9 April, 2013@7:47 am
“I would talk about my dick, but man that shit would be a long story!” boasts Lil Wayne on his tenth (!) studio album, I Am Not A Human Being 2, the sequel to the 2010 fluke LP released in place of Tha Carter IV, during Wayne’s stay at Riker’s Island. The original was a mostly solid ten track LP, one that could have rated even higher had he avoided imprisonment, finished it, and released it as the fourth volume of Tha Carter series. But back to his dick, with I Am Not A Human Being 2, Wayne proves exactly that: he is a giant, rapping cock.
Wayne has taken his craft to the lowest level on IANAHB2, as every song on this album has at least one punchline about his dick, and it’s various super powers. It’s to the point that if you were to play a drinking game, one in which you took a drink every time his dick is mentioned on the album, you would die of alcohol poisoning. Couple that with his other interests – mainly guns and smoking weed – and you have pretty much the entire album’s subject matter summed up. As scholars of rap music for over two decades, this isn’t shocking or surprising by any means, but Wayne’s been a bit more varied in the past. Or at least it seemed that way.
But Wayne can hardly be criticized for this, because even on his tenth album he manages to litter the album with several well-thought out punchlines, however vile they may be (“Wowzerz”). Like it’s predecessor, this album is more focused on the lyrical Wayne, who does inspire many laugh out loud moments, despite the redundant subject matter. His two collaborations with 2 Chainz (“Rich As Fuck”, “Days & Days”) find the duo competing for laughs like a southern Red & Meth, while later taking a stance against gun control legislation (“Trigger Finger”), while unknowingly presenting a convincing argument as to why it might be needed (“Gunwalk”).
Wayne’s witty lyrical puns are what make this album somewhat fun to listen to, yet considering the limited range of topics, it’s production is what makes or breaks each track. The album opener, “IANAHB”, featuring Wayne rapping over nothing but ELEW’s classical piano keys, tries to pass this off as high art, despite it ultimately being detrimental to society. While most of the production is paired down, and pretty boring, the only real outright bad tracks are his rock-crossover songs, like “Back To You” and “Hello” (feat. Shane Heyl). He really needs to stop force-feeding this shit, as mashups and rock-rap as a genre are completely dead. And why is five-year old “Hot Revolver” on here as a bonus track?
Speaking of the bonus tracks, “My Homies Still” – his 2012 Original Concept sampled single with Big Sean – is still the best track of the set, curiously left off the main album tracklist. This ode to his drug dealer friends is still the most fun, energetic track on the album; it’s a shame he didn’t follow this format closer for other parts of the record. But leaving this as a bonus track shows he really didn’t want to.
At the end of the day, IANAHB2 is a step up from Tha Carter IV, as he doesn’t really attempt to build songs around other artists, nor does he try heavily for a single. This is Wayne, in his element, having fun, and it comes through in the despicably funny lyrics. Despite his talent, it’s a shame Wayne uses his powers for evil, limiting his topics to the most base of subjects. While he may claim to be this generation’s “new Pac”, he’s more like it’s Eazy-E; a completely careless, ticking time bomb.
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