Being a fan of Lil Wayne since he told every twerking woman in the world to "Drop it like it's hot" I'm sure I can pinpoint the moment where I thought lyrically Wayne could hang with the best of them. I think the turning point in his career was The Sqad Tapes Vol 1-7. 3 mixtapes series that every teenager in St.Louis in the early 2000's waited for were ones from Dipset, G-Unit, and Sqad Up. I don't think people really took Weezy serious as an artist before then. He was just another guy rapping at that point but on those Sqad tapes we saw the emergence of a potential legend. The wit. The punchlines. The flow. The charisma. He was showing the world that he could really rap. It was key and instrumental in preparing him to start The Carter series. I hear shit like "BM JR" or "Money On My Mind" and think this isn't anything new. He been rapping like this. It's just now the media finally has picked up on what the streets already knew.
He was at his best in what I call his "Best Rapper Alive Era" Which I say was in 2004 to 2008 or in album terms Carter 1 to Carter 3 including every mixtape in between those 3 albums. Wayne cared during that era and I believe that was the driving force of that run. Today he's definitely not the same but based on the respect I have for him because of that 4 year run. I will always give him a fair ear when he drops music. The Carter 2 was barely 5 months old when Wayne dropped "The Dedication 2." The old way of doing things 10 years ago was a artist drops an album and that's all the music you're getting from them for the year. They usually just shoot videos and pub the album year round. Wayne hopped right back into things and gave us his best mixtape and arguably his best body of work.
I just remember it dropping and I was riding around the day of the Mayday Parade and every car was playing Dedication 2. Couldn't not hear this mixtape if you tried in St.Louis. I swear St.Louis only come together when Wayne drop heat. Niggas don't wanna fight or shoot each other we just wanna chill the fuck out and rap the lyrics with each other like we wrote them when Weezy drop heat. The Carter 1 had the same effect on the city. I would be chilling outside and all I heard was The Carter. Dedication 2 wasn't even special content and structure wise. Nothing different in those categories from his past mixtapes. He's just rapping over other people instrumentals for 18 plus tracks. There's really nothing for me to review. It's just he was in such a zone lyrically, flow wise and DJ Drama was the mixtape king at the time and only a year removed from his best work with Jeezy "Trap Or Die." I compare this tape to a 60 point game in the NBA. It's rare you see them. Possible to attain but still rare. Not too many players have them.
This was the highlight of his mixtape career. Da Drought 3 in my opinion is his last dope mixtape and that followed a year after Dedication 2 but Dedication 2 changed Weezy's career to the point where what he was doing was temporary anymore. It cemented his legacy in hip-hop.