Lil Wayne has been steadily releasing records since his breakout in the late ’90s, and this year is no different. The rapper dropped his album Funeral on Friday, and with little warning. After the record’s release, fans began combing through the music and picking up on nuances, like the fact his album cover actually spells out his name when flipped upside down. But one specific bit fans noticed is a poignant, 24-second stretch of silence that arrives on the 24-track record. The Jay Rock-assisted song “Bing James” cuts out and there is a large pause before the record continues onto the next song. Lil Wayne confirmed his moment of silence is meant to honor the late basketball star Kobe Bryant.
Wayne dropped the news in a recent interview with Skip Bayless Friday, saying that although the long moment of silence was added at the last minute, everyone involved in producing the record understood the importance. He also told Bayless he hopes Funeral proves to younger artists that there’s still a creative “hunger,” even after years in the industry.
.@RealSkipBayless: Your 13th studio album 'Funeral' just dropped. What do you want this one to say in the totality of your career?@LilTunechi: To show where I'm at in my career, show the hungriness. To show younger artists that there's still hunger, and you don't lose it. pic.twitter.com/WO5qBv26Mi
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) January 31, 2020
Ahead of the album’s release, Weezy shared a throwback photo with Bryant of the two sharing a fist bump. The rapper, who titled a song after Kobe on his 2009 mixtape Tear Drop Tune 2, captioned his photo with an homage to the basketball player. “Forever love. 824,” he wrote, referencing Bryant’s two jersey numbers.
Funeral is out now via Young Money. Get it here.