The Score: "The Old Lil Wayne's Dead, Gone & Never, Ever Coming Back [On 'I Am Not A Human Being II']"

Tuesday, Mar 26, 2013 5:05PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Buy Now
  • I Am Not A Human Being II
  • Lil Wayne
  • March 26th, 2013
Idolator 3.5 out of 5
Los Angeles Times 2 out of 4
Rolling Stone 3 out of 5
The Versed 3.5 out of 5
USA Today 3 out of 4

The self-proclaimed "Best Rapper Alive" might not have a new addition to his Carter series on store shelves but Lil Wayne's packing his usual hits on the new I Am Not A Human Being II LP.

Nearly three years since dropping its predecessor, Wayne's new LP refreshingly arrives on store shelves this week.

The follow up to 2010's I Am Not A Human Being, which was botched out in a rush before he did time for criminal possession of a weapon, and to 2011's disappointing (if chart-successful) Tha Carter IV, this is supposed to convince us that Lil Wayne still has the best flow in the game - but it's practically void of the audaciously twisted flights of wordplay that marked him out in his prolific heyday. (Metro)

He relies on a slew of notable hitmakers to help with the project ranging from Cool & Dre to Young Money righthand man Drake.

Wayne's producers -- including Cool & Dre, Detail, Juicy J, Crazy Mike and T-Minus -- create a rangy sonic backdrop with everything from soul samples to sparse instrumentals to heavy metal for his musings. Guests 2 Chainz, Juicy J, Drake, Future and Big Sean have memorable moments, though the same can't be said for Soulja Boy or Nicki Minaj. In any case, Weezy's world is still like no other. (USA Today)

Despite being one of the most lyrically gifted artists in the rap game, Wayne's infatuation with sexual desires swallow up a majority of the LP.

This is exactly the record you'd expect to hear from Weezy in 2013: a solid album by a brilliant MC who's half-interested. He raps almost exclusively about sex, especially oral sex; there may be more cunnilingus metaphors in these 15 songs than in all previous pop music combined. He can still reel off dazzling rhymes; songs like the spookily minimalist 2 Chainz collab "Rich As Fuck" are worth it just for the nimble musicality of his vocal tone and flow. The woozy "Romance" is a genuinely kinky sex song: "Give me coochie at my momma's crib/On Thanksgiving/ Everybody listening." But there's none of the exhilarating surprise - lyrically or conceptually - of his peak years. (The drug song "Trippy" is a pale rehash of "I Feel Like Dying.") And some tracks are just dispiritingly lame. "My tongue is a Uzi/My dick is a AK," he raps in the clattering Soulja Boy-produced "Wowzers." E.T. phones it in. (Rolling Stone)

Diehard Weezy fans will likely notice a transition in Wayne's emcee skills

For his older fans, and those who never got behind his music, his new album, I am Not A Human Being II, isn't going to change their current view of the dude's music. In fact, it's probably only going to reaffirm that the old Wayne's dead, gone, and never, ever coming back - or further their belief that the guys always been overrated and undeserving of everything he's achieved. It's apparent at this point, that Lil Wayne probably doesn't care all that much about that portion of the music listening public anymore though...if you fall into one of those two before mentioned categories, you can probably stop reading now, or keep going just out of resentful curiosity. (The Versed)

While loved by many critics, some found faults in Wayne's lack of content with high-profile collaborations and lack of challenging himself.

Unfortunately, the lows -- the horrid Rebirth leftover "Hello" notwithstanding -- happen to be the highest-profile tracks on the album. Lead singles "No Worries," featuring Detail, and "Bitches Love Me," with Drake and Future, are both faded polaroids of the shimmering candy-coated stomps that made Wayne a fixture in Billboard's Hot 100 for the past decade. It seems like every one of his recent releases has a "Lollipop" knock-off, featuring a stiff Weezy straining to pull out even the smallest sliver of wit he possessed in abundance just a few tracks prior. (Idolator)
The portentous, soul-sampling God Bless Amerika excavates deeper - but, although its shuddering bounce will grab you, the 'f*ck a gun law' lyrics on Gunwalk aren't big or clever in 2013. With a new collaboration with Limp Bizkit out now, the album ends on a similarly heinous rap/nu-metal note with the Shane Heyl featuring Hello - unless you have the deluxe edition, which stops instead on the irresistibly boingy 'go stupid' track Homies Still featuring Big Sean. This record is not without its moments of appeal - but for a 30-year-old man two decades into his career, with serious pretentions to be the best rapper out there, it feels like another retrogressive step. (Metro)

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