When Lil’ Wayne released Rebirth earlier this year, it was without a doubt a huge speed bump in the road Weezy has paved through his cuts across the three editions in Tha Carter series. It was an underwhelming let down, especially considering the number of times the disc was pushed back. But Weezy has returned for another collection of tracks named I Am Not A Human Being, creating a solid step up from the sidestepping Rebirth that fuels the hype for his forthcoming Tha Carter IV while keeping us diehard Weezy fans at bay. Armed with synth-driven beats and an overall slower feel, I Am Not A Human Being doesn’t hit a home run, but it certainly loads the bases.
Per usual in today’s rap game, Wayne brings on a slew of names to contribute to this EP turned LP, including Drake, Nicki Minaj and Lil Twist. Drake and Weezy’s natural chemistry inside of a track flourishes once again between the trio of tracks the two share on this album. The album leading and bluntly titled “Gonorrhea” features a sweet beat and is chock full of Wanye’s usual biting wordplay. Drake, as he has shown since emerging from the wheelchair to a rap career, is no lightweight in carrying his half of the weight on these tracks. Top it off with a crisp beat, and you get a great start to this record.
Afterwards, things are kind of hit and miss. Sure, Weezy can rap with the best of them considering his flow and metaphorical methodology, but there’s a reason this isn’t Tha Carter IV. “Hold Up” gives us another simple beat with decent (but not great) melodies on top of it, all while Wayne deploys his usual mix of n-words and uncensored, explosive lyricism. But something is just a bit off on this track, as the beat is just not quite right. We all know Wayne seeks perfectionism (see Rebirth pushbacks), but you get the feeling that although he was happy with what he was going to put out that they weren’t quite up to Carter-level expectations. It seems like a reoccurring theme with I’m Not A Human Being - be just good enough. “With You” is just too much of a slow jam to really give Wayne a good foundation to rap over, while his slower approach on “I’m Single” just doesn’t cut it. We’ve seen where Wayne do slower cuts before, but the beats have to work with his flow. Otherwise, it just falls flat and sets Weezy back in the process.
Still, there are enough decent tracks to keep your attention on this record. Besides “Gonorrhea”, single “Right Above It” sees Weezy and Drake again at their usual craft, with the smooth synth melodies giving this track a catchy hook for both to spit over for arguably the best track of the disc. “Popular” is another solid track, and makes reasonable use of Wayne’s slower approach for once with a mild, yet steady drum beat and a pulsing melody. It seems like the only thing this record truly misses is a consistency to keep your attention from front to back, something Wayne usually has no problem doing with his records.
While the hip-hop critics patiently await Tha Carter IV, the needy Waniacs can be fed with the solid, but not astounding cuts of I Am Not A Human Being. And while it will certainly tide us over, Weezy still has us wondering what tricks he has up his sleeve for the future.
2. Hold Up (feat. T-Streets)
3. With You (feat. Drake)
4. I Am Not A Human Being
5. I'm Single
6. What's Wrong With Them (feat. Nicki Minaj)
7. Right Above It (feat. Drake)
8. Popular (feat. Lil Twist)
9. That Ain't Me (feat. Jay Sean)
10. Bill Gates
Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr. (born September 27, 1982 in New Orleans, Louisiana), better known by his stage name Lil Wayne, is an American rapper. Formerly a member of the rap group the Hot Boys, he joined the Cash Money Records collective as a teenager. Get It How U Live, released in 1997, was Lil Wayne's first album with Hot Boys, and Tha Block is Hot, his solo debut, came out in 1999. After gaining fame with two other albums in the early 2000s, Lil Wayne reached higher popularity with 2004's Tha Carter and its two subsequent albums Tha Carter II (2005) and Tha Carter III (2008). ... read more