It’s no secret Lil Wayne’s brand name has lost much of the allure it enjoyed during Tha Carter III era after spending the last couple years being progressively eclipsed by his Young Money protégés Drake and Nicki Minaj.
Drake has a Grammy for Best Rap Album and Nicki has a seat between Keith Urban and Randy Jackson on American Idol. As for Wayne, his latest media blitz involves his recent release from an L.A. hospital after a rumoured sizzurp bender had the geniuses at TMZ putting the 30-year-old rapper in an early grave.
Despite everything, Wayne remains one of the biggest names in hip hop today and any project with that name attached to it will inevitably attract attention with his latest effort I Am Not a Human Being II being no exception.
The second part of his I Am Not a Human Being series that began in 2010, I Am Not a Human Being II showcases the New Orleans native on a darker path than its predecessor which is still undoubtedly unique in terms of style and swagger but not necessarily content.
[one_half_last]The album begins with an intriguing X-Files-esque piano riff on the song “IANAHB” before dropping into a set of lazy lyrics like “she said Tunechi you the shit, you need your ass wiped” which doesn’t exactly evoke any kind of clever wordplay — just bad personal hygiene.[/one_half_last]
Of course, Wayne has never been cited as a lyrical mastermind and most fans don’t look at him as such but I Am Not a Human Being II is a letdown even for a guy whose favourite topics include loose women, purple drank and weed.
The track “Curtains” sounds like a reject from a Future album and “No Worries” features a rapper / singer named Detail who was probably a last minute replacement for Kirko Bangz when he didn’t pick up the phone.
“Gunwalk” is a street banger where Wayne is surprisingly outshined by YMCMB solider Gudda Gudda who drops some witty lines including “walkin’ round this muhfucka limpin’ / cuz the nose on the pistol ‘bout as long as Scottie Pippin’s.”
The pseudo-love song “Romance” is a nice follow-up to the catchy Drake and Future assisted single “Love Me” while “Days and Days” and the T-Minus-produced “Rich as Fuck,” both featuring 2 Chainz, are also high points with Wayne sounding more like Wayne during his peak years.
What I Am Not a Human Being II mainly lacks is cohesion. It doesn’t sound like one flowing body of work but a mash-up of songs, many of which could have easily landed on a mixtape — especially the Soulja Boy collaborations “Trigger Finger” and “Wowzers.”
There is promise here, but it seems like Wayne couldn’t decide on what direction to go with the record so he just gave up on the gripping eerie vision reflected in the album’s packaging (via Kanye West) and went with what he was most comfortable with.
I Am Not a Human Being II is not complete trash by any means but it is a disappointment considering what it could have been — a rare glimpse into the twisted psyche of one of the most captivating rappers in the game.
Get at me on Twitter @PatCwiklinski.