Compared to the albums he's released under the name Tha Carter, Lil Wayne's I Am Not a Human Being series is noticeably looser. The quality control is certainly above mixtape or street-release level, but stray tracks and Carter leftovers are given their homes here, while the overall album flow is allowed to be reckless. Here, Weezy's wisecracking rebel songs get bunched together, coming off as redundant blasts of evil genius narcisswagger, where flaccid penises are "sleeping giants," codeine, promithazene, and weed are the recommended vitamins, and spending your birthday in jail ain't no biggie because the Playboy Mansion can always reschedule. In other words, he lives on this earth but this stopgap release's title is apt, and also believable, since Wayne's real world bio plays more like a comic book origin story, being raised by surrogate father Birdman in the halls of Cash Money. Bundle that background with stunning talent, true wit, and a John Holmes level of cocksure, and it doesn't matter that the bedroom-bragging "Curtains" is next to the conquest-listing "Days and Days," because the first has a rock-solid hook and pop-rap craftsmanship, while the second has a 2 Chainz feature and "You know I'm on that grass/Don't turn on the sprinkles" amongst its many quotables. 2 Chainz is back for more boasting on "Rich as Fuck," a winner with an enticing and eerie beat from T-Minus. Producer Mike WILL Made-It offers a posh and radio-friendly version of the traditional swagger track, covering the "good kush and alcohol" number "Love Me" in sounds so buttery smooth that hitmakers Drake and Future sound wonderfully couch-locked and comfortable. Brilliant single "My Homies Still" is only on the Deluxe version, in frustrating "it's not really an official, official album" fashion, and yet all this redundancy and the scattershot complaints become minor when the album breaks character and gives up surprising diversions like power-baller "Back to You" (rap-rock that really works), the raw, Dirty South winner "Wowzers" (diva Trina wants sex "till' daybreak, then you can go skate"), and the quite good political commentary sketchbook dubbed "God Bless Amerika" ("I saw a butterfly in hell" might not read well, but the way it's dropped in the song is superb). This is an indulgent jumble of a sideline release, but that doesn't mean Wayne isn't in fine form. He is, and anyone with four Carters already on their shelves will certainly want this one.
I Am Not a Human Being II Review
by David Jeffries