Lil Wayne & Rich The Kid
Trust Fund Babies
Young Money (Rostrum) · October 1, 2021
The phrase “don’t judge a book by its cover” is widely believed to have been first published in Mary Ann Evans’ 1860 novel The Mill on the Floss. Ms. Evans evidently failed to predict the release of Trust Fund Babies by Rich The Kid and Lil Wayne, however. For if she had caught even the slightest glimpse of this album art which depicts cartoon versions of both rappers wearing diapers she would have, in all likelihood, torn up her manuscript and ended her writing career on the spot. That being said, I would like to close this brief introduction with a point that may at first appear to contradict all I have just expressed. It is the perfect album cover for this project as it forces one to sit back and wonder “Why was this made? Who is this for?” Both questions I found myself repeating throughout.
It is no secret that Rich The Kid and Lil Wayne are at two wholly different points in their artistic careers, a fact that makes this team-up surprising from a musical perspective. But, it makes perfect sense behind the scenes. Rich The Kid seems like a good-natured enough fellow, not to mention the massive interest both he and Lil Wayne have demonstrated in skating and skate culture and the impressive sum of money his label is willing to shill in a desperate attempt to regain his relevance. This project had so much potential to be a fun, strange, fresh body of work produced by two people who genuinely enjoy each other’s company, but there is absolutely no chemistry between Lil Wayne and Rich The Kid present whatsoever.
That being said, the first two songs on the album are actually quite good and set a very strong precedent that the rest of the album struggles to follow up on. “Feelin’ Like Tunechi” sees Rich The Kid and Lil Wayne trading verses with some clever punchlines and an incredibly infectious hook. On this track Lil Wayne announces that he is “feelin’ like Rich The Kid” which is a sobering portent for what is to follow in the remaining 9 songs. “Headlock” begins with a classic, wordy Lil Wayne verse in acapella that feeds into ominous strings followed by light hi-hats courtesy of Brian White, JulianBeatz & LunchMoney Lewis. The peculiar production, lighthearted tone, and fun verses from both artists make this a definite high-water mark for the project to follow.
The next song, “Trust Fund,” is boring and uninspired, but is saved by the fact that Rich The Kid’s verse is unintentionally hilarious. He raps “you was tryna get a deal, I told him ‘Sign to Me.’” Here Rich The Kid is encouraging artists to sign to his ‘Rich Forever’ label, a notoriously and historically despised organization. Nearly every single major artist who has ever signed to Rich Forever has either left or attempted to leave including Famous Dex, J$tash, and YBN Almighty Jay. Rich The Kid also famously attempted to sign Lil Uzi to Rich Forever, an altercation which spiraled into their prolonged and very public beef.
It is hard to say that this project overstays its welcome as it is only 28 minutes and none of the 10 songs are even bad per se, but it just does not feel organic in its execution. There are some other standout points, like Lil Wayne’s verse at the end of “Big Boss” which features a very captivating rhyme scheme in an otherwise uneventful song. But tracks like “Yeah Yeah” are so bland that they cancel out special moments like this. Lil Wayne and Rich The Kid simply lack the chemistry to keep this project exciting throughout, and apart from a singular lackluster guest verse from YG on “Buzzin,” there is little to break up the sameness. These two did not create a bad project by any means, but I can’t help but feel it failed to live up to its potential.