The "Lollipop" hitmaker finally released his long-awaited album on his 36th birthday on Thursday, September 27, almost six years after he began work on it, after resolving a legal wrangle with his mentor and Cash Money label co-founder Bryan 'Birdman' Williams over the album's release and royalties earlier this year.
XXXTENTACION, real name Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy, who was shot and killed outside a motorcycle shop in Deerfield Beach in Florida in June, features on the plaintive chorus of Wayne's track "Don't Cry".
The 20-year-old can be heard crooning "Don't cry, don't go, Won't lie, I f**kin' love you" repeatedly on the song, which he worked on in the months before his death, while Wayne raps on the song: "I see death around the corner / And the U-turn sign's lookin' like a smile."
He ends the track by paying tribute to XXXTENTACION, telling him: "And XXXTENTACION on my motherf**kin' afterlife, Rest in paradise."
Four men were recently charged in connection with the rapper's death on 18 June.
"When #DontCry came on I was prepared. Ugh We miss you @xxxtentacion," tweeted one fan who was moved by the song.
"The Carter V intro needed an emotional disclaimer before in went into that Xxxtentacion feature," added another.
@LilTunechi The Carter V intro needed an emotional disclaimer before in went into that Xxxtentacion feature— Jay Kruser (@KruserJay) September 28, 2018
"With this album, I'm giving you more than me," Wayne told his fans in a video posted to his YouTube channel earlier this week. "This is years of work... that you'll be listening to... you don't have to love it, you don't have to like it, but I hope you enjoy it."
Kanye West, who is releasing his second album for the year, "Yandhi", on Saturday, tweeted: "We're releasing Yandhi Saturday night. We know it will come in number 2 to my brother Lil Wayne and that's lovely. The universe needs Ye and Wayne music at the same time."