Lil Wayne - I Am Not A Human Being

posted Wednesday September 29, 2010 at 07:12AM PDT | 237 comments

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Ironically on the title-track Lil Wayne gloats, "I thank God that I am not basic." This musical offering, on the other hand, will need a bit more convincing.

Following the huge commercial success of Tha Carter III, Lil Wayne has yet to release a full-fledged project that shows considerable improvement and likewise commitment in the last two years. Fans can still vividly recall the failed experiment that was The Rebirth from this past February, but it’s also been his mixtapes (Dedication 3 , No Ceilings ) that didn’t feel up to par as well. I Am Not A Human Being carries this same torch of deviant quality. Needless to say, the results vary.


While Wayne and Young Money rapping counterpart Drake have done some notable records together, their collaborations on I Am Not A Human Being add little to the conversation. On the opening track “Gonorrhea” , Wayne cooks up an inordinate amount of throwaway similes (“We in this bitch like tampons”) for the sake of shock value. “Right Above It” fares better as Kane Beatz backs the duo with heavy synth lines and luring drums to rap over. Slowing down the tempo, “With You” becomes an ode to the detached significant other in Weezy’s life. Over a soulful yet slightly out-of-tune sample that sets the mood, he slyly ponders, “We probably ain’t supposed to be together / But I wonder if our love affair can last forever.” Admittedly, Drake’s repeated chorus of “with you baby” becomes dispensable by songs’ end.

Considering the short tracklist, little room for error becomes the New Orleans emcee’s worst enemy. Whether it’s his mailed-in performance on “What’s Wrong With Them” or the obligatory gangsta record “Hold Up” featuring T-Streets, I Am Not A Human Being suffers from a lack of consistency. Nicki Minaj doesn’t help the cause either as her cringe-worthy chorus on the former record is capped off by a tonal inflection of the way she pronounces “them” that becomes unbearably annoying.

With an inspirational vibe, “That Ain’t Me” is one of the few standout tracks. Usually spaced-out, Wayne keeps his focus generally on topic of his stake for the Rap throne. Treating the production as if it was meant for his next album, Jay Sean’s performance on the hook nearly steals the show. Interestingly enough, “I’m Single” also lands as a highlight in which Wayne seemingly does his best Drake impression. With that said, it’s never a good sign when arguably the most complete record on your album consists of a song buried at the end of a year-old mixtape.

Wayne’s birthday project I Am Not A Human Being is fairly mundane considering his past track record. Granted, many expect resurgent lyricism and style in his post-prison music. Still, if these were the supposed-tracks that didn’t make Tha Carter IV, then Weezy has some work cut out for him. Ironically on the title-track he gloats, “I thank God that I am not basic.” His music, on the other hand, will need a bit more convincing.   

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