ALBUM REVIEW: Lil Wayne - I Am Not A Human Being





Most people are forgetting that I Am Not A Human Being is Lil Wayne's first record since the very disappointing Rebirth, and though his credibility miraculously hasn't deteriorated, I think he's trying to make it up to us nonetheless. I Am Not A Human Being displays that classic Weezy swagger we've been longing for, going apeshit crazy with the assortment of sounds present. The Young Money Crew is all here, including Nicki Minaj, T-Streets, new member Lil Twist and Drake. Originally supposed to be an EP, Wayne added a few songs last minute intended for The Carter IV, which is now set to come out next year. Reviewers have been harsh so far, claiming I Am Not A HumanBeing is outdated and simply a mere attempt for the 28 year old to stay in the spotlight while he's serving time. Yes, there are some moments here where you lose interest, but Weezy shows much needed creativity on this album, lyrically and otherwise. It's no Carter II but it seems those days are far behind.

Weezy opens it up with a track called “Gonorrhea” which is without doubt, his raunchiest effort to date. “What you talkin’ bout, tell it to my nine/cut your tongue out, mail it to your moms/I’m a young God, swagga un-flawed/bitch I'm in the building, you in the front yard.” Not to mention the reference to Two Girls One Cup, and his desire to fornicate the world. It sounds very much like an epilogue to “Fireman,” using similar frightening high pitched synths and off-beat drum patterns, but only more menacing and self-assertive. Here is the first time Weezy calls himself a “Young God;” his arrogance on this record certainly isn't fickle. On Drake's first of many appearances, he is equally smug, “I be with your baby mama, you be with your child at home.” It's a smart choice for an opener, one that certainly piques your interest.

Weezy doesn't hold back with the disparity here, transitioning from the smooth, seductive “With You” to the Cool Kids sounding, rock heavy title track. The first single, summer friendly “Right Above It,” demonstrates his formidable ability to craft relevant popular music; “I got my gun in my boot purse/And i don't bust back, because I shoot first.” “Hold Up” is the sole return to his Cash Money days, fronted with a beat that sounds like it was produced by Mannie Fresh. Adhering to his gangsta rap persona, Weezy is repetitive and frolicsome, avoiding any use of autotune or singing. “I'm Single” is probably the grimiest track on the record; a sleek, trumpet disoriented ballad regarding his intention to cheat on his girlfriend, but only for the night. Weezy sounds so poised, so precise, emphasizing every single syllable; unlike his usual simile heavy banter, he's telling a story here, one where he even admits that he's wrong....but it still feels right.

Had he weeded out the overdone “Popular” or the boring “That Ain't Me,” he would have been close to creating a stellar album here. What's most disappointing has to be Nicki Minaj, whose rhyming skills are not utilized. Anyone who's heard “Monster” knows that she is a serious threat on the mic but on “What's Wrong With Them” she sings a chorus that is dull and conventional.

Nonetheless, the stronger songs on this record make up for the poor ones; Weezy's been accused of being passé, but the contrasting sounds of this LP indicate otherwise. The riveting album closer “Bill Gates,” produced by Toronto's Boi-1da a.k.a. the hottest DJ out there right now, corroborates Wayne's command over the rap industry. “I used to be ballin, but now I'm Bill Gates.” If there just a few more tracks of this aptitude, and less snuff, than I Am Not A Human Being might have been one of the dopest rap albums of the year. Shame.

75 — [Rating Scale]