Review Summary: My pockets on Raven Simone, thats FAT what 'chu know 'bout dat, HUH?
At this point in time Lil' Wayne was the guy rapping "Hustler Musik" and infiltrating more or less every dance club in America. Prior to releasing his so-called masterpiece "The Carter 2" he had built up a decently received Sucker Free Sunday fame but then, in 2006 he undoubtedly became hip-hop to the mainstream world. His songs weren't the most invigorating lyrical material but he could spit a cool verse and his production was hands down incredible. Do you need anything else to be the king of Major Label Hip-Hop? Not these days, no. So, we've established the status of Mr. Weezy, where do we go from here? After hooking up with DJ Drama to make the first "Dedication" the pair decided another collaboration would be a fine idea, and I agree. "Dedication 2" is a mix-tape, which in the rap world is a collection of new verses rapped over older beats that were originally used by other rappers. Wayne's verses on this album are arguably some of the best of his career, but this is also sprinkled with a bit of forgettable filler.
But we'll start with the positive. The production value of this record is crazy good; DJ Drama used some of the most notable party songs of this generation including Don Cannon's "Cannon Remix", "What U Know", "Where Da Cash At", "Poppin My Collar", "Hustlin", among others. It should be said that on all of those previously mentioned songs Wayne delivers quality performances. An excerpt from the lyrics on his version of "Hustlin":
Yeah, now what it do you know it's Weezy F. the ***in' boss
inside that Phantom bitch so big I prolly get lost
how bout that exhaust, and my funky cold medina
I make that hoe tip toe like a ballerina
I'm the Miami fever, in that Miami Heat
I been in Miami water, I'm like a Florida Marlin
But I come from New Orleans nigga we still strong
and my money real long, real real real long
Not your cup of tea? Then you should be drinking coffee. Weezy's flow (or rhythm) is spot-on throughout the entire record, which is his signature talent and probably one of the bigger reasons as to why he was signed by music mammoth Universal Records. A rapper's flow is imperative to his or her listeners enjoying the music, because without good flow one may be considered pretentious, as if playing an instrument sloppily but arguing: I'm playing it for a good reason! But flow isn't a problem on this record much like it isn't a problem on pretty much any of Wayne's other records. He rides a beat like he's fucking it, changing pitch when required, emphasizing all the right words, altering his speed, enunciating perfectly, etc.
Lil' Wayne seems like an artist who makes music for its ability to be extremely, extremely fun and he deprives most of these songs of boredom. But there are a few tracks that I prefer to skip, including "Spitter", "This Is What I Call Her", "Walk It Off", and the contrived "political" track aimed at former president George W. Bush aptly named "Georgia...Bush". These tracks either ramble too much (I mean you can only listen to a man brag for so long,) feature poorly made beats or uneducated lyrics addressing a subject of a huge magnitude. When you write songs that make it clear you aren't one for debate its best to keep out of it. But thankfully for Weezy that particular song wasn't too controversial and I'm sure some of the survivors of Hurricane Katrina appreciated the notion. Its an issue that was mostly overlooked even after the rescue, and I at least agree with Wayne's generalizations.
The album can be summed up rather quickly. For the most part shallow but memorable punchlines, mostly excellent production (some of the best I've ever heard Wayne rap over,) the highlights are truly highlights,
and it consistently delivers despite its unusual length of 25 tracks (a total of 20 full songs.) This album contains the highest abundance of great tracks that have ever been on a Lil' Wayne album, and I'd recommend it to anyone with a sweet tooth for mainstream rap, whether it be hardcore or simply a guilty pleasure.