Does Lil Wayne's "B.B. King Freestyle" Do B.B. King Justice?
The “Family Feud” duo from 2017 has returned as one final shred of hope in 2020. Promoting his upcoming album, Lil Wayne brought Drake onto the “B.B. King Freestyle.” If you aren’t already hyped for this iconic duo, you better be excited about Weezy’s album. But, let’s see how well this duo performs after almost three years apart.
Lil Wayne’s unique flow stands out in any track, so it’s no surprise that he outdid Drake on this song. With a more relaxed beat, it gives both rappers many opportunities to switch up their flow and really play around with their words. Even though we weren’t wowed with any grand changes or jaw-dropping rhymes from either rapper, the contrast between their flows was enough to create a positive juxtaposition in the track. With a longer verse in the beginning, Drake starts off with a flow vaguely similar to “You & the 6” with a focus on a syllabic rhythm which is far from exciting. It isn’t until Lil Wayne comes in spitting like his own hype man that fans really start to get excited.
The contrast between Drake’s lacking flow and Lil Wayne’s hype bars creates some anticipation for “No Ceilings 3,” which is referenced at the end of the track. Not only was Lil Wayne his own hype man, on “B.B. King Freestyle,” he got his fans excited for what’s to come. For that, we rate the lyrics a 7/10 on the Intersect 1-10 rating scale.
THE LYRICS Lyrically, the juxtaposed duo of Drake and Lil Wayne continues. While they sound good together, it seems as though Wayne comes out on top again as the more quick-witted and articulate rapper and never fails to provide a good rhyme. Though simple, he raps, “I keep it too G regardless,” referencing the Gucci logo which features two G’s side by side, while also pointing out that he’s still the realest rapper out there, a real G. Throughout his verse, he throws in quick pop culture references or witty remarks like, “Choppin’ up a cash cow, that’s the steak I’m eating,” while later commenting on his net worth, “decimal point money, these numbers too steep for commas.” He hypes himself and his earnings up with these quick references.
Drake, on the other hand, doesn’t follow the same route as Lil Wayne. He raps calmly but his lyrics sound upset and frustrated. Though he makes similar claims to Lil Wayne about his money, “Money just keep comin' in, you would think I'm Irish the way that it stays doublin’,” he also takes his time explaining his frustration with his relationships and even throws some COVID-19 references into the mix. When rapping he claims, “Everyone wants to meet me but no one wants to keep me.” The lazy rhyme, if it even counts as one, pales in comparison to some of Drake’s better lyrics in the verse, those where he attempts to keep up with Lil Wayne’s money flow. But sadly, those bars are few and far between. Though Lil Wayne shined, it’s hard to listen to Drake’s annoyed bars. We rate the lyrics a 7/10 on the Intersect 1-10 rating scale.
THE ART BEHIND THE SINGLE
Lil Wayne has remained relatively consistent throughout most of his career, which is what makes this Drake feature a little shocking. Since their last collaboration in late 2017, a lot has changed for Drake. With the release of More Life, which paved the way for his other newest albums, we’ve seen Drake step away from his old style and venture into the dancehall, grime, and R&B scenes. He has never shied away from trying out new genres, which might show off his versatility as an artist, but Drake winds up losing his voice as an artist when it’s all said and done.
While this simplistic beat isn’t necessarily a new genre, this freestyle certainly is a change of pace for Drake. Just a few years ago, if Drake was presented with this beat, we would have been given something like "Passionfruit,” “Now & Forever,” or another interlude featuring an upcoming artist, as seen in “Chicago Freestyle.” But here we are: “B.B. King Freestyle” was released as a single by Lil Wayne in anticipation of his upcoming album, No Ceilings 3.
To see Drake rejoin the rap world from which he came is a bit shocking, but not out of place. It’s easy to say Lil Wayne reigned superior in the flow and the lyrical aspects of the track, but overall, the two sound great together. In fact, Lil Wayne helps Drake sound better. Drake has refrained from most rap collaborations recently and focused on grime and R&B features. This has forced Drake to really push himself and prove himself to be the rapper we know and love from Nothing Was The Same, but he always comes up short. With Lil Wayne by his side, they bring out the best in each other and we hope to see more. This duo, though dynamic, has some work to do so Drake can continue to shine in the future, earning them a 7/10 on the Intersect 1-10 rating scale.
Lil Wayne’s new single earns a 7/10 on the Intersect 1-10 rating scale. Does it mean that we might see more of the old Drake in the future, or was this a one-time thing? We’re on the edge of our seats, if not for the return of the old Drake, but for Lil Wayne’s album.