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5 Things Lil Wayne Needs To Make "Dedication 4" A Classic

First, the good news: Lil Wayne is releasing a new mixtape, Dedication 4, next month. Now, the bad news: It's not 2007 anymore, so we have absolutely no idea how good that mixtape will be.

We don't necessarily mean that as a slight against Wayne, either. While it'd be easy for us to sit here and bash him for putting out mixtapes like Dedication 3 and Sorry 4 The Wait in recent years that, truth be told, didn't come close to matching the greatness of some of his early mixtapes like Dedication 2 and Da Drought 3, we understand why he's struggled a bit. The guy has put out a massive amount of music over the years, and it'd be damn near impossible for him to match the energy and intensity that he had on his early projects. But, we also have to temper our excitement for a new Weezy project—even if it is part of his Dedication series with DJ Drama—when we think back and remember that it's been almost three years since he released a mixtape project in No Ceilings that we really loved front to back. Three years!

No worries, though. To help him achieve greatness again, we've got a list of the 5 Things Lil Wayne Needs To Do To Make Dedication 4 A Success. If he can do even one or two of these things, he'll have a solid mixtape on his hands. If he can nail all five? Well, he might just be able to regain the buzz that he had going for him a few years ago. Either way, we can't wait to hear what he's got in store for us.

1. Pick beats that haven't been ripped to shreds by 50 other rappers already.
This is difficult to do, because nowadays, every popular song that a rapper puts out gets jacked by 50 other rappers. But, on Sorry 4 The Wait, Wayne selected "Tupac Back," "Marvin's Room," "Racks," and a few R&B songs ("My Last" and "Run The World") that we'd heard 500 kazillion times on the radio just prior to the mixtape dropping. By comparison, "No Ceilings" found him ripping "Swag Surf," borrowing Dorrough's "Ice Cream," and dipping into the archives for "Banned From T.V." Those beats hadn't been touched quite as often, so he was successful in bringing them to life and then subsequently killing them. With that in mind, we sincerely hope he doesn't just pick the super obvious beats for Dedication 4. That'd be a crucial mistake.

2. Rap like you actually have something to prove.
No Ceilings was truly a treat. When Wayne put that out, he didn't have to sound as hungry as he did. We wouldn't have blamed him for coasting through it. But, on Sorry 4 The Wait, Wayne sounded (at times!) like he was just trying to record something, hell, anything to hold fans over. On Dedication 4, we hope he takes the time to put forth his best effort, no matter what it takes. This is a defining moment for him and we want to hear him sound like he's hungry to reclaim his throne.

3. Rap so hard that you actually have to catch your breath on some tracks.
No, really. RAP! Rap for three, five, 10 minutes at a time. Go so hard that you actually have to stop on a track and catch your breath…and then keep going. Wayne sounded a little bit too comfortable at times on Sorry 4 The Wait—like we were just supposed to sit there and think that what he was saying was dope just because he's Lil Wayne. But, the truth is that Wayne got so popular back in the mid-2000s because he just rapped and rapped and rapped some more until people felt what he was saying. He needs that kind of dedication on Dedication 4.

4. Record more than 12 tracks for the project. How about, like, 25?
Okay, so 25 new tracks from Lil Wayne might be a stretch (although, for the record, that's how many tracks Dedication 2 had on it!). We're not even sure we've got the time to sit and listen to all of that. But, 12 tracks seemed like almost nothing on Sorry 4 The Wait. When you take into account the fact that about half of those tracks were released before the mixtape even dropped, we were completely underwhelmed when we heard the entire project in its entirety. Plus, it's been awhile since we've heard Wayne really go in. Now is the time.

5. Include a few interludes and talk some serious $&%^ on them!
Normally, we wouldn't advocate an artist putting more interludes on a mixtape. But, in this instance, we'll do it because Wayne's interludes on mixtapes always make him feel like he's super involved in the project and really trying to make an impression on the listener. Dedication 2 had Wayne talking all over the place and it really added to the mixtape's impact. Drama shouldn't be the only one talking shit, Wayne. If you're gonna stand behind this project, stand behind it with your words and say so all over the mixtape. It'll help make this mixtape an important moment in your career.

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T.I. Releases Short Film For "The Amazing Mr. F**k Up"

T.I. keeps himself accountable for his wrongdoings in the cinematic visual for "The Amazing Mr. F**k Up."

Premiered Monday (Dec. 10) on his series T.I. & Tiny: Friends & Family Hustle, the track featuring singer-songwriter Victoria Monet, is flipped into a 10-minute-short film. Directed by Mike Ho, the short film stars comedienne Britney Elena, Colombus Short, Woody McClain and model Denise Rodriguez.

Starting at a fancy dinner gathering among friends, things take a turn for the worst when the rapper's other partner invades the feast. On the Dime Trap cut, T.I. calls out himself for his past mistakes and deviances with acknowledgment on how he needs to do better.

"It's amazing all the sh*t I done / Such examples I've been setting for my son / All she did was stay down and have my kid / All the time just to realize I ain't sh*t," T.I. spits. In addition to the rapper flexing his acting chops, the album version of the song includes the infamous scene in ATL between Tip and Lauren London, where his character snatches a necklace he gifted for New New.

The rapper is currently closing out the year on an impressive note as it was revealed that his music has been streamed 276 million times on the music streaming service Spotify. "A modest flex to end my 18th year in this sh*t!!!! Multitudes of Gratitude!!! #NextYearWeGoBigger!!!!," the Grand Hustle emcee tweeted on Saturday (Dec. 8).

Check out the video above

 

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Extra thx to @brittneyelena @woody_thegreat @mikeho_ @officialcshort and errrrbody involved in bringing this vision to life!!! #TheAmazingMrFuckUP out @vevo after tonight’s episode of Friends and Family Hustle!!! @vh1

A post shared by TIP (@troubleman31) on Dec 10, 2018 at 6:34pm PST

 

A modest flex to end my 18th year in this sh*t!!!! Multitudes of Gratitude!!! #NextYearWeGoBigger!!!! pic.twitter.com/7J6FFsUicS

— T.I. (@Tip) December 8, 2018

READ MORE: T.I. On 'Madman' Donald Trump: 'On The World Stage, It's A Joke'

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Meek Mill Is Surrounded By His Day Ones In Visual For "Intro"

Self-proclaimed "Champion of the United States" and Philadelphia-bred rapper Meek Mill delivers the official music video for "Intro" on Monday (Dec. 10).

Directed by Kid Art, the three-minute visual frames Meek's mental state as he re-enters the rap game as he continues to battle the justice system as a young, black man. Presumably surrounded by those he considers family, "Intro" retrospectively takes a look at the 31-year-old's come up as a notable rapper out of North Philly.

Juxtaposing his current lifestyle with not-so-distant memories of the trenches, the video shuffles scenes of club confetti, bullet holes, poured out bottles of Ace of Spades and dirt bikes– a presumed nod to Meek's unjust jail sentence.

"Pouring champagne 'cause all my n***s dead/ If they ain't in the graveyard, then they in the feds/ I give a f**k if that crown heavy, put it on my head" spits Meek over the instrumental to Phil Collins' "In The Air."

Last week (Dec. 2) music engineers Young Guru and Anthony Cruz spoke to VIBE about Meek's choice to sample Collins' "In The Air Tonight" on the track, stating that "Meek had this vision" to flip the classic track since he first heard it in Paid In Full and was glad to finally make it happen in a standout fashion on "Intro."

If you haven't already, be sure to take a look at the official music video for "Intro" up top.

READ MORE: Young Guru And Anthony Cruz Discuss Engineering Meek Mill's 'Championships' Album

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Gucci Mane, XXXTentacion, & More Friday Releases You Need To Hear

Another week, another list of Friday music releases. The week's of 2018 are dwindling, but there is a little more time left for some last-minute music releases. From Gucci Mane, to XXXTentacion, and Ice Cube, here are the albums and singles that you need to hear.

Gucci Mane – Evil Genius

Gucci Mane's 13th studio album is here. The rapper dropped his new project, Evil Genius, featuring an all-star list of talent, including, Quavo, Kevin Gates, Lil Skies and 21 Savage. The LP also features production by Metro Boomin, Murda Beatz and Southside.

The latest music drop marks the perfect finish to an eventful year for Guwop. He previously dropped DropTopWop, Mr. Davis, and El Gato The Human Glacier this year. Even so, the rapper suggested that he wants to make a bang with Evil Genius.

"I think this time, this album was like the first time I kind of had more fun making the records," he said during an interview with Beats 1. "With the intentions of just going in the studio and just had fun and this is what came out. But before, I was kind of going and expressing myself, talking through the mic, like I had a lot of my chest. This album was like, let's find the best beat, make the best song and put it out."

XXXTentacion – Skins

In celebration of XXXTentacion's posthumous album, Skins, his estate and friends through a livestreamed event at 9p.m. EST, featuring Trippie Redd, PnB Rock, Ski Mask the Slump God, Matt Ox and more.

There has been quite a bit of buzz surrounding the late rapper's new release. It's his first since his death in June 2018. The album features only one guest appearance from Kanye West. On the track, which is entitled "On Minute," Ye reportedly addressed abuse allegations brought against X. In support of the album, Kanye also released a Yeezy capsule collection, commemorating their single.

Since X's death he has been regarded as a young legend, gone too soon. His sophomore album ?  peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. Listen to Skins below.

Ice Cube – Everythang's Corrupt

Ice Cube is make with Everythang's Corrupt. The album's only feature is OG rapper Too $hort.

Cube already got fan excited after released the one of the LP's single "Arrest the President." The track takes aim at President Trump's corruption and racist policies. The album's cover art features Cube holding a 100-dollar bill in his bloodied hands.

Everythang's Corrupt is Cube's tenth studio album and his first in eight years. It's a follow-up to 2010's I Am the West.

Sneakk Ft. YG & Tyga – "Spray"

New artist Sneak has joind forces with YG and Tyga to bring their new banger "Spray." It's Sneakk's first track released through Def Jam. The single definitely sounds like the new stripper anthem or the perfect track to ride down the block to.

Ahead of the single's release, the rapper's shared a teaser on social media featuring a behind the scenes look at their music video.

Michelle Williams – "Fearless"

Michelle Williams is back. The songstress – best known as a member of the popular girls group Destiny's Child – recently dropped a new solo record entitled "Fearless."

The pop record is an inspirational anthem, encouraging fans to face their fears and chase their dreams. This is a huge moment for Williams, as it is her first single in nearly four years. It also follows an overwhelming year for the singer, who got engaged in Apr. 2018, as well as publicly revealed her battle with depression and mental illness.

Listen to the new track below.

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