Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Lil Wayne: I Am Not A Human Being II

Illustration for article titled Lil Wayne: I Am Not A Human Being II

Funny thing about novelty: It wears off. When Lil Wayne emerged as an unlikely superstar around the release of 2008’s Tha Carter III, his boisterous, openhearted, alien-jokester persona was unlike anything else in rap. Between his untraceable trains of thought and his gift for bending language around his gonzo whims, he was the most genuinely unpredictable rapper of the era, leaving listeners aglow with anticipation of whatever wild tangent his next verse might contain. Five years, several albums, one prison sentence, and well over a hundred guest spots later, though, that creativity has given way to repetition. These days, nobody wonders what crazy thing Wayne will rap next. Most likely it’ll be a dick joke, or another standardized boast about his otherworldliness, delivered in a recycled flow and punctuated by an ugly cackle, since some time ago he picked up the irritating habit of supplying his own laugh track.

Arriving two weeks after a death scare that threatened to overshadow its release, I Am Not A Human Being II doesn’t offer any more new ideas than its title promises, but it does have the distinction of being the rapper’s most focused album. That’s because this time out Wayne is rapping primarily about oral sex, a muse he’s long favored but has never before dwelled on in such exhaustive detail. This is not a welcome turn. Rappers are rarely less appealing than when they’re rhyming about getting off, a subject that tends to invite misplaced aggression and puerile humor, and that’s especially true for Wayne, who seems to regress deeper into a middle-school mindset with each passing year.

Firing off dozens of zingers about his third leg and the many places he sticks it, Wayne purges every dirty thought that might have built up in his head over his loneliest nights at Rikers. “Suck this dick, swallow that nut, and call it penis-colada,” he instructs one unlucky partner on “Wowzerz,” over a chintzy Soulja Boy beat that’s almost as objectionable as his wordplay. Although Weezy rarely sings anymore, he can’t resist soiling the Folgers coffee jingle on the decidedly unromantic “Romance”: “The best part of waking up / is breakfast after a nut.” I Am Not A Human Being II saves its lone truly surprising moment for last, when “Hello” closes the album with an out-of-nowhere throwback to Rebirth’s grunt-and-thrash nü metal. It’s a glaring outlier that doesn’t share the rest of the record’s oral fixation, yet, in a way, it’s a fitting capper to an album that so often celebrates Wayne’s bad taste.