Review Summary: "Get your ass up off your ass and get your ass up on a mission."
You can always tell when a rapper releases a tape with DJ Drama they're looking for a grade-A batch of dense, sugar-coated, pounding bass-heavy beats. Dedication 3
is nothing short of such instrumentals so you may ask is it anything different than the past Dedications Lil' Wayne wrote with Drama" Not in a lyrical sense, but I think we can all agree the swagger fad interrupted the typically decent mainstream work of modern songwriters, so to keep up the quo Dedication 3 adheres to it's counterparts in the 'big rapper' mix-tape game. D3 sounds like a Myspace profile track dream, but that's not to say it's hooks get in the way of what most casual and die hard Weezy fans were awaiting. You can dance to it that's for sure and it'll brighten up the ride to work in the morning.
On the first few tracks Weezy and the gang take us on at a gradual pace, the intro is futile but of course Wayne can't do without an introduction, D3 is just as spontaneously written as any of his other tapes, no distinct theme or reason to bust out the vocoder in the middle of a perfectly good rap song. Dick Pleaser
and the title track are undisputed highlights amongst the first ten, Mack Maine and Willie The Kid deliver a catchy freestyle over the Dedication 3 beat:
'More money what the *** these niggas tellin me
I'm Yung Lucifer, take 'em all to hell with me'
Seduce her, you rappers should be tired of lyin'
But I know it's hard like a tire iron
But yet it's complex like it's Mayan science
Proverbs Leviticus, Old ass rappers
Complaining what the business is
(This was a Gudda Gudda line)
It's mostly the duo's flow that makes the song such an intoxicating club banger, and the rest of the album never fails to follow suit. By the time you get to track ten you'll be wondering if the next time you go to the club, DJ is just gonna spin this album the whole night. So D3 definitely deviates from Wayne's artistic catharsis he hinted at on C3 and C3: Sessions, but the execution is nearly flawless for it's level.
At least his ego has died down a little bit on a personal level, you can tell from the various skits on the album that Weezy realizes now he isn't the greatest thing to happen to hip-hop since the turntable. Wayne's flow has actually changed up a bit for the better, his organization is more precise and there are less extravagant comparisons and pointless similes to ruin any coherent theme a song had going on. That's not to say Wayne has eliminated that aspect of his rapping completely but when metaphor is employed in the lyrics it tends to be significantly less audible than the overall message of the song.
The message referred to isn't intricately intertwined with the lyrics in a deeper style than any past Lil' Wayne release, but it marks a shift in the rapper's musical priorities. What little political reference that can be exhumed from the words is uneducated but it doesn't try to egg the listener on to one particular side. So what really changes besides better beat production" As aforementioned Lil' Wayne's egotistical style died down just enough to let his lyrics step out of the simpleton closet and return to the Drought 2 and 3 vibe that made his avid use of previously recorded mainstream beats enjoyable to the point where the Billboard charts don't care if it's a used beat, people are going to listen to this stuff to no end. Of course, is Lil' Wayne a stranger to the charts" Of course not, however Dedication 3 will undoubtedly reach a level of general popularity paralleled only by mix-tapes Weezy released years earlier at his prime.
For a mix-tape you'd think D3 is rather long, even when you subtract the skits and wordy intros to a decent amount of songs on the tape. But out of twenty-three songs it's impossible to pick one that doesn't serve it's purpose to the fullest. It's the kind of song collection that won't sit on your shelf collecting dust or get lost and forgotten in your hard drive - D3 isn't a disappointment for a Weezy release. Songs like Dick Pleaser, Dedication 3, I Got That Gangsta, Still I Rise,
and The Other Side
are basically the ultimate driving tunes of November in the hip-hop mainstream, DJ Drama, Lil' Wayne, Jae Millz, Gudda Gudda and every other guest artist really did well here, and while it's content isn't exactly existential it will content any Wayne fan until his next.