Lil Wayne - "I Am Not a Human Being" Mar 31, 2015 23:02:22 GMT -5
Post by StevePulaski on Mar 31, 2015 23:02:22 GMT -5
I Am Not a Human Being (2010)
By: Lil Wayne
By: Lil Wayne
Through all the hate and negative buzz, Lil Wayne has found a way to be noteworthy in both the rap and pop genres. He relies on witty metaphors and similes to carry him through his rap songs and infectious hooks to carry him through his pop songs, and I Am Not a Human Being is a bonafide celebration of his craft on all fronts. Wayne disregards autotune entirely in this album and gives us a collection of songs from both genres that immediately work thanks to their wild lyricism and Wayne's humorous delivery. Once you stop taking Wayne's music seriously and simply prepare to laugh and find some stylistic value is when you'll hopefully begin to appreciate Wayne and his music.
I Am Not a Human Being comes only seven months after the release of his album critically-panned, rap/rock album Rebirth and was released while Lil Wayne was behind bars. Following monstrous pre-release and post-release success with Tha Carter III, recording and releasing Rebirth during Wayne's peak in popularity, while admittedly taking a risk with his name and work, probably wasn't the best move for his persona. It was during that time Wayne began to see a great deal of animosity and hate for his work, and, to day, still receives a whirlwind of criticism from hip-hop fans. I Am Not a Human Being attempts to cut back the risk taking (except for the lack of autotune, which, up until now, was a Wayne signature), and delivers an album that restores his rap name quite nicely.
Wayne kicks off the album with two winners right off the bat with the cut-throat "Gonorrhea," one of four tracks that feature Young Money rapper Drake, which is just catchy from the very beginning and "Hold Up," one of the many songs on the album where Wayne uses a futuristic instrumentation and raps entirely in metaphors. "Hold Up" really accentuates Wayne's craft beyond simple-minded choruses to really show that the man is a thoughtful rapper in his lyrical structure and creativity. If Wayne has a degree from the streets, it's probably in poetry or English.
Wayne returns momentarily to rock tendencies on the titular track, an acceptable but marginally forgettable tune when it's followed by the hypnotic, dreamlike "I'm Single" (the fact that this serves as the album's first single shows how not mainstream this material really is, despite the artist behind it being a household name) and the infectious "Right Above It," again featuring Drake. Wayne's talents and rapping abilities even make Nicki Minaj tolerable on her track "What's Wrong With Them;" if that can be achieved, one knows they have a great album on their hands.
The only time the album begins to falter is when the two "Young Money" tracks come into play during the end, clearly showing that not enough completed material of Wayne's own was readily available during his prison sentence and tracks like the Young Money soundoffs needed to be recorded in order to make this an album, not an EP. But by the time those tracks roll around, Wayne has already blindsided us with so many great tracks, uproariously funny one-liners ("life's a bitch, better yet a dumb broad," "life's a bitch but I appreciate her," "you know you're at the top when only Heaven's right above you"), and such a great variety, heavily assisted by Drake and science-fiction-style production that two missteps really don't matter.
I'll have to revisit it to fully confirm my opinion, but I Am Not a Human Being might be better than Tha Carter III. Might be.
Recommended tracks (in order): "Right Above It," "Gonorrhea," "Bill Gates," "Hold Up," and "What's Wrong With Them?."