You know when you’re chilling with your friends, and someone just says something really crazy. Something that makes you stop, give that friend a look and be like, “What the hell, man?”. While Wayne shows glimpses of his old self throughout FWA, I often found myself giving Wayne this imaginary look. *Disclaimer: I’m usually the weird friend.*
Let’s start this review off with an example. Getting off the train today, I was listening to ‘Psycho’ when I heard this absolute mind boggling line.
I smell her panties while she in the bathroom, and taste whatever she left in them
So I’m a huge Wayne fan, and would count his classic mixtapes Dedication 2 and Da Drought 3 in some of my favourite pieces of music ever. To me, he is one of the most talented rappers ever, and to quote Tunechi himself; potentially the “best rapper alive”. Unfortunately, Tune seems to have lost the plot in recent times, and tends to just show glimpses of his potential.
FWA, while billed as an album, feels like a number of tracks that he’s had laying around and thrown them together to appease fans. He has a history of doing this with his Sorry For The Wait series. It does kind of succeed in this. Songs like the opener ‘Glory’, ‘London Roads’ and with the help of a Wiz collaboration ‘Living right’, all have some replay value but no real substance. I realise Weezy is ‘Not a human’, but he seems torn about what style of music he wants to make with ‘Without You’ and ‘My Heart Races’ sounding totally alien (pun intended) on the album.
I consider Wayne the master of the punchline, and there are some awesome ones throughout. He kind of overdid it on a few tracks here though, sounding almost like a parody of himself. The undoubtable best track on the album is the bonus track ‘Street Chains, where Wayne goes IN over a tough beat. It’s annoying how sick this track is! It makes me crave more, and wonder why Wayne can’t concentrate and produce more songs like this. He absolutely goes in! Defying the need for oxygen in a 2nd verse that’s 59 bars long. Spitting lines like:
“Boy I’m drowning’ in the syrup like a short stack”
- Using pancakes as a metaphor for his drug abuse of syrup (Codeine)
“like my bitch mixed, like long island tea”
- Apparently Wayne likes women of mixed race. Mixed just like his long island iced tea.
“Bitch Imma shine, like Connery”
- The delivery of the line sounds like Sean. Sean Connery = massive movie star, most notably James Bond.
FWA was ultimately disappointing for me, but there was enough of the Wayne I know and love throughout, to give me hope for the future. Hopefully after putting his dispute with Young Money behind him, Wayne can get back to something like the Weezy of old. I’d recommend giving it a listen through at least once, even if you don’t like it it’s bound to make you laugh at some of the ridiculousness.