There are plenty examples of Lil Wayne being out of touch with reality. He said that there is no such thing as racism because he’s never personally experienced it. He said that he doesn’t feel connected to the Black Lives Matter movement. He publicly supported former President Donald Trump, despite the harm Trump caused the Black community. The latest, and obviously much less serious example, is his newest album; a collaboration with Rich The Kid, Trust Fund Babies.
Rich The Kid was popular three years ago. He’s been pumping out trap records since 2013, the most popular being 2018’s ‘Plug Walk.’ His often humorous bars and wonky flow have made him the butt of countless jokes on Twitter since then. He already had his 15 minutes of fame and hasn’t really proved to hip-hop fans that he’s deserving of more.
This is precisely why the most surprising aspect of this release is its timing. It comes in the middle of Lil Wayne’s impressive feature run that has spanned the entirety of 2021. Over two decades into his career, he’s still delivering guest verses that are reminiscent of the 39-year-old rapper’s prime, like his sharp appearance on Tyler, The Creator’s ‘Hot Wind Blows.’ However, Trust Fund Babies might mean this hot streak has come to a halt. The Lil Wayne present on Trust Fund Babies is some of his most bland performances in recent memory as he provides empty and repetitive hooks on most songs. On ‘Bleedin’,’ he makes an entire track around listing his eyes and “your guys” as two things that are bleeding.
The album awkwardly begins with ‘Feelin’ Like Tunechi,’ where Rich The Kid brags about his lifestyle and feeling like he’s good enough to be like Lil Wayne, who is to blame for this in the first place. In return, Wayne gives his own praise to Rich The Kid: “Got me feelin’ like Rich The Kid, with grown ass man money.” The bromance between the two is clearly organic, but it doesn’t translate into the music.
Lil Wayne carries the album as much as he can; his opening verse on ‘Headlock‘ is one of the album’s few memorable moments. The track belongs to Lil Wayne, his clever punchlines and overtly sexual innuendos, but it’s ultimately ruined by Rich The Kid when he comes in with his usual sloppy flow and juvenile bars. Unlike other collab albums, where two artists bring the best out of each other, this is an example of the opposite. Rich The Kid stuck to his outdated ways, and it seems as though Wayne just wanted to collaborate with one of his friends.
The album’s title is thrown around at the end of a few songs; either awkwardly crooned or lazily rapped with too much autotune, and too little context. It’s as if Wayne and Rich weren’t sure what to rap about, but had moments of clarity remembering that they were at least attempting to make a cohesive album.
The chemistry between Lil Wayne and Rich The Kid is awfully generic, and proves Rich The Kid’s skillset as an artist to be stagnant and minimal. If not even Lil Wayne, one of the greatest rappers ever and one of his biggest idols, can bring out the best in him, nobody can.
Being out of touch has always been something that Wayne has taken pride in; he lives in his own little world and that’s okay because, well, he’s Lil Wayne. He just wants to rap, with whoever he wants and whenever he wants. With that in mind, it’s not entirely surprising that he made an album with Rich The Kid in 2021. Like many things that Rich The Kid has made throughout his career, Trust Fund Babies should’ve stayed on the hard drive, tucked away somewhere in the studio, labelled “failed experiment.”