Lil Wayne's 'I Am Not a Human Being II': What the Critics are Saying
Music reviewers weigh in on the rapper's latest album, due out March 26.
Last summer, Lil Wayne said that rap had become "boring" and it was rumored he would quit music to concentrate on his new love, skateboarding.
Most recently, Weezy has made headlines for his recent six-day hospitalization due to a series of seizures reportedly induced by the rapper's binge on "sizzurp."
After his near brush, the self-proclaimed "greatest rapper alive" has released his tenth studio album, I Am Not a Human Being II, to series of lukewarm reviews.
Billboard's Kathy Iandoli is more optimistic than most, saying that the album has "stellar moments to the work though, buried deep within the lewdness that riddles the greater whole. It's perverse, it's bipolar, it's abrasive, and it's dark, yet it's oddly bright. Hell, it's Lil Wayne."
Iandoli also notes that when Wayne "shed the skin of a Cash Money second-class citizen to ultimately stage a polite coup and brand takeover, Weezy transformed from the student to the YMCMB teacher. Many did not find that move palatable, especially coming from whom some deemed as a half-baked lyricist. In that respect, I Am Not a Human Being II is a step backwards."
Read what other critics have to say below.
USA Today's Steve Jones says that the album is “good enough,” adding that the rap artist “used to boast that he was the best rapper on the planet. He's surely not that on this sequel to 2010's platinum I Am Not a Human Being, which was released while he was in jail. It is solid, though, often entertaining in the crass, lewd and rude way that's uniquely Wayne.”
Rolling Stone's Jody Rosen says that Wayne's lyrics are uninspired.
"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."
The Huffington Post critic Melanie J. Simms says that I Am Not a Human Being II covers little new ground for the rapper, but that the album will delight fans, writing "Overall, Wayne meets expectations for Wayne these days – not saying much (of substance), but giving listeners plenty to talk about."
The New York Times' Jon Caramanica questions whether Weezy's (temporary) sobriety had an adverse effect on his musical prowess.
"Art isn’t proof of sobriety, or of anything really, but this album is consistent with the rest of the music from Lil Wayne’s sober period: literal, conventional, spotty. He may or may not be struggling with drugs, but his music sounds almost nothing like drug-era Lil Wayne. It’s less manic, less experimental, less unpredictable and, oddly, less consistent"
"But mostly, I Am Not a Human Being II shows us Lil Wayne responding weakly to the unsettling prospect of weakness. Beneath the bluster, he might know it too. After assuring his fans that he’s fine in his recent video statement, Lil Wayne reminds them that the album is available 'if you want,' he says. Then he adds, with a shrug, 'If not, whatever.' "