THE EARBUG: Lil’ Wayne

Lil’ Wayne, Weezy, Tunechi or whatever you want to call him has been the most polarizing rapper in the past decade.

Does he have zero lyrical abilities with just a few cool lines each song? Or is he the savior of rap after Nas infamously proclaimed that hip-hop was dead?

He has the talent, the metaphors and the flow to be a good artist. But due to the fact that he has so many songs, many of them become redundant, and he lacks the consistency to enter the elite threshold.

Enter “Dedication 4,” his latest free mixtape and the 18th mixtape he has released throughout his career. Unlike his albums, usually his mixtapes have more consistency, especially noted in his “Da Drought 3,” which is widely acclaimed and showcases his skills perfectly.

So how does his newest mixtape match up to his previous work?

While the beats on the album are fire, Wayne’s lyrics don’t match the hype. If a rapper is going to do a remix over somebody else’s beat, they should bring something special to the table. Weezy doesn’t do that, which is unusual for him.

On “Mercy,” with a great bass blowing beat from Kanye West, Tunechi can’t even match Nicki Minaj’s lyrical skills. And that’s making the assumption that Minaj has lyrical skills. Also, the most recognized line from the entire mixtape is from Minaj, who gained attention for sarcastically endorsing Mitt Romney.

There are few bright spots on the mixtape, because every song starts to sound the same. Unlike his albums, he doesn’t have any songs that are worthy of radio singles, and unlike his previous mixtapes, he doesn’t showcase his lyrical skills. Unless you enjoy hearing Tunechi talk about chasing red and yellowbones or making all of those references into a drinking game, there isn’t much of a variety to enjoy.

However, Wayne does come through on “Wish You Would” where you can feel his rhythm and flow and appreciate his lines “Money ain’t shit to me/I smoke all these n****s/call it ‘Nigatine.’” However, there are too many times where you know Weezy can take his energy to another level and he just leaves you disappointed.

Overall, this is a mixtape that won’t be remembered. The self proclaimed “best rapper alive” falls short on making remixes better than the original and matching the intensity of the instrumentals he’s rapping over.

Must listen: “Wish You Would”

Study music: “So Dedicated (feat. Birdman),” “Burn”