Lil’ Wayne, the self-proclaimed “Martian” and “Best Rapper Alive,” has always been the master of some pretty crazy lyrics. After the critical disaster that was Wayne’s foray into rock (Rebirth), however, one could be forgiven for thinking that he had begun to wander too far from the bizarre lyricism that had gotten him so many fans.
It was definitely a concern of mine, in beginning my exploration into I Am Not a Human Being, Lil’ Wayne’s last pre-imprisonment album, that Wayne may have forgotten what made him a cultural force.
I’m glad to say that, for the most part, that is not the case; this album is pure, quintessential Wayne, and says in its very title something we all know; there is no way anyone from this planet, nay solar system, could come up with some of the crazy stuff Wayne does.
Let’s just take a few quotes from the album as examples, such gems as, “And I’m s**ting on ‘em like 2 girls 1 cup” (off his intro track, “Gonorrhea”), “And I keep the toast, turn you’re a** to bread crumbs” (“Hold Up”), and “Yes I talk s**t, gotta defecate to conversate” (“Bill Gates”). Keep in mind that those were just my personal favorites, there’s plenty more where that came from.
Lil’ Wayne has, with this album, come back to the land of pop culture irreverence in a manner that reminds me why I love Weezy.
He’s not deep or critical like the more “cerebral” rap of Immortal Technique, Public Enemy, or Nas, nor does he have the expertise and true word-sorcery of a Jay-Z or 2Pac.
The good thing, though, is that he doesn’t try to be any of these things; instead, Wayne’s too busy creating the most ridiculous, bombastic and unique one-liners possible.
Beyond that, though, the album is unremarkable. With perhaps the exception of the wonderfully spacy “I’m Single,” the beats aren’t that great.
Lil’ Wayne’s attempts at “love” songs (“With You” and “I’m Single”) also seem to fall flat more often than the rest of the album, though his strategy of seduction via “moonlight and candles and s**t” is simply genius.
The guest appearances aren’t that great either, and the album is definitely front-loaded to the point that things start to seem sort of dull by the halfway mark.
All in all, Tha Carter III is a far more polished, catchier, and listenable album. He’s hungrier in his earlier work (500 Degreez), and the Drought mixtapes have better beats (for perhaps obvious reasons).
That all being said, I am Not a Human Being may have some of the best and funniest one-liners of any Wayne album yet, and why would you listen to him for anything else?