Thursday, March 21, 2013
Album Review: Lil Wayne, I Am Not A Human Being II (Deluxe Edition)
I Am Not A Human Being II (Deluxe Edition) (to be released March 26, 2013)
A few weeks ago, after watching Lil Wayne lose his natural mind in the "No Worries" video, I asked my Facebook followers how long it would be until Weezy made headlines in a bad way.
I didn't have to wait long.
Wayne's health seems to be improving but the jury's still out on the health of his career. Wayne went from glorified hype man in the early '00s (remember "wobbledy wobbledy?") to one of rap's headliners by 2005. The quality of his work has regressed in recent years - even some of his hard core fans chastised me for giving his 2011 album a positive review.
Well, after listening to I Am Not A Human Being II, the sequel to his 2010 album, he's gonna have an even harder time getting fans to visit his planet.
Despite claims to the contrary, Wayne has never been an outstanding lyricist - his strength comes from his delivery and bizarrely entertaining punchlines. But these days, that delivery is so frantic and unfocused that it makes the hyenas from Lion King sound like Orson Welles.
And those punchlines? The first line Wayne spits on "IANAHB," the album's intro, goes like this: "I'm sitting in the crib butt naked, b****/she said my d*** could be the next black president."
Say huh? And that's just the half of his nonsensical warpath.
"That p**** boneless, that's Chick-fil A" - "Curtains"
"Long hair don't care/Hacksaw Jim Duggan" - "Trigger Finger"
"If you fake, put a egg in your shoe and scramble." - "IANAHB"
You'll spend half of I Am Not A Human Being II trying to figure out what exactly Wayne is talking about.
Sometimes, Wayne is like the old guy at the barber shop who spits so much nonsense that he actually becomes entertaining. "Rich As F***" has Wayne bragging about some girl "blowing kisses at me with her p**** lips" but it's oddly mesmerizing. "Trigger Finger" has the same effect, conjuring fond memories of the infamous "Mixtape Weezy" until someone unchains Soulja Boy from his post in the back yard and he ruins everything after just one line.
Speaking of guests, this albums is full of them, and hardly any add anything meaningful. When Gudda Gudda drops one of the album's stronger verses on "Gunwalk," you know we're in trouble. Wayne spends the rest of the song biting (heh) Rick Ross' style. Drake does help make "Love Me" a bit more radio friendly and Corey Gunz outshines everyone on the album with his uncredited verse on the bonus cut "Lay it Down." I have no idea why that guy still doesn't have an album out.
As for the rest of the set, Wayne tries to seduce women in the most disgusting ways possible. "Be a lady and buy me lunch," he demands on "Romance." I guess it's lines like those that landed Wayne all those baby mommas. "Back to You" is like the misguided sister of Wayne's old "How to Love" track. And you can probably guess what "Wowzerz" is all about. Hint: It ain't Inspector Gadget.
If you're looking for a tutorial on giving your girl oral sex, this is the album for you.
If this review seems disjointed it's by design. One listen to this album and the world's greatest psychologists and neurophysicists will be driven insane by the time they reached the eardrum-bursting track "Hello." I'm all for controlled chaos (see ODB's first two albums) but not unfocused insanity.
What's worse is that Wayne's core fans likely won't make time to decipher the nonsense. Many young fans who grew up with Weezy as their rap savior have gravitated to the likes of Kendrick Lamar, an artist who serves up a healthy diet of substance with his street tales. I Am Not A Human Being II, on the other hand, is like a big ol' bowl of trail mix filled with crickets and ear wax thrown all over the living room floor. I doubt fans will have the patience to pick through the trash for a couple of morsels.
Earth to Wayne: I know you're from another planet but if you can't convince your fans to join you, you'll be left behind.
Best tracks: Ummmm, two-thirds of "Trigger Finger" is OK. And maybe "Rich as F***." That's all I got.
2 stars out of 5