It’s only 15 tracks and I was left feeling like there was more good than bad, you can hear him attempting to regain his footing, but it’s like watching the mediocre episode of a formerly great TV series. I know how good it can be and anything less just leaves you craving the better days. Always hoping that a new season will revert back to its former glory. If you’ve ever watched The Office or Community in its entirety, you know the feeling. For someone who often mentions that he has no college degree, Wayne is pretty smart when he chooses to be.

A lot of people need to go back and listen to C3 and realize that it was not a cohesive album by any stretch of the imagination! Stylistically it was all over the place, just like FWA; thematically it was all over the place, just like FWA; it had ballads, it had pop songs, it had bangers just like FWA. C3 is prob my favorite wayne album, but it was far from perfect!

Following monstrous street success in the early to mid 2000’s and serious mainstream success in 2008, with his smash single “Lollipop” owning the charts and unconditional hype for his subsequent album Tha Carter III, Lil Wayne’s success as an artist has dwindled in recent years. At one time, you couldn’t turn on Top 40 radio without hearing one of the rapper’s songs, but with recent focus on more universally appealing artists like Lupe Fiasco and Drake, Wayne’s radio presence has fallen considerably. The album cover, which displays the letters “FWA” on fire, gives a little too much credit to the music it contains. The phrase ‘you shouldn’t judge a book by the cover’ comes to mind. Although most of the songs are structured with nice samples and catchy beats, the often unnecessary use of autotune draws away from the emotional potential of some tracks. That kind of cluelessness is the exception, not the rule, on FWA, an important album in Wayne’s career.

FWA‘s other saving grace is the level of depth he goes into his personal life. The Kane Beats and Vinay-produced “He’s Dead” picks up where “CoCo” from Sorry for the Wait 2 left off in driving home the point that he is declaring his independence from Birdman and Cash Money Records. “My Heart Races On” serves as the final sendoff, soundtracked by a traditional New Orleans brass band with rising singer Jake Troth on the folk-y hook. Even on “Without You,” featuring Rihanna’s “BBHMM” songwriter, Bibi Bourelly, could be interpreted as either a #message to his ex or Birdman.

Originally released in 2015, the new version that has appeared on streaming services features 12 of the record’s original 16 tracks, as well as a new song entitled ‘We Livin’ Like That’. While Wayne is known for his remixes of Top 40 tracks on most of his mixtapes, I doubt anyone men’s metro health expected such a lively remix of James Brown’s “I Feel Good” on Wayne’s newest release. The song is a wild romp even by Wayne’s standards, capturing him in an effervescent, impossibly happy mood with blaring snares, synthesizers, and jazz influence put in for instrumentation.