Funeral (Deluxe)

Funeral (Deluxe)

Coming a mere year and a half after Tha Carter V freed the Young Money star from years of purgatorial label/legal exile, Funeral dispels any lingering notions that his career wouldn’t recover from the prolonged delay. The 24-track (!) outing bears hallmarks of both Mixtape Weezy and Album Weezy, along with some welcome studio experimentation. On disparate sung tracks like “Sights and Silencers” and “Never Mind,” he shows off more of the range that has rightfully kept him in the G.O.A.T. debate for decades. He doles out cautionary wisdom on the opening title track with voice-cracking urgency, while the pugilistic “Mama Mia” finds his already pliant tone somehow finding strange new registers as he lands his punchlines. He careens purposefully between brighter styles on Funeral as only he can, embracing NOLA bounce on “Clap for Em” and teasing commercial palatability on the intergenerational “I Do It” with Big Sean and Lil Baby. By the end, it’s clear that Lil Wayne has emerged fully from the darkness of the period preceding Tha Carter V, ready to redefine his legacy in the best way possible.

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