Weezy’s jumped on the Tidal bandwagon, which makes you wish he could just sign to Roc Nation already and make records like this one to his heart’s content. Alas, we are left with the possibilities, but this is a song (produced by Avenue Beatz, Infamous, and Onhel) that begins to plumb the wide interest surrounding Wayne since his kerfuffle at Cash Money.

Was that bus shooting meant to scare Wayne? Has it gone that far? You can’t put anything past anyone in this game, and if Weezy’s life actually is in danger, this one might be an example of how he reacts when his back is against the wall. Assuming there’s no imminent danger for the man, then this one comes as a significant surprise. Here to weigh in are me, Features Editor Andre Grant and our esteemed Sr. Features Writer Ural Garrett.

Is Lil Wayne’s Tidal Exclusive “Glory” A Return To Form?

Ural: To be completely honest, issues with Cash Money and Young Thug were the least of Lil Wayne’s problems. Weezy’s biggest issue is that he fell out of favor with fans. The reason? Everything from Sorry For The Wait to anything after the third Dedication entry just sucked on the mixtape end. Album wise, no-one can really come with a unanimous decision of anything after Tha Carter III. Meanwhile, Hip Hop started to pass Tunechi by. The last three Carter V singles including “Start A Fire” featuring Christina Milian, “Krazy” and “Grindin” sort of just flopped. Obviously, none had the spastic stream of consciousness Wayne everyone loved or much radio appeal. This is what makes “Glory” something much needed for Dwayne Carter. Single wise, the alleged Free Weezy Album single may be the best lyrical exercise for Wayne since “A Milli.”

“Glory” is everything Hip Hop and fans have been waiting for from Wayne in years. The free-flowing rhymes that elevated mixtape Weezy to Rap superstar are more than apparent. No hooks, just good old fashioned bars. Yes, he still finds ways of metaphorically calling himself the shit with rhymes like “I been the boo-boo since gaga-gogo and Dada, Fubu,” but, the delivery has that signature slickness. Even “Glory”s production from Avenue Beatz, Infamous, and Onhel features an anthemic sample along with a simple bass and snare rip. After one listen it’s evident, Wayne is finally going back to the basics.

Considering Wayne’s “Cold War” level history with Jay Z, it’s surprising he’d release the easily rippable track on Tidal. Then again, it makes sense as Nicki Minaj is a part of that special Illuminati fellowship who signed weird decree Alicia Keys was talking about. Did Onika serve as a peacemaker? Her BFF relationship with Beyonce could’ve meant something. Not fact (for now), just a theory. Then again, having “Glory” exclusive to Tidal doesn’t make much sense as he tries to ease his way back into rap’s good graces. Will this exclusive help Tidal gain new users or alienate Wayne fans? That answer may reveal itself at a later time. Right now, Wayne surprised everyone with something that reminds Hip Hop why he’s debatably the best rapper alive.

Andre: This one’s definitely going to be divisive. I wanna say there isn’t a way in hell Wayne is making a comeback, but I called it way back when. Weezy sounds hungry, and strong on “Glory” over one of the better beats he’s rapped on over the past few years. What’s really good to see about Wayne’s performance is the metaphors are back — mostly, kind of. I can say with real honesty that I haven’t heard that many dung metaphors since Weezy’s hay day, and there’s a reason for that: his cherubic, airy flow can’t be replicated. So he makes even the most sophomoric bars sound like they’re being done with good reason. Most of that was just flat out missing on Sorry For The Wait 2, opting for clever ways at throwing shots at Birdman than actually rapping well.

The premier on Tidal is also interesting. I suppose it makes sense for Wayne to once again align with Hov, but it came off as a bit of a surprise. Perhaps there is something there, after all, if Wayne is able to somehow escape Baby and make the great migration North. I think Jigga’s learned his lesson, too. Gone are the halcyon days for Jay where he could precisely use his “cool” to create outcomes that were blocked to less esoteric paths.

All that said, the Free Weezy Album is probably Wayne’s penultimate attempt at a legitimate comeback. The first single finds Wayne coming back to the lyrical, metaphor-driven fun he spun into an artform in the 2000s. The rest must be the same kind of excellence for him to believed. Then, after and if it’s possible, Tha Carter V must be able to survive its fairly lackluster singles or get rid of them all together and soar.

Andre Grant is an NYC native turned L.A. transplant that has contributed to a few different properties on the web and is now the Features Editor for HipHopDX. He’s also trying to live it to the limit and love it a lot. Follow him on Twitter @drejones.

Ural Garrett is a Los Angeles-based journalist and HipHopDX’s Senior Features Writer. When not covering music, video games, films and the community at large, he’s in the kitchen baking like Anita. Follow him on Twitter @UralG.