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‘Dedication 4’ by Lil Wayne

Even if you haven’t listened to “Dedication 4,” the latest installment in the popular Lil Wayne and DJ Drama “Dedication” mixtape series, you may have heard this line from the project: “I’m a Republican, voting for Mitt Romney/ You lazy b------ is f---ing up the economy,” Nicki Minaj raps on a guest verse on “Mercy.”

That line has generated a lot of attention, not only because it places Minaj among a small but vocal group of rappers (including the late Eazy-E and Scarface) who have voiced support for the GOP, either real or sarcastic — Minaj has said the line wasn’t an actual endorsement — but because it insults those who doesn’t share Minaj’s political views, including a huge number of her fans. The line has brought Minaj threats of death and boycotts of her music and has made an artist who has compared herself to a Barbie doll throughout her career into a politically polarizing figure.

The media attention Minaj has received has also helped to dull the impact of negative reviews of “Dedication 4,” which is so disappointing that one Lil Wayne fan has told a few blogs that he plans to sue Weezy for wasting his time.

Wayne has managed over the years to hit listeners with enough free association, clever punch lines and weird references to make a limited thematic repertoire of raps about a handful of sex acts, several illicit substances and New Orleans sound fresh and engaging. On “Dedication 4,” whether he is rapping over the beat to Meek Mill’s “Amen” or Chief Keef’s “I Don’t Like,” it’s just a jumble of references to “redbones” and “lean,” a far cry from the days when Wayne used mixtape tracks to upstage his peers over their own beats.

Still, there are a couple of standouts: an energetic remix of “My Homies Still,” with Young Jeezy, Jae Millz and Gudda Gudda, and album-closer “A Dedication,” where, over the horns from Outkast’s classic “Spottieottiedopaliscious,” Wayne gives a little hope and uplift to the people of New Orleans.

On Lil Wayne’s “Dedication 4,” Nicki Minaj’s verse about Mitt Romney has stolen the spotlight. (Lil Wayne)

Sarah Godfrey

Recommended Tracks

“Mercy,” “A Dedication”

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