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.
The title of the second track encapsulates the entire tape, for it is indeed the “Same Damn Tune.” Birdman Junior’s skillful wordplay over others’ beats and a few originals has clearly not tailed off. “You know that I ain’t got no ceilings/The money changed me/I’m making cha-millions,” Weezy voices over the instrumental to Meek Mill’s “Amen.” That is not to say he lacks weak lyrics on D4 (“Smoke so much that Smokey the Bear have to bear with us,” Tunechi blandly phrases on one of his new singles, “No Worries,” produced by Detail).
However, bars as dull as those are few and far between, almost as rare as the moments when featured guests pulled a Jay-Z, contribute a scene-stealing verse. It is debatable whether J. Cole did just that on “Green Ranger,” yet that is not the case for Nicki Minaj’s guest spot on “Mercy.” Both artists represented YMCMB well over the G.O.O.D. Music clique’s instrumental, but Nicki just went harder, generating one of her most infamous bars to date. “I’m a Republican, voting for Mitt Romney/You lazy bitches fucking up thee economy,” Nicki spit, to her Barbz’s pleasure and Democrats’ disgust, leading to death threats via Twitter.
Even so, Weezy surely does not mind sharing his colossal limelight, as proven by his lukewarm offerings I Am Not a Human Being and Dedication 3, both of which were flooded with features. Tune proves this once again on D4, not contributing a single bar to “My Homies Still (RMX),” which allowed Young Jeezy, Jae Millz and Gudda Gudda to rock the mic without his assistance. For all that, most tracks that feature another artist (“Amen,” “Mercy,” “Get Smoked” and “Green Ranger”) seem to bring the best out of the New Orleans native. “I’m on a pain pill/I keep this shit trill/These niggas ain’t for real, like a fire drill/Yo ho on my back, like a fucking fifth wheel/That bitch make her pussy open and close like fish gills,” he asserts on “Get Smoked.”
Dedication 4 features some trademark Lil Wayne, another impressive array of plays on words about oral sex, life euphemisms, drugs, superiority over others, light-skinned women and guns, while adding some new content to the short list—namely, his newest clothing line, Trukfit. Weezy will celebrate his 30th birthday later this month, and although D4 will not be celebrated as much some of his other work, he does reminds all why Hova considered sending “D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)” to “the Mixtape Weezy.” —Christopher Minaya (@CM_3)