Lil Wayne and Rich the Kid Invest in Each Other on 'Trust Fund Babies'

BY Antoine-Samuel Mauffette AlavoPublished Oct 5, 2021

From Method Man & Redman to Lil Baby & Lil Durk, rap duets at their best serve to elevate complementary talents and unify two strong fanbases. The release of Trust Fund Babies sees era-defining legend Lil Wayne teaming up with the industry-savvy Rich the Kid, and this surprising combo yields unexpectedly solid results. Although their combination doesn't quite make sense on paper, the mixtape finds the rappers letting loose and quickly establishing a natural rapport right off the bat.

Lead single "Feelin' Like Tunechi" contains an interplay in the hook where each MC refers to themselves feeling like the other over a superbly selected beat. The way in which Weezy and Rich's vocal tones complement each other is immediately evident, and their unique deliveries gracefully coexist on the track. This rings true throughout the project, which is greater than the sum of its parts with both artists leaning into their strengths. Wayne's immaculate bars and wordplay add substance to Rich's expertly selected, dense and progressive production. This is why tracks like "Headlock" — which starts off a cappella and contains a complex, almost jarring, beat — can find the balance they need to be enjoyable.

While "Trust Fund" sounds more like a Rich the Kid song and the grimy "Shh" could be on any Tha Carter tape, the second half of Trust Fund Babies hits a sonic sweet spot that feels as effortless as a Wayne freestyle. Standout tracks "Big Boss" and "Buzzin" (of which the latter includes an excellent turn from YG, the mixtape's only feature) are extra smooth, while the more aggressive "Still" and "Bleedin'" never sound out of place. Album closer "Yeah Yeah" gives off the sensation of floating on a yacht that this whole mixtape aims for. 

Rich the Kid has always had an ear for hit production, and has managed his own career as well as those of many who have come after him. However, his sales have been on a steady decline since his 2018 breakout, The World Is Yours. Wayne has always garnered the cultural respect he has painstakingly earned, but label issues and release hiatus have garnered unattainable expectations for his diehard loyal fans. With Trust Fund Babies, both artists can address the naysayers while having fun and focusing on the music. It's this visceral sense of relief and the quality of the bangers they cooked up that make this farfetched team-up much more than a throwaway mixtape.
(Young Money)

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