Lil Wayne celebrated Christmas this week by releasing a new mixtape. On Dedication 6, the rapper puts his own spin on a variety of recent hits, including Kendrick Lamar's "DNA" and Jay-Z's "The Story of O.J."
While most rappers now treat mixtapes as albums by another name, Lil Wayne still approaches them as he did a decade ago, taking other rappers' records, making them his own and releasing the results for free. Dedication 6 includes a wide variety of source material, from pop smashes (Post Malone's "Rockstar") to summer rap-radio hits (YFN Lucci's "Everyday We Lit") to breakout records from up-and-coming MCs (Lil Baby's "My Dawg," Rich the Kid's "New Freezer"). Nicki Minaj contributes a guest verse to the Post Malone-sampling "5 Star," while the young Cash Money singer/rapper Baby E shows up on the Lil Uzi Vert-homage "XO Tour Life."
Dedication 6 is the latest installment in Lil Wayne's long-running Dedication series (He released the first installment in 2005.) The rapper's longtime collaborator, DJ Drama, reappears on the new tape to give listeners a quick historical primer in his typically booming voice. "How many times did you listen to D2 – could you tell me? Dedication 3 was the first mixtape you listened to when we had a black president … Weezy and Drama: We are the mixtape blueprint."
Dedication 6 is Lil Wayne's first mixtape of new material since 2015's No Ceilings 2. Earlier this year, the rapper also appeared on T-Wayne, a project containing unreleased songs with T-Pain originally recorded in 2009. Despite his spare release schedule in 2017, Lil Wayne still found his way onto the radio by contributing to DJ Khaled's "I'm the One" and Ty Dolla $ign's "Love U Better."