I don’t know about you guys, but I thought the 2010 mixtape, I Am Not A Human Being, was totally awesome. The thing about Lil Wayne is that he’s kind of a joke and yet Tha Carter IV, from two years ago, was the biggest selling hip-hop album of the year. His notoriety’s come, gone and come back again with various guest spots, videos, stunts, tour antics and moments in the news. Naturally, you’ve heard all about his check-in at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles for seizures. Mad people speculated that it was too much sizzurp (you know, that cough syrup/codeine/juice shit), but naturally, he and his people say he’s just been working too hard. Well, mere hours after making headlines, his newest piece of work is ready for consumption; download it on DatPiff or stream it on Spotify.
Now, let’s get down to the real question – Is it any good? As the mixtape nearly comes to an end, the garbage track “Hello” is a bit of a red herring. This record isn’t full of poorly-conceived genre mashups. The guests spots are pretty austere and none of the tracks where guests show up are entirely based on their feature spot (the way it often happens). Thing is, Lil Wayne’s not reinventing the wheel or himself here. None of these tracks are exceptionally surprising or leaps forward toward elevated artistry. In fact, it kind of reduces him to a little bit of a one-trick pony. However, that one trick is just so much damn fun.
How many songs can you take that are entirely based on sex and swagger? MANY if they’re good. It’s hilarious to hear song after song about beating up a pussy with your big fat dick. And yet that’s what he does simply with variety and humor. He’s gotta know the joke’s on him, or at least, he clearly knows that he should probably stick to what he knows best; rapping about pussy, weed and “pussy-ass n*ggas.” I use those quotes because it doesn’t look okay when I write it but it’s a phrase he uses probably 25 times in this collection of tracks. Who are these “pussy-ass n*ggas” that he’s so concerned with? Or, not necessarily concerned with, but, feels the need to separate himself from.
Some of the most absurd moments come from raps on “Days and Days” (”She swallow so many nuts / You fuckin’ round find a squirrel in her throat / I go tapeworm in that ho / Let my snake squirm in that ho”), “Beat The Shit” and the stunning Trina-guested “Wowzerz” (”My tongue is a oozy / My dick is a AK / My tongue brrrrrrrr / My dick go bah! / Bitch, lay on that bed / Open that twat / I french kiss that pussy / Like mwah / Sit on my face / M U A H / Before I eat that pussy / I say my grace”).
Lil Wayne enjoys the idea of him being an alien: a huge dick-having, pussy-eating expert, dank weed-consuming and tough as nails real-ass n*gga (in direct opposition to a pussy-ass n*gga). And he just may be from a different world, but his talents in the hip-hop arena lie mainly in pushing the envelope on how ridiculous raps about heterosexual desire can be before we stop taking you seriously.
UPDATE: Pitchfork reviewed it today and gave it a 3.9.