Release Date: Oct 23, 2012
Record label: MTC Records
Genre(s): Rap, Pop/Rock
This summer, Lil Wayne told a radio station that rap had become "boring," and that he prefers to spend time on his skateboard. Yet on much of this mixtape, he sounds less bored than he has in years, drawling filthy, funny rhymes over beats borrowed from Rick Ross, 2 Chainz and more. He's not the dadaist magician of six years ago, when his rhymes mixed Afro-futurism, gangsta tough talk and whatever else struck his fancy; he's now content to reel off punch lines, mostly about oral sex.
The Dedication mixtapes have reliably served as a barometer of Lil Wayne's creative fire: On 2, he was a determined kid busily fulfilling his own "best rapper alive" prophecy. On 3, he was skidding dangerously post-Carter III, whacked out on codeine and sounding frayed. Dedication 4, for its part, is the clearest transmission yet of a message he's been sending for a while: He'd rather not to be rapping anymore.
Lil Wayne :: Dedication 4Dat PiffAuthor: Steve 'Flash' Juon"It does get pretty boring when it comes to just the rapping and all that type of stuff. I've been doing it since I was eight and I'm about to be 30 in September." - NMEIf Dwayne Carter says he's bored with rap one doesn't have to look further than "Dedication 4" for the reasons why. He tries to play it off like this was all for lolz (JUST KIDDING WAYNIACS - DON'T STOP BUYING MY RECORDS & MERCH) and he was just kidding when he raps the lines "I'm skatin and rappin at the same damn time/I said I might retire, but y'all know I be high" on "Same Damn Tune." The problem with that is that these 15 tracks are not a joke.
Always and forever, 2007’s Da Drought 3 is Lil Wayne’s best mixtape. The reasons for this are innumerable, but many of them have something to do with focus. Though 100 minutes and 29 songs in length, the tape has maybe an ounce of filler, making room for little except the biggest beats of its era (“Crazy”, “Throw Some D’s”, “Show Me What You Got”) for Wayne to just ravage through.
Despite his blatant charade of nonchalance (which was heavily conveyed at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards as he listened to music on his headphones throughout most of the event), Lil Wayne does care about his legacy. “I hope I’m remembered,” Weezy confesses at the very end of his latest offering, Dedication 4. With D4, he adds another chapter to his legacy as an inventive artist who could flip the same subject matters until kingdom come.
If the record's volume number wasn't enough to suggest that Lil Wayne's long-running Dedication mixtape series was getting a little stale, a few short verses into this repetitive and lyrically lazy affair should definitely set those thoughts in motion. Wayne's current stylistic tack of relying entirely on rap metaphors, along with a thematic scope limited almost exclusively to sex and periodic sprinkles of king-of-the-hill braggadocio, leaves listeners awash in an endless streams of exhausting wordplay, with relatively few moments of genuine, smirk-inducing entertainment. Taking on chart hits like Kanye's "Mercy," Meek Mill's "Amen" and even Lil' Mouse's disconcerting "Get Smoked" earns Weezy easy points for familiarity and provides the rapper with some welcome direction by which to set his rhymes.