Lil Wayne never has been nor never claimed to be a rapper’s rapper. As his fame has grown over the years, he’s continuously straddled the line separating Pop and Rap, lacing his fodder with innuendos that he’s from another planet—coupled with oddly perverse punchlines. The production on 2010’s I Am Not a Human Being futhered this claim, with spacey beats that nurtured Wayne slapping around silly bars to the tune of an impending prison sentence waiting for him upon album completion. On the contrary, I Am Not a Human Being II is very human. Wayne is constantly horny, often drugged up (despite some repeated vows of sobriety) and only takes a few moments for self-reflection. There is nothing extraterrestrial about it, though that’s not to say it isn’t fun some of the time.
The first words uttered at the start of IANAHBII’s title track are “I’m in the crib butt naked, bitch,” thereby stressing the shape of things to come throughout the project. Wayne continuously leans on hyper-sexual lines with constant references to his manhood. On “Curtains,” he spits, “She said I didn’t know your dick was a recliner,” only to return on “Back To You” with “My dick is her chair.” Sure that’s typical Wayne, but for a project that came so highly anticipated, more metaphorical work could have been placed into it. Tunechi shines the brightest when he diverts from that formula, talking threats on “Beat The Shit” with Gunplay who sort of steals the show with his gruff delivery or the simple Trap Rap found on “Gunwalk” with Gudda Gudda. Bonus cut “My Homies Still” with Big Sean packs more energy than most of the tracks found on the standard release. Even drug talk is refreshing after hearing Wayne talk about getting head from decapitated women, as “Trippy” with Juicy J brings Wayne discussing his drug abuse in almost uncomfortable detail. His finest moment arrives on “God Bless Amerika,” as Weezy questions his fate in the midst of political distrust and gentle jabs at the prison system. It’s the nakedest moment on the album, even lined up against the inlfux of sex talk. There is one moment where the alien returns, but it’s on the 5-year-old bonus track “Hot Revolver” which feels even more out of place than the ever popular Nicki Minaj on “Lay It Down.”
Clocking in at almost 20 songs (including all bonus cuts), I Am Not a Human Being II is excessively long, leaving room for missteps that pull the album in multiple directions. It’s uneven, and while a single like “Rich As Fuck” with 2 Chainz and buzz track “Bitches Love Me” with Drake and Future would suggest the album sounds one way, the album cuts speak otherwise. There is a balance begging to be found, one that ultimately led to the success of Tha Carter IV. Having reached a tenth solo studio album is monumental – especially in the fickle world of Hip Hop – so more energy could have definitely been placed into Wayne’s 10th. For the casual Weezy fan (one that hears the music but doesn’t listen), I Am Not a Human Being II is perfect mindless fun. However, for those who expected more from this repeatedly delayed effort, Wayne may have to hop in his spaceship and try again.