On June 10, 2013 Lil Wayne released a freestyle over Ace Hood's hit ”Bugatti” instrumental featuring fellow Young Money artist Boo, which was later confirmed to be the first song from Dedication 5. Later that day DJ Drama confirmed on his Twitter that the mixtape is coming by stating: "Yup. D5. Tunechi. Dram. YM. Stay tuned. But pleaaaase.... b patient." hinting that the mixtape was still in development. Mack Maine intensified the topic when he tweeted D5 hinting the tape would be soon released. On August 14, 2013, Lil Wayne hinted on his Twitter account that the mixtape would be finished in 10 days after he was asked by a fan. On August 25, 2013, it was announced the mixtape would be released on August 30, 2013. The mixtape was later pushed back two days and was released on September 1, 2013, at 12AM PST. The graphic artwork of Dedication 5 was made by the graphics team OllyCarterzGFX (Olly Tas and Abidul Ahad).
Dedication 5 was met with mixed reviews from music critics. William E. Ketchum III of HipHopDX gave the mixtape a positive review, saying "To Wayne’s credit, Dedication 5 is the best the series has showcased since its legendary sequel from seven years ago, even if it pales in comparison. Occasionally, the YMCMB head honcho shows that he still has a portion of the skills that earned him his spot among rap’s elite. If he can find recapture the consistency from that same era, he won’t have to apologize to his fans for much longer." Brian Josephs of XXL gave the mixtape an L, saying "Surprisingly, one of the more intriguing moments of Dedication 5 comes in a skit. On one of the final tracks, Lil Wayne is asked if he considers himself a living legend. He doesn’t know, but he concludes by saying being Lil Wayne is “amazing.” Is this just contentment or a positive outlook on things to come, like the entertaining, but flawed Dedication 5 is? Fans could speculate, but it’s much easier to realize how refreshing it is to hear Lil Wayne sounding like he gives a damn." Corban Goble of Pitchfork Media gave the mixtape a 5.1 out of 10, saying "Though he’s still got an ear for the beat and can manipulate his flow to fit-- and, again, most of these bars are rapped without rehearsal, so adjust your mindset accordingly-- Dedication 5 is uneven, front-heavy, and too long for one sitting. But with both recent mixtapes as well as recent projects, Wayne has set the bar very low. What more can he say? It’s hard to know until the artist himself decides, but Dedication 5-- a release whose DatPiff page earnestly reads "Welcome back Mixtape Weezy”-- shows that some gears are still moving."
Chris Coplan of Consequence of Sound gave the album three and a half stars out of five, saying "In just a few words, Wayne lends all sorts of gravity to claims that he wants to get better and to do away with the laziness, fear, and negativity of recent years. He’s got a long way to go before he’s ever the Best In The World again, but he’s nothing if not totally, totally… committed. Good to have ya back, Mr. Carter." Adam Finley of PopMatters gave the mixtape a six out of ten, saying "Medical troubles, legal troubles, self-doubt, the crushing weight of expectation – any one of those on its own could cripple an artist. Wayne has stumbled hard in recent years, but with Dedication 5 he seems to have temporarily caught himself. He even apologized to fans on Twitter recently and promised to work harder. Dedication 5 is not the best Lil Wayne mixtape ever. It’s not even in the Top 5, but it is the best that he’s released in four years. More importantly, it’s evidence that Mixtape Weezy still exists in some form, if Wayne can stop cashing checks and doing skateboard tricks long enough to let him out."
On December 23, 2013, XXL ranked it at number 16 on their list of the best mixtapes of 2013.