A Foreshadowing Freestyle | “B.B. King Freestyle” by Lil Wayne feat. Drake

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Isaiah Hall

Lil Wayne kicked off the year with Funeral in January, and later shared the album’s deluxe edition in May. No Ceilings 3 is Lil Wayne’s first new mixtape since his meeting and photo with President Donald Trump in October. Lil Wayne surprised many by dropping a new single off his upcoming mixtape No Ceilings 3 mixtape on Dec. 1. The track is called “B.B. King Freestyle” and it features Lil Wayne’s long time friend, Drake, who was recently nominated for three awards at the 2021 Grammys.

This track pays homage to the blues legend B.B King and serves as a bridge to this generation of fans, who may not have gotten into the late singer.

Produced by Boi1da and Hollywood Cole, “B.B. King Freestyle” marks Lil Wayne and Drake’s first collaboration since 2017’s “Family Feud” remix. Earlier this year, the two hip-hop icons teased the possibility of collaborating when Drake stopped by Wayne’s Young Money Radio show on Apple Music.

This track features a mellow beat which is sampled from Alicia Keys’ “Feeling U, Feeling Me (Interlude),” off 2003’s The Diary of Alicia Keys. The two rappers simply freestyle rap over this beat throughout the entire song—there is no hook. Just two artists pouring their hearts out on a track through rap freestyling. 

The artists split this track in half, with Drake starting out the first half. It’s a freestyle, so the rappers flow from one field of thought to the next, and Drake opens this track with vulnerable bars as he reflects on his own life. Drake’s knowledge of how to deliver his bars is what sets his part of the track apart. He may not always have the best rhymes or flow but he knows how to be vulnerable and make the listener feel what he is saying. That’s exactly what he did on his portion of the freestyle. The end of his verse is what stood out to me the most, because it truly captures the vulnerability that you hear from Drake on this track: 

 

“I come with a lot of complications inside me/

It’s always people misleadin’ me that are tryna guide me/

Everyone wants to try me, but no one wants to buy me/

Everyone wants to meet me, but no one wants to keep me/

Everyone talkin’ lemons when everything is peachy/

Everyone got they hands out, and it ain’t to reach me”

 

Lil Wayne follows Drake and showcases a masterful rhyme scheme that we are used to hearing from him. This freestyle from Lil Wayne felt rejuvenating because it seems like this is when he is at his best. Lil Wayne is one of the most gifted rappers of our generation and he proves that with this freestyle. He references his upcoming project at the end of his verse:

“Lion has roared, No Ceilings 3 with my mind on the fourth/

Holla at your boy”

These two rappers showed why they are one of the best tag teams in hip-hop history. Anytime these two come together on a track, the world will pay attention. I encourage you to take a moment to listen to a masterful collaboration between these two great artists. 

Also, be on the lookout for the release of Lil Wayne’s highly anticipated mixtape No Ceilings 3 and Drake’s next album, Certified Lover Boy, out January 2021.