Mixtape Review: Dedication 4



Album Rating: 3/10

After waiting a year and enduring multiple delays, Lil Wayne has finally released a new project: the highly anticipated fourth installment to his “Dedication” mixtape series, Dedication 4. In this mixtape, Lil Wayne once again collaborates with DJ Drama to rap over a collection of instrumentals of the hottest hip-hop songs out on the radio today.

Lil Wayne fans will not be disappointed. The mixtape is typical Lil Wayne, braggadocio rap over southern beats filled with hard bass and catchy hooks. The problem is he just doesn’t do it well. The raps are filled with weak metaphors and worn out subject matter. There is not one song in the whole mixtape wherein Lil Wayne talks about anything but the cliché cars, money, girls, and clothes. Furthermore, he struggles to even stay on one topic and ends up all over the place which in turn makes the album sound like one big freestyle. There is no well thought-out subject matter and by the end of the song you will have gained nothing from listening to it. Not to mention the fact that twelve of the fifteen tracks in the album are all similar in that they are club beats with booming bass which soon makes the songs hard to differentiate from one another.

Now it is understandable that people do not always want to listen to lyrics. In a situation such as a party, it’s great to put these kinds of songs on and just have fun. However, with such a well-known and accomplished artist like Lil Wayne, one of the main figures of mainstream hip-hop today, it is very disappointing to see a whole album whose content is nothing but “party” hip-hop. There is no substance to the music.

Even the features weren’t phenomenal. In the “Mercy” remix, Nicki Minaj spits a weak verse and manages to throw in a controversial line claiming to be “A Republican voting for Mitt Romney.” J. Cole, the most prominent lyricist in the mixtape, has an average verse. Cole’s lyrics are stellar, but he just doesn’t sound well over the beat. His flow seems forced and unnatural. The most surprising feature on the mixtape, however, is Lil Mouse, a thirteen year old rapper who at his young age uses explicit language to rap about carrying guns and going to the club. It is appalling that Lil Wayne, a rapper with such a huge influence in the mainstream and pop demographic of hip-hop, would even feature the young rapper and support him.

If there is a positive thing about the lyrics, it is the abundance of funny punchlines. This is seen in the song “Green Ranger” wherein Wayne claims to be going “banana pudding” or in the song “Burn” in which Lil Wayne claims to “get better like fine wine” and is “fire like cayenne.” Lines of this nature appear so much throughout the mixtape that it’s confusing whether Wayne is being funny or is actually taking these “punchlines” seriously. In either case, it’s better to have funny and corny bars than nothing at all.

The Dedication 4 mixtape wasn’t surprising. It will be a good listen to fans of Lil Wayne and other mainstream, radio, hip-hop fans who listen to songs with largely southern influenced beats that feature booming bass and catchy hooks. However, if you are looking for lyrical ability, and songs with substance and content, don’t listen to this mixtape at all. There are many better rappers out there worth your time.