Published Jul 07, 2015Having recently passed the halfway mark of 2015, it's safe to say the current calendar year has not been kind to Lil Wayne. Some passable feature placements on stronger hip-hop records this year haven't been enough to overshadow the fact that Wayne's own Tha Carter V is still under lock and key. The ensuing YMCMB lawsuit drama and dissolution of his partnership with Birdman prompted a rallying cry to free Weezy and his unreleased work from the label, one that looked to be answered with FWA (previously Free Weezy Album).
Having surfaced as a Tidal exclusive after a February release date passed him by, has the emcee born Dwayne Carter Jr. achieved independence with this release? For the most part, he seems content to pick up the Tidal payout after months of being in record deal purgatory. Unlike the opening tracks of Sorry 4 the Wait 2, which featured Wayne lashing out at his contractual captors with a refreshing level of conviction, whatever notions of hunger and drive built by FWA's opening trio of "Glory," "He's Dead" and "I Feel Good" is severely tempered by the inclusion of clunky ballads with less-than-inspired production. Lyrically, there is little reference to Wayne's Carter V struggles amidst a wealth of new punch lines, but for every bit of wordplay that has potential to become another Weezy quotable, there is a handful of other cringe-worthy instances to counter (a prime offender being the first verse from "Psycho").
Wayne's efforts to avoid having Tha Carter V become the hip-hop equivalent of Chinese Democracy are hurting his stock more than helping it. More a well-timed bit of marketing on Tidal's end than a respectable entry in Wayne's canon, those anticipating any sort of return to form by Weezy F. will have to hang on a little bit longer, as the F currently stands for "forgettable." (Young Money)