Lil Wayne, I Am Not a Human Being II | Album Review
‘I Am Not a Human Being II’ is a good Lil Wayne album, not a great one. Too often, he aims small as opposed to intellectually or cutting edge.
Lil Wayne is ‘one of a kind’, period. Idiosyncratic, energetic, and unapologetic, the 30-year old MC has become one of the “it” rappers, delivering some of the nastiest, most pointed, yet irresistible rhymes. His crowning achievement came in 2008 with his multiplatinum, milli-debuting Tha Carter III. His follow-up, Tha Carter IV (2011), would sell nearly a million its debut week. In between those efforts, he released I Am Not a Human Being, an album that didn’t fit the same mold of his Tha Carter series. He returns in 2013 with the follow-up, I Am Not a Human Being II. I Am Not a Human Being II has its moments, but is a scattered effort.
“IANAHB” initiates the effort, led by impressive dramatic piano. After a lengthy intro, Lil Wayne enters the picture, yielding risqué lines aka trash talk. He caps off the cut in typical ‘Weezy’ fashion:
“No rubber…I just f*cked this piano.”
“Curtains,” featuring Boo, finds Lil Wayne chocked-full of auto-tune. Lil Wayne pop-raps, referencing the female anatomy frequently. As he continues to brag about the sex he partakes in, Boo adds to the salaciousness on the third verse.
“Days and Days” is more signature Lil Wayne. Cool & Dre deliver superb production work. Thankfully, auto tune falls by the wayside. He raps about marijuana, lifted by featured guest 2 Chainz, who appears on the second verse. It doesn’t supersede his classics, but ends up being more satisfying than “Curtains.”
“Gunwalk” tackles gun control head on, with Weezy proclaiming:
“I’m strapped up, n*gga f*ck a gun law / See me walking with a limp, that’s my gun walk.”
He never backs down from his stance, unsurprisingly comparing his gun to his penis. Gudda Gudda continues the violent trek, adding ecstasy to the mix. Wayne switches from guns to ridiculousness on the Detail feature (and production), “No Worries.” Lyrically, he has both sharp and utterly filthy moments. No Worries” is a crowd-pleaser.
“Back to You” is a miss, running an exhaustive five-and-a-half minutes. Lil Wayne sounds desperate for pleasure, with clumsy lines about his dick. Adding to the failure, he pop-raps, approaching “Back to You” like a ballad. “Trigger Finger,” featuring Soulja Boy, is an improvement, though not elite nor the best. “Beat the Shit” sports a ‘no-holds-bar’ hook:
“F*ck with me wrong, take me out my zone / And I’ll knock the motherf*ckin’ snow off your cone, n*gga / man it stink in this bitch, it must be them pussy-ass n*ggas.”
Gunplay arguably out-raps Wayne, sounding assertive and confident. Even so, Lil Wayne gets in some punches.
“Rich as F*ck”
“Rich as F*ck” brings 2 Chainz back, but more subdued. The hook is unintelligible, as suggested by the title. Wayne cleverly alludes to “No Worries,” as well as Chief Keef hit, “I Don’t Like.” The most disturbing references are the drugs: Xanax, Percocet, and promethazine with codeine. “Trippy,” featuring Juicy J, is the stoner’s anthem. Juicy J delivers the faded-sensibility on the third verse. The production work is perfect, capped off by the chopped-n-screwed ending. Wayne delivers a gem when he raps:
“I said king me, king me with my mushroom crown on / I graduated to better drugs, my cap and gown on.”
“Love Me” proves to be a brilliant choice for a lead single; It’s easily the crème de la crème. Mike WiLL Made It delivers signature production work, providing an excellent backdrop for the star-studded cast of Lil Wayne, Future, and Drake. Future’s auto tune hook is incredibly catchy, while Drake adds more muscle to the hook. Lil Wayne doesn’t say anything truly revolutionary. Even so, he doesn’t really need to. There’s enough to make this hip-hop gold.
“God Bless Amerika”
“God Bless Amerika” isn’t too shabby, if odd in structure. The message has more depth than many of the previous cuts.
On “Wowzers,” Soulja Boy atones for a clumsy verse on “Trigger Finger” with banging production work. Lil Wayne is nasty, oversexed, and on autopilot simultaneously. Add a dumb hook and Trina, and you’ve got an inappropriate, archetypical Lil Wayne hit.
Two of the three bonus tracks on the deluxe edition are more than worth it. “Lay It Down” eclipses some of the clumsy cuts that made the main album, featuring superb production work and solid guest verses by Gunplay and Nicki Minaj. “My Homies Still,” featuring Big Sean, also should’ve made the main attraction.
Ultimately, I Am Not a Human Being II is a good Lil Wayne album, not a great one. Too often, he aims small as opposed to intellectually or cutting edge. Topics are limited to guns, drugs, and “bitches.” For an MC that never devoid of a ‘devastating lyrical game,’ his game seems compromised on this overstuffed effort. Love and sex frequent urban music circles, but the graphic depictions and reduction of sex appearing here come off as more distasteful, demeaning, and disgusting. Lil Wayne doesn’t lose his edge, but, it’s a mixed blessing.
Gems: “Gunwalk,” “No Worries,” “Love Me” “Wowzers” & “My Homies Still”