WRITTEN BY CHARLES ODUGBESAN
Lil Wayne is one of the great rappers and moguls of this generation. That’s factual information people, not up for dispute in the slightest! From the late 2000’s right through to his Carter IV project (2011) selling almost a million the first week, a strong case can be made that Weezy was the number one rapper on the planet. And need I remind you that he gave the world two of the biggest artists of this generation in Nicki Minaj and Drake in the process?! The man is a musical legend. But in recent years the New Orleans native has been in the headlines for reasons we don’t want to see.
Concerns over his mental and physical well being were highlighted following well documentaries health issues. He had been subject to multiple seizures, the first widely known case being in 2013, to which he himself retorted that it wasn’t an uncommon occurrence in his life. Ongoing lawsuits between he and Universal Music Group (UMG) and Cash Money Records (owned by father figure Birdman) over his album delay and royalties owed have incensed the Hip Hop World… just ask Rick Ross! In 2015, Wayne was the victim of an assassination attempt when his tour bus was shot at several times with many speculating that Young Thug and Birdman were involved.
It even seemed like towards the end of 2016 the stresses and strains were beginning to take their toll!
But even after all that he still here! Musically, it’s been 2 years since the last Wayne solo project and 4 years since the last mixtape. But since his ‘retirement tweet’ he has had memorable features in Solange Knowles (2016), Ty Dolla Sign and Tyler, the Creator (2017) albums respectively. And that’s not to mention the ‘Best Rap Performance’ Grammy he Chance, The Rapper and 2 Chainz won for ‘No Problem’ this year!
So to round off 2017, Lil Wayne released the 6th instalment of Dedication on Christmas Day. This mixtape provides a wonderful time capsule of the amazing year of music we have had, as he remixes hit songs like DNA, The Story of OJ, XO Tour Llif3 and Rockstar. Weezy reminds us of his raw ability to rap, nonchalantly rolling back the years on this tape and showing us he is still as sharp as ever. Dedication 6 spoils us with an abundance of quotables, similies and metaphors that’ll have you catching a new line each time you hit rewind. This is not a 2017 project to go unnoticed!
But as we head in 2018 the one thing all Wayne fans are desperate to know is ‘When are we finally going to get Carter V?’. Perhaps this new release is not only a gift in keeping with the holiday season, but also a foundation that is set for a twelfth studio album to come in the new year. Let’s hope so! However, let’s all be thankful that Wayne is still here and is still giving us great music in the meantime!!