"You lazy bitches is fucking up the economy," Nicki Minaj raps over Kanye West's menacing "Mercy" keyboard plinks on a track from Lil Wayne's new Dedication 4. The mixtape, the latest in a cult-adored series that includes 2006's essential Dedication 2, was only one in a flurry of new hip-hop releases over Labor Day weekend. No economic forecasts here, but those of us who took the day off really do look lazy by comparison.
Dedication 4, where Minaj also made headlines by rapping about supporting Mitt Romney despite her past tweets in favor of free national health care, wasn't the only high-profile mixtape of the three-day weekend. Gunplay, Rick Ross' standout Miami cohort, also posted his 601 & Snort mixtape, which includes a guest appearance from Ross, among others. Talib Kweli, the densely lyrical New York rap veteran, unveiled his Attack the Block mixtape with DJ Z-Trip, featuring Lil Wayne, Black Thought, Das Racist, Ab Soul, Styles P, and many more. You can stream all three mixtapes below.
One of the weekend's longest-delayed hip-hop releases, on the other hand, appears to be only further delayed. Last week Timbaland tweeted: "oh snapp yall my sista @MissyElliott is droppin her singles #9thinning and #triplethreat labor day weekend. watch it world we backk!!!" Rather than release "9th Inning" or "Triple Threat" as singles, however, Missy performed them live alongside her longtime producer, as she has done earlier this year, except this time the show was held in Miami; Missy also paid her respect to hip-hop impresario Chris Lighty, whose death last week has officially been ruled a suicide. Watch crowd footage of Missy and Timbaland's set below via the Source.
Minaj, meanwhile, also teamed up with Alicia Keys. The Trinidad-born hip-hop chameleon adds a slow-building, prayerful verse to the soulful singer's piano-driven "Girl on Fire (Inferno)." The track is one of three versions of Keys' new single, as Soul Culture points out, and Keys' album Girl on Fire is due on November 27 via RCA. The music has been yanked from the web, but we'll post it when it finds its way back online.