There was a brief stretch of time from about 2010 to 2012 that I think is appropriate to call the “Lil Wayne is the Worst Rapper Ever” era. Not at all because Lil Wayne was the Worst Rapper Ever (or even bad at all), but solely because for a very long time (those 3 years) people on Facebook (almost exclusively) who had no place judging hip-hop would use Lil Wayne as anecdotal evidence that rap was an inferior genre; almost similar to the argument that Lil Uzi Vert and Young Thug are modern “anecdotal evidence” that hip-hop itself takes no skill to produce.
During the Lil Wayne is the Worst Rapper Ever era, Wayne was producing (BY COMPARISON TO HIS WORK PRIOR) lackluster content after Carter 3’s incredible run that was indicative of that he was on a downward slope in his career. Even years after 2011, there was untapped potential we’d seen being worked to the fullest extent prior (such as on I Am Not A Human Being 2) and so people wrote Wayne off for a little. Bar a few tracks on Carter 4 and a few features, Wayne had a fall from grace very briefly doing shit like experimental rap/rock albums while new names like Nicki and Drake drew the spotlight away from what Wayne had gotten used to.
I’m proud to say I’m pretty sure no one’s gonna remember those years if Wayne keeps up what he’s on right now and by the looks of it, he’s not trying to stop. We’re on the Lil Wayne Is In Rushmore Contention wave now.
DEDICATION 6 IS VERY GOOD
Dedication 6 wasn’t actually released in 2018, but it was released Christmas of 2017 — that’s pretty much 2018. The Dedication series of mixtapes is relatively simple. Lil Wayne takes a lot of beats that are hot with other artists, adds a dash of DJ Drama shit-talk and then tears those beats apart while DJ Drama tells all these other rappers why they’re never going to be Lil Wayne. From formula to execution, the Dedication series is relatively simple and Wayne’s always had a simple duo of goals attached to it.
- “I want it to be something you can listen to 10 years from now.”
- “I’m trying to get better than my last shit.”
Dedication 6 feels like that. Dedication 6 doesn’t feel like Wayne got on 15 different beats and tried to make them hot songs; Dedication 6 feels like Wayne got on 15 different beats and made them his songs, and that’s a big difference.
It’s just cool to see someone get on the mic and do what they’re so clearly bred to do: rap their ass off. That’s what Wayne does on this track and by extension, pretty much this entire mixtape.
You can listen to Dedication 6 here.
BUT DEDICATION 6: RELOADED IS INCREDIBLE
Somehow, Lil Wayne managed to top an already great return-to-form by not only furthering his return to Mixtape Wayne, but improving upon the blueprint. Dedication 6: Reloaded features Wayne on better beats with better features, more punchlines, more “god damn, Wayne is really rapping his ass off!” moments… generally more oomph than Dedication 6 offered which was surprising and refreshing at the same time. Songs like Family Feud proved he’s not just recording tracks to spit bars for fun; the content between Wayne and Drake is all aimed at Carter V and the Birdman situation — a legitimate Family Feud.
You can download/listen to Dedication 6: Reloaded here.
LIL WAYNE SKIPPED THE GRAMMYS FOR THE AVN AWARDS
Sometimes, someone is living their best life and you can’t help but be happy for them. Lil Wayne skipping the Grammys (the biggest night in music) to headline the AVN Awards (the biggest night in porn) onstage with a bunch of female pornstars is, without a doubt, Lil Wayne living his absolute best life.
I mean, hell. I can’t really even write about this. What’s there to write about? Sometimes Lil Wayne skips the Grammys to go kick it with 40 women on stage while he runs his 6 Foot 7 Foot verse back 3 times.
I mean, shit, maybe Weezy is done with the Grammys entirely. The scoreboard don’t lie. He’s got his gold there.
GRAMMYS WON BY LIL WAYNE: 4 (LOLLIPOP, NO PROBLEM, CARTER 3 & A MILLI)
AVN AWARDS WON BY LIL WAYNE: NONE (AT ALL)
CARTER V SUDDENLY DOESN’T NEED TO COME OUT
…even though we’d all really kind-of want it to.
If you’ve had your ear toward Hip-Hop in the last 2-3 years, you’d know that Tha Carter V (the fifth and final iteration of Lil Wayne’s legacial Carter series) is currently being held hostage by Birdman’s Cash Money label/Birdman himself. Not only that, but Wayne’s contract with Cash Money would be over and fulfilled if Birdman released Carter V. One can also assume Wayne signed his contract when he sold much more, and with the modern sales climate, there’s no way Wayne can match what was estimated years ago. There’s likely no way Wayne can make up what Birdman thought he was worth all that time ago, and so as a result of all of this, Lil Wayne’s Carter V is lost in record limbo.
And up until now, that was a huge problem.
Now, it seems almost inconsequential. Wayne releasing Dedication 6 was expected: it’d been hyped for a while, it was bound to happen and it’d be more of a surprise if D6 (and D6:R) hadn’t dropped. Now that it’s been so long after C4 and we’ve had a Sorry 4 The Wait 2 for two (nearly 3) years, the hype has died down on Carter V’s release. And that’s a good thing. Carter V is almost Wayne’s Detox — this tape that couldn’t have lived up to the expectations after being held off for so long, even if the leaked snippets sounded like this.
Wayne not releasing Carter V isn’t a bad thing. Realistically, it will come out. This Birdman situation will end up resolved somehow (like because Birdman goes bankrupt and needs to release it) and it’ll drop, and likely, it’ll be underwhelming because it’s gathered so much hype over these last few years that it’ll end up being its own worst enemy.
But if Wayne keeps it up with the 40+ songs we’ve seen in the last month and a half, hell, Carter 5 is a drop in the bucket. And I could be wrong about the rollout. Carter V could drop in 5 years and it could sound like the sound Hip-Hop is in in 5 years, and we’ll know Wayne was ahead of his time as he’s always been. It could drop tomorrow because Wayne leaks it, breaches his contract and then Drake drives a convoy of tanks filled with money to Birdman to get him to fuck off. There’s an infinite range of possibilities with Carter V’s release but for now, I figure we get to cherish Lil Wayne doing what he does best: rapping his ass off.