Review Summary: If you can weed through all the crap and ignore that background guy... You might enjoy this.
Lil Wayne – Dedication
Lil Wayne is a pretty prolific American hip hop artist. This is his first mix tape in a series of mix tapes called “Dedication” and to my knowledge this was his very first release. He worked on this mix tape with DJ Drama. I don’t really know what DJ Drama does though. Lil Wayne is really a love or hate artist for most people. He is praised for his witty lyricism but is criticized for supposedly making rather unintelligent music and his odd vocal style which involves a lot of mumbling (This is really a matter of opinion though).
Dedication, to say the least, is an interesting and at times a rather oddball mix tape (for rap’s standards at least). Lil Wayne usually manages to maintain a solid delivery if the listener enjoys his voice and also provides some interesting information about his career. As well, he includes fitting beats and there is a lot of variation in comparison to other hip hop releases. On the flip side, however, there are a pretty decent amount of negative aspects to Dedication. Listening through this entire tape can be a chore as there are quite a few tracks. Wayne can get really irritating sometimes. Also, there are a lot of annoying elements to this release that I will go into more detail about later in this review. Lastly, some of the songs do sound the same because of certain elements that are reused and recycled.
Lil Wayne does some pretty good rapping on this album. A good example of this would be album opener, “Dedication”. He displays his rather unique style of rapping over a cool beat with a really sick sounding keyboard line. Another choice cut from the album is “Like Dat”. This song just has great flow and is fun to listen to when he lays down lines like “No I ain’t into dope but I stock it”. DJ Drama provides a pretty serious and thumping beat with the bells and a bunch of other stuff happening at the same time. Another good example of a good beat would be on “Down And Out”. I enjoy the female background vocals that were incorporated. Overall, Lil Wayne shows us that he has great potential as a big time rapper with this material.
There is so much annoying junk on this though. With 29 tracks, It is rather hard to not end up with at least a bit of filler but there is a lot of garbage that isn’t really necessary on Dedication. For example, “Nah This Ain’t the Remix” is Wayne’s really ***ty attempt at covering Snoop Dog’s “Drop It Like It’s Hot”. He puts is own spin on the song but he ends up mumbling a lot and screwing up on his delivery. “Wayne Ho Story Skit” is a minute-long track of a bunch of guys talking and Wayne telling a story about what a ho. This might be interesting story to listen to if you could actually understand half the words coming out of this guy’s mouth. “D-Boyz” would have been a great emotional track but with all of the shouting and Lil Wayne’s off key delivery of the lyrics it turns out to be a wasted opportunity.
Probably the most annoying thing on Dedication is DJ Drama (or some other guy, I don’t know) screaming “GANGSTA CRAZY!” (At least that’s what I THINK he’s saying). It sounds cool on the first couple of tracks but it gets infuriating when I hear it 10 times per track on average. I’m not even kidding; there are probably more GANGSTA CRAZYs on this mix tape than jun-jun-jun breakdowns in Emmures entire discography. Also, a lot of the songs start to blend. Other than the fact that “U Gon Love Me” and “Down And Out” practically have the same beat and are very similar vocally. I could probably name ten tracks that start off with the infamous DJ Drama shout. “Much More”, “Down And Out”, “Bass Beat”, “D-Boyz”, “So Smooth”, “Momma Taught Me”, “Over Here”, and “Motivation” all open up with him saying Gangsta Crazy. It’s jarring and awful. Another bad thing about this album is that Lil Wayne can sometimes sound annoying. “Much More” comes off as whiney and I even think I heard a voice crack.
Overall, Dedication is worth at least a listen as you might enjoy it more than me. At his best, Wayne delivers some really quality songs that have great flow and never get stale. Other than that, he comes off as awkward and rather irritating vocally. To be frank, that guy shouting the same thing in almost every track multiple times really wrecked the experience for me. I think Lil Wayne’s problem (At least with this mix tape), is that he releases everything he makes. In a sense, he is the Buckethead of the hip hop world. If they both just released their quality tracks and trimmed down on the slews of mediocre material, then they would probably be more positively viewed instead of the rather split view that people have of them now.
OVERALL RATING: 2.5/5
If that guy wasn't shouting the same thing in the background all the time i'd probably give it a 3 or a 3.5.