Being locked away on a gun possession charge has hardly put a damper on Lil Wayne’s career. With all of the songs, music videos, features and freestyles in the past seven months, it’s hard to tell that he’s been locked away at all.
“I Am Not A Human Being,” an EP released online on Wayne’s birthday last week and put together by his manager during his stint at Riker’s Island is the minimal amount of material to keep Wayne relevant until his release next month.
“I Am Not A Human Being” marks Wayne’s official return to traditional rap after his
“Rebirth” rock experiment disaster. On par with his “No Ceilings” mixtape released last August, the EP features 10 songs that will make long-time Weezy fans reminisce about a time when he could spit dozens of freestyles and release them on a free mixtape every month.
While his voice seems to have morphed from a raspy, hoarse drone (responsible for his nickname Weezy) into a more solid, high-pitched whine, what’s more disappointing is how Wayne seems to have forgotten how to mix up his flow and keep his rhymes interesting and focused.
Forget about hearing Wayne speak on New Orleans, his family or even the jail sentence he’s serving – the entire EP is full of quick couplets that refer only to money and STD-based punch lines.
The album opener “Gonorrhea” (featuring Young Money protégé Drake), is full of unfocused, rapid-fire insults like “I’m in the building; you in the front yard.” Drake comes in and saves the day with his verse, much like his short and sweet contribution to the chorus of “With You.”
Wayne fans will recognize the “I’m Single” track from his “No Ceilings” mixtape, and 17-year-old Lil Twist signs a catchy chorus to match the beat of “Popular.”
For a throwback to when Weezy could rhyme for entire verses and paint vivid mental pictures, take a listen to “That Ain’t Me,” featuring a chorus by label-mate Jay Sean.
Wayne focuses on pop culture and current event references like he used to be able to, throwing in lines about Hurricane Katrina, “Mortal Kombat” and “Saved by the Bell.” As long as this song isn’t a leftover track from years ago, it gives me hope that Wayne’s returning to the style of rap that separated him from others in the first place.
Wayne closes the album with “Bill Gates,” a song with an unforgettable beat and rhymes that will make anyone chuckle. He defines a new verb, “Bill Gatin’,” while rhyming “fornicate,” “pronunciate” and “vomit-face.”
His untouchable sense of humor ends the album on a light note that proves even jail can’t dampen his personality.
The physical copy of the EP, released in stores on Oct. 12, contains two bonus tracks featuring several of the rappers he has signed to his Young Money label.
Both songs “YM Banger” and “YM Salute” demonstrate the scope of the incredible talent that Lil Wayne has managed to put together in his Young Money family.
While “I Am Not a Human Being” is noticeably rushed and all too short even for an EP, it certainly ignites anticipation of “Tha Carter IV,” the album that Wayne is said to be writing during his time in Riker’s Island and will begin recording as soon as he is released on Nov. 5.
Until then, fans (and radio stations) will certainly appreciate this quick reminder that Lil Wayne’s voice isn’t going anywhere.
Jarvis is a member of the class of 2014.