Talib Kweli once told me, “Lil’ Wayne is a success story… because of where he comes from.” And despite everything, I agreed with the Brooklyn legend. I even kept that in mind during this album listening, and treated Lil’ Wayne’s new studio project as its own entity and not as a successor to I Am Not a Human Being 1, nor any other LP for that matter. I did away with Wayne’s past albums and latest tracks. I zoned in on I Am Not a Human Being 2, as it went through the wire and oozed out of two separate ear buds, today.
Unfortunately (for you, not me) Wayne is not impressing this go-round. At all. In fact, I think the album is a waste of time and money. The truth is –– and maybe this has to deal in part with my getting older –– the album is ridiculously misogynist and so sexually graphic, that halfway through, I couldn’t even call it a rap album anymore. There was nothing novel or original about Wayne’s new album, except… well, we’ll get to that later.
Disappointing? A bit. Surprising? Not at all. Considering what commonly sells today, I can group –– and you’ll see for yourselves –– all songs into three categories: Sex, drugs and violence.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Tell me something I don’t know,” then roll out the red carpet for luminaries of all-time like Biggie and Tupac, who also talked about these very same topics.
The old adage rings far truer in this case: “It’s not what you say, but how you say it.” Sure, basic-minded Weezy aficionados will find lackluster lines like “life aint sh*t but b*tches and money” or “I tickle her pu**y, got that pu**y tickle pink” or “I want another b*tch, that want another b*tch” to be clever, amusing bars. But for any Hip-hop head that seeks even the minimum in lyrical aptitude, should be highly upset to find the redundant themes of fellatio and “pu**y a** n*ggas” wedged between songs like “Trigger Finger,” “Days and Days,” and “IANAHB.”
I mean, where’s the flair Tunechi? Where’s the creativity or bewitching complexity that great rap music comes equipped with? I just feel like Lil’ Wayne popped a few mollies, went into the studio and said anything that tumbled off of his tongue.
Further into the record, you’ll come across the NOLA rapper’s attempt to successfully sample songs like “Compass” by Jamie Lidell and “Good Woman” by Barbara Lynn (wait, what?), which subsequently made me think only one thing: “What are you talking about, sir?”
I Am Not A Human Being 2 has one single saving grace — superb production. All kudos go out to Cool & Dre, Detail and T-Minus (to name a few). I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t bump a handful of these songs in my ride, exclusively because of the unearthly and wicked instrumentation that these producers unleashed.
Further, I should hold myself responsible if I didn’t commend the one song that boasts both lyrical content and production, equally up to par. “God Bless Amerika” is a track that possesses a “drive slow” tempo, back dropped by a faint, yet bad a** electric guitar melody and spews lines denoting a Godless America.
If one taps solely into the hyper, kinetic energy of “No Worries” featuring Detail and the stirring third single “Love Me” featuring Drake & Future (which went gold within weeks), then the aforementioned singles will, inevitably, herald an excellent body of work… until you listen to the complete project (featuring 2 Chainz, Gudda Gudda, Boo, Trina, Drake and more) and realize you’ve been mislead. With that said, albeit I still regard Lil’ Wayne as a respectable business mogul and applaud his production team, I do not –– in any way, shape or form –– extend any further compliments or praise for I Am Not A Human Being 2.