Lil Wayne was a full blown hip hop star back in the mid to late 2000’s, however, his New Orleans native hasn’t gained the same height since The Carter III. Since that album Lil Wayne has been on the down slope of his music making fans and music lovers nervous. Hearing him slowly lose his credibility left me numb, especially since he was one of the first artists who introduced me to Hip-Hop. This album I’m Not a Human Being II left me with such a mixed feeling that I don’t even know where to begin.
The opening track had a piano playing in the background that was surprisingly good, and hearing that got me excited again. I hoped for a comeback that would be reminiscent of the Carter III, but that changed when he started to speak. Lil Wayne still has his raspy, hoarse voice that doesn’t add much weight to the album. After the intro with the piano, the productions became trivial, not bringing anything fresh into his music. All in all I was beginning to feel disappointed in Lil Wayne until I noticed something that caught me completely off guard. I was laughing out loud almost entirely through I’m Not a Human Being II. This album is actually absolutely hilarious.
There were several funny lines in this album that had me roaring. Quotes like “The best part of waking up / Is breakfast after a nut” from the song “Romance” left me speechless. There was “Trigger Finger” in which he sang, “buying hatorade by the twelve pack / like two stomachs” . Finally there was “Days and Days” where Lil Wayne starts off the song singing, “Money ain’t s*** / b****** ain’t neither / You know I’m on that grass / don’t cut on the sprinklers”. When I heard this one I lost it. I took off my headphones while holding back tears of laughter. This was the perfect example of something so bad that it’s amazing. It’s almost like a joke your dad tells, and you roll your eyes but you just can’t help but smile. It’s very clever, but at the same time the lyrics aren’t very good.
If this was an experimental album or if Lil Wayne was just joking, I would peg him and this album as genius. But sadly he’s not joking; he’s being serious the whole time. If you listen to this album you might notice that he sounds like he goes into the studio and sings whatever comes out of his head. It comes off sloppy and it’s almost insulting to the audience. There are some verses in a handful of tracks that shows that he’s still capable of some clever dialogue. But they’re very brief and ultimately it doesn’t compensate for the rest of this album. If he really does improvise as he’s singing I think he needs to stop that approach and focus on writing lyrics before recording or something because this needs to change.
That’s where the worst flaw of this album comes into play: the vocabulary. Lil Wayne really needs to widen his knowledge base because he mainly raps about sex and drugs. The themes have no variety past those two subjects, and it gets to the point where the lyrics become incredibly demeaning to the point that it becomes difficult to listen. Hearing some of his sexual exploits made me feel disgusted, yet at the same time I was holding back laughter from his audacity. Another problem that arises in this album is that Lil Wayne uses “like” a lot in his songs. For a rapper or an MC you can’t really describe your material using the word “like”. It comes off sounding lazy, and that could dismantle an artist’s reputation. Good rap brings creativity to the verses, which helps carries weight for a talented musician. And it’s sad to say that Lil Wayne doesn’t possess a lot of creativity in this album.
Ninety percent of this project is a mess, but a fun mess. Lil Wayne does have some clever lyrics in this album, but you really have to search for them, which isn’t worth the effort in the long run. I’m afraid that, sadly, Lil Wayne has lost his skill as a talented musician after; I can’t really listen to any of his music after The Carter III, and after this album I don’t know if it’ll be worth it to hear what else he has to say. If his next release gets some praise from various critics when it’s released sometime this year I’ll consider giving it a listen. But after this, I’ve given up on Lil Wayne as a musician. That’s really what bothers me most when you get down to it; Lil Wayne could easily make better music than this. Listening to his earlier work, anyone can tell that he’s not garbage. The Carter II and The Carter III were some of the best albums to come out in the mid-2000’s, so it’s hard to imagine him going from those albums to I’m Not a Human Being II where it’s hilariously bad.
Reviewing this album was difficult. Critically it’s not good, and as I stated, I most likely won’t listen to any of his later works. But for some reason I couldn’t put this one down. Do I recommend this album to other listeners? Perhaps, but it depends on your taste and whether or not you will take this album seriously. It truly is so bad that it’s amazing, which I didn’t think was possible in music. It’s one of those albums where I listened to it multiple times and enjoyed it, not because it was good, but because it was extremely entertaining; I’m Not a Human Being II is pretty much an amazing disaster. One has to turn off their brain as they listen to it and just enjoy this train wreck for the ride. Anyone who thinks they can enjoy something so bad it’s great I recommend giving this album a try, otherwise stay as far away from this LP as possible. Love it or hate it, one thing I can say for certain is that I’m Not a Human Being II will leave you speechless.