's title "nonsense".[38] Pitchfork's Sheldon Pearce credited him for "experimenting with an array of styles and a dizzying maze of wordplay", while comparing his raps to thrilling romps: "Wayne raps with a lightning ferocity that will often conceal his more direct revelations."[29] Similarly, RapReviews critic Ryan Feyre said that "Wayne, much like in his mixtape days, is finally having fun again. And when he does that, the results are captivating."[39] In his Substack-published "Consumer Guide" column, Christgau regarded the album as the rapper's best since No Ceilings (2010) and explained: "Cherishing no vested interest in hip-hop's musical progress, if any, I enjoy the shit out of it while admitting it's more a collection than an album, its parts more impressive than what they add up to. But it had me from the superb lead/title track: 'Welcome to the funeral/Closed casket as usual/Soul snatching, that’s usual/Amen, hallelujah though/Whole family delusional/Niggas cryin’ like two-year-olds.'"[22]

Commercial performance[edit]

Funeral debuted atop the US Billboard 200 dated February 15, 2020, with 139,000 album-equivalent units, of which 38,000 were pure album sales. It is Lil Wayne's fifth US number-one album.[40]

Track listing[edit]

Funeral track listing
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Funeral"
  • R!O
  • Kamo
3:14
2."Mahogany"
2:57
3."Mama Mia"
  • Carter
  • Daniel Klein
  • Matthew Campfield
Some Randoms3:45
4."I Do It" (featuring Big Sean and Lil Baby)
  • Rex Kudo
  • Charlie Handsome
3:04
5."Dreams"
  • Alex Delicata
  • Sommers
  • Aaron Z
3:47
6."Stop Playin with Me"
3:07
7."Clap for Em"
  • Carter
  • Desmond Peterson
  • Ronald Ferebee, Jr.
  • Orlando Tucker
  • Derrick Milano
  • Orville Hall
  • Phillip Price
  • Kenneth Hurst, Jr.
2:30
8."Bing James" (featuring Jay Rock)
Bijan Amir3:23
9."Not Me"
  • Carter
  • Nicholas Warwar
  • Tarik Azzouz
  • Streetrunner
  • Azzouz
  • Amos Roddy[c]
3:19
10."Trust Nobody" (featuring Adam Levine)
  • Ogren
  • Ben Billions
  • B Ham
2:48
11."Know You Know" (featuring 2 Chainz)
  • Carter
  • Tauheed Epps
  • Javar Rockamore
  • Theodore Thomas
  • Bobby Reese
  • Keith Martin
  • Daniel Groover
2:44
12."Wild Dogs"
  • Carter
  • Daryl Harleaux
  • John Fitch
MonstaBeatz3:36
13."Harden"
  • Carter
  • Warwar
  • Azzouz
  • Streetrunner
  • Azzouz
3:02
14."I Don't Sleep" (featuring Takeoff)
  • Rockamore
  • Stonii
  • Bobby Keyz
3:20
15."Sights and Silencers" (featuring The-Dream)
3:22
16."Ball Hard" (featuring Lil Twist)Ben Billions2:58
17."Bastard (Satan's Kid)"
3:12
18."Get Outta My Head" (featuring XXXTentacion)
  • Prxz
  • Natra Average[c]
2:58
19."Piano Trap"
  • Carter
  • B. Thomas
Mannie Fresh3:14
20."Line Em Up"Murda Beatz2:59
21."Darkside"
  • Carter
  • Hamlin
  • Vaidel Vidal
  • B Ham
  • Smurv
2:19
22."Never Mind"
  • Carter
  • Rockamore
  • Reese
  • Sheldon Ferguson
  • Kevin Yancey
  • Rockamore
  • Bobby Keyz
  • Ferguson
3:33
23."T.O." (featuring O.T. Genasis)
MonstaBeatz3:08
24."Wayne's World"
  • Carter
  • Manny Galvez
  • Adolfo Ramirez
  • Galvez
  • Louie Haze
3:45
Total length:76:04
Deluxe edition
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Shimmy" (featuring Doja Cat)
2:49
2."Help" (featuring Tory Lanez)Smash David2:24
3."Big Worm"
  • Carter
  • Rockamore
  • Theo. Thomas
  • Reese
  • Mark Mbogo
  • Rockamore
  • Stonii
  • Bobby Keyz
  • Dunk Rock
3:11
4."Multiple Flows" (with Lil Uzi Vert)
  • Brandon Finessin
  • LostKidSamy
3:56
5."Happen To You"
  • Carter
  • Rockamore
  • Theo. Thomas
  • Reese
  • Caleb Mclean
  • Jaucquez Lowe
  • Rockamore
  • Stonii
  • Bobby Keyz
4:01
6."Russian Roulette" (featuring Benny the Butcher and Conway the Machine)
4:10
7."Love You Fuck You" (with Jessie Reyez)
MonstaBeatz3:17
8."All The Dogs"
  • Carter
  • Jefferson
  • Ginn
  • R!O
  • Kamo
3:07
Total length:26:55

Notes

  • ^[a] signifies a co-producer
  • ^[b] signifies an additional producer
  • ^[c] signifies an uncredited co-producer[41][42][43]
  • "Dreams" features additional vocals by Ben Burgess
  • "Get Outta My Head" samples "The Boy With The Black Eyes" by XXXTENTACION

Sample credits

  • "Mahogany" contains samples from "Bass Song", written and performed by Eryn Kane.[44]
  • "Clap for Em" contains samples from "Drag Rap (Triggerman)", written by Orville Hall and Phillip Price, as performed by The Showboys.[45]
  • "Harden" contains samples from "Love Me or Leave Me", written by Donald Breedlove, Herb Pilhofer and Napoleon Crayton, as performed by Band of Thieves. Found and cleared through Tracklib.[46]

Personnel[edit]

Musicians

  • Jonathan Buice – string arranger (track 1), keyboards (track 1)
  • Memru Renjaan – guitar (track 1), electric bass (track 1)

Technical

  • Matthew Testa – engineering (tracks 1–5, 7, 8, 10, 12, 15–20, 23, 24)
  • Manny Galvez – engineering (tracks 1–7, 9–16, 18, 20–24)
  • Jeff Edwards – engineering (tracks 8, 9, 13)
  • Mailbox – engineering (track 10)
  • EJ – engineering (tracks 11, 22)
  • Chef – engineering (track 14)
  • Steven McDowell – engineering (tracks 17, 21)
  • Jason Delattiboudere – recording assistant (tracks 1–3, 5–24), remix engineering assistant (track 4)
  • Patrick Kehrier – recording assistant (tracks 6, 10, 19)
  • Eddie Taylor – recording assistant (track 17)
  • Raymond Auzenne – recording arranger (track 19)
  • Fabian Marasciullo – mixing (all tracks)
  • Thomas McLaren – mixing assistant (track 1–17, 19–24)
  • Morgan David – mixing assistant (track 18)
  • Robert Soukiasyan – additional mixing (track 18)

Charts[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Breihan, Tom (January 31, 2020). "Stream Lil Wayne's New Album Funeral". Stereogum. Retrieved July 17, 2020.
  2. ^ Saponara, Michael. "Lil Wayne Shares 'Funeral' Album Release Date". Billboard. Retrieved January 30, 2020.
  3. ^ Bloom, Madison. "Lil Wayne Shares New Songs With Lil Uzi Vert, Doja Cat, More: Listen". Pitchfork.
  4. ^ Lil Wayne [@LilTunechi] (January 31, 2020). "The new single I Do It ft. @BigSean & @lilbaby4PF off #Funeral is now available..." (Tweet). Retrieved February 27, 2020 – via Twitter.
  5. ^ "Top 40 Rhythmic Future Releases". All Access. Archived from the original on July 23, 2020. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  6. ^ Tweet 1286750310250110976
  7. ^ "Lil Wayne's New 'Funeral' Project Is on the Way – XXL". Archived from the original on 2020-01-25. Retrieved 2020-01-31.
  8. ^ "Is Lil Wayne teasing his Funeral album again?". The Fader. Retrieved January 30, 2020.
  9. ^ "Everything We Know About Lil Wayne's New Album 'Funeral'". Complex. Archived from the original on January 29, 2020. Retrieved January 30, 2020.
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  11. ^ Saponara, Michael. "Lil Wayne Honors Kobe Bryant With 24 Seconds of Silence on 'Funeral'". Billboard. Archived from the original on 2020-04-04. Retrieved 2020-06-01.
  12. ^ Jones, Marcus. "Lil Wayne talks new album Funeral: 'If my real funeral was tomorrow, it's still not my last album'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 2, 2020.
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  42. ^ "| Natra | on Instagram: "Track 18 prod by @prxzx and me ❗"". Instagram. January 31, 2020. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
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External links[edit]