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Lil Wayne "Dedication 6" Review

  Jan 03, 2018 18:02
  48K Views
EDITOR RATING
74%
Golden x 1 /  Broken x 0
Unanimous
AUDIENCE RATING
90%
321 votes
Rate
Wayne's "Mixtape Blueprint" isn't as thrilling as it once was, but he's the only person who can still pull it off.

Dedication 6, the new instalment in what could easily be called the most iconic mixtape series of all time, begins with DJ Drama reflecting on the game-changing Dedication and Dedication 2, two projects that are not only important statements within Lil Wayne’s vast catalogue, but rap at large. “I'd like for you to take this time and remember where you was the first time you heard Dedication. If I asked you how many times you've listened to D2, could you tell me?” Whether you lived through it, or had it passed down to you from someone who did, the projects are a rite of passage for any rap fan today. But as Drama's speech continues through the series, the brags lose a bit of their backbone: “Dedication 3 was the first mixtape you heard when we had a black president. D4 and 5, we got back to business.” With the later entries in the Dedication series, the time and place in which you first heard them likely isn't etched in your memory the same way, and depending how much they meant to you, you might know exactly how many (or perhaps few) times you listened. This, of course, is not to play into the reductive narrative that Wayne fell off. The “trash or classic” dichotomy that often befalls rap discourse led to some fans and critics writing Weezy off somewhere after the release of 2009’s No Ceilings. While Wayne’s output from that point on certainly became more spotty than his legendary 2005-2008 run, no great artist, or in this case, one of the greatest, simply loses their spark overnight, and D6, like most of Wayne’s projects since his hot streak, contains moments that remind us of his incomparable skills as a rapper and, more than ever, his influence on today’s generation.

RELATED: Lil Wayne's Most Weezy F Lyrics On Every "Dedication 6" Song

Part of the reason Wayne isn’t crashing mixtape sites like he once did (apart from stronger servers) is that the mixtape formula he and Drama helped define is no longer the standard. “Y'all done copied the rhymes. Y'all done stole the artwork. Tried to emulate my shit-talkin'. Weezy and Dram' — we are the Mixtape Blueprint,” Drama mentions on that same intro, and his claim checks out. The “rapping over popular instrumentals” origin of mixtape rap wasn’t created by Wayne, but it was never more popular, or really, done better, than on his late-aughts projects. The importance of this era of Wayne has allowed him to continue the tradition long after the rest of the genre has retired it. Part of this is fan service, and part of it is the fact that there simply isn’t anyone else we’d bother to hear do it at this point in time.

The rules have not changed at all on Dedication 6, but the context has. It’s never been more clear that Wayne is now rapping over the instrumentals of a generation separate from his own, and one that looks to him as an idol. “Lil Wayne is the father of our whole generation. The whole spectrum. From Kendrick to Thugger,” Wiki, a New York rapper you wouldn’t necessarily tie to Wayne’s influence, recently tweeted. On the opening track, Wayne takes on Kendrick’s “DNA,” which becomes a surreal role reversal when you look back to Lamar’s early tape C4, in which he not only used Weezy’s beats, but rapped like he was doing “A Milli” karaoke. While Wayne still favors a punchline-heavy approach that now feels like a throwback, he sounds entirely natural adopting Kendrick’s galloping flow. By the time he’s jumped up a full octave 90 seconds in, it’s easy to see the fluid similarities between himself and Kendrick. As for the lyrics, his metaphors and similes have varying payoffs, but there are a few that stick like the good old days. “Sippin' slo-mo at my pace / Lean like I wear a brace,” he raps, proving that he’s still willing to take his wordplay a step more surreal than his peers. On “Everyday We Sick” (YFN Lucci's "Everyday We Lit"), he sounds far more comfortable than anyone else from his generation slipping into an emotional Atlanta rap melody, probably because his early auto-tune experiments laid the foundation for that scene in much deeper ways than the often-cited 808s & Heartbreak (just ask Young Thug).

RELATED: Lil Wayne's "Dedication 6:" The Internet Reacts To Weezy's New Mixtape

Wayne’s beat selection throughout the project is as representative of contemporary rap as his past mixtapes. Massive hits like 21 Savage’s “Bank Account,” Post Malone’s “Rockstar,” and Lil Uzi Vert’s “XO Tour Llif3,” are all here, as they should be. On “Rockstar,” Wayne brings new energy to the sedate hook, and on “XO,” he finds pockets unexplored by Uzi as he opts for a more complex rhyme scheme on his verses. With “Young,” he takes on G-Eazy’s “No Limit,” repurposing Cash Money vet Mannie Fresh’s “Get Your Roll On” flow and once again using his decades of experience in rap to bridge the gap between eras. There are no moments where Wayne re-envisions a song entirely and renders the original obsolete a la “Sky Is The Limit,” but that doesn’t seem like the point. Throughout, Wayne sounds like he’s having fun, something that didn’t come across a few years back when he seemed more inspired by skateboarding than music. He doesn’t come off quite as hungry as when he was trying to prove he was the greatest rapper alive, but rather content with doing what he does best in a comfortable familiar place.

The project features a number of Young Money affiliates, who have been overly represented since Dedication 3, and while they do have their moments (Gudda Gudda is at his tough-talking best on “New Freezer"), they mostly feel like a distraction from the star of the show. As a result, the solo tracks where Wayne is able to feel out the entirety of the instrumental are highlights.

Strangely enough, the most captivating Wayne record of the last week, “Family Feud,” does not appear on the project. Featuring a strong verse from Drake, Wayne sounds challenged in a way he does not across Dedication 6, bringing a flurry of new flows and ideas to the Jay-Z instrumental that take it in a completely new direction from the original. The song arrived with the promise of a second-half of D6 to arrive in the near future, and suggests that the mixtape, while a perfectly satisfying low-stakes release, isn’t all he’s got. After all, he still has Carter V is the stash, and that’s not something he’s willing to give away for free. "I had forgotten every single word on it, because I work every day,” he told the New York Times of C5 last year. “I popped it in, and I was like, it’s still so much better than everything I’ve ever heard. Not what’s going on right now — everything I’ve ever heard." By this time next year, the words on D6 may be forgotten as well, but for now, it's nice to check in with one of the greatest to ever do it on his home turf.

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124 Comments
top comment
Lil Wayne's teeth
- Jan 3, 2018

Don't care about your reviews, tbh. D6 is amazing! D6 Reloaded OTW! D6>Revival. I love my owner !

Cameron Collins
- Jan 12, 2018

Yo, Trevor Smith you must be death to bars and good rap cuz this is hip hop. Fuck with Wayne and look up some old Wayne 99-02 Wayne and see what’s good man. you’ll see really what led Wayne to where he is and why this mixtape is what true Wayne fans been starving far man. Get the fuck out of here with your bullshit

JayTosques
- Jan 5, 2018

Juicy J is the goat

Slapaday App
- Jan 5, 2018

"the most captivating Wayne record of the last week, “Family Feud”" ? Trevor Smith, of course your favorite record has Drake on it. Should be 85% at-least.

JulesTheFrequency
- Jan 5, 2018

the fact that wayne dropped this in 2017 after all these years of classic albums and legendary mixtapes is why he is the goat. BUMPIN THIS ON THE DAILY FUCK U HNHH

ulbriq2
- Jan 4, 2018

Niggas think Wayne can beat Em...lol

blahhh
- Jan 4, 2018

Em album wasn’t good at all

Huey, The FREEDman
- Jan 4, 2018

Em aLbum was Trash with a capital T

BIGPIMPINNIGGA
- Jan 4, 2018

Yeah... the instrumentals on em's album made it borderline unbearable...

ulbriq2
- Jan 4, 2018

@blahhh : never said Ems album was good, But im saying Freestlying wayne wont beat him

Member?
- Jan 4, 2018

Well...at this point in theit careers would be waynes best chance

Different
- Jan 4, 2018

THA GOAT ON GOD!!!

Kobe
- Jan 4, 2018

74%!!!!???????

Ezekiel Elliott
- Jan 4, 2018

A 74% on D6 should be something to get fired over.. absolutely ridiculous

ImOnOne
- Jan 4, 2018

He still did that well after D2, with drought 3,4 and no ceilings

ImOnOne
- Jan 4, 2018

lil wayne metaphor and word play is just as good as it was 10 years ago. He just lost that unique voice/sound he had tho. Still a fire mixtape don't know how you think it sucks

lokixximo
- Jan 4, 2018

I don't know what mixtape you were listening but D6 Is the best mixtape in years, Wayne sounds super hungry and his bars are solid in this tape, you have to give it a few more spins and don't let the bars go over your head

Larry Lee
- Jan 4, 2018

It’s crazy that people think this mixtape should have got better reviews. Every Dedication after 2 was mediocre at best with a few bangers. The point the reviewer made about him rendering original songs obsolete is true. He took beats on D1 and D2 and Drought 3 and made a whole new song that was way better. Nobody remembers Mr Jones after Sky is The Limit came out. He didn’t just simply take people’s flow back then, he put his own twist on songs. I didn’t get that vibe at all from D6.

Bob Knight
- Jan 4, 2018

74% roll me over and kiss my ass....if yall need new editors hit me up

Heisenberg
- Jan 4, 2018

Why still not on Spotify ?

michalcalifornia
- Jan 4, 2018

its a mixtape

monsibaisadam
- Jan 4, 2018

I feel Wayne has set the bar so high for himself that those who give reviews like this feel justified with their rating. On the other hand if this tape were done by another artist it would receive a higher score.

Matthewlebre
- Jan 4, 2018

I don't get it. When u click on mixtapes and there u will click on Wayne's Dedication, there is user rating 96%, so where the fu ck did u get these 89%?

J Card
- Jan 4, 2018

still havent listened to it...

Ezekiel Elliott
- Jan 5, 2018

Loser..

AyeBernie
- Jan 4, 2018

Thats the one line you go to off of this tape?

Joshua Thomas
- Jan 4, 2018

Don't get me started on that track "Krazy" smh. No one does it better than Lil Wayne, he's the G.O.A.T.

monsibaisadam
- Jan 4, 2018

Was just listening to that this morning! So many slept on tracks by this man.

Even Gotti with Lox

Joshua Thomas
- Jan 4, 2018

All his features he's on is cold. He kills any artist he so chooses to rap with on a track. Man, that Free Weezy Album was something Krazy!

Joshua Thomas
- Jan 4, 2018

Each mixtape he's blessed us with is fire. The Dedication is an iconic collection for mixtapes, but don't disrespect Da Drought collection either.

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