In these times where you only have to grow a bad moustache to be treated as if you have just arrived from Neptune, the word ‘maverick’ has lost a lot of its meaning. But if Little Dwayne Carter were to start putting it on his business cards, he wouldn’t exactly be troubling the Trade Descriptions Act. As befits a man who drinks strong cough mixture for pleasure, he has, over seven albums, walked the tightrope between addled brilliance and, well, simply addled, and for his eighth trick he has decided to toss out his new album to various download stores in the middle of the week, simply as a 28th birthday present to himself. Presumably the only people who are saying, “Oh no, really, you shouldn’t have” are his record company.
‘I Am Not A Human Being’, Wayne is keen to remind us, is really just an interim album while he prepares to work on ‘Tha Carter IV’, something he won’t be able to do until he is released from jail in November. Even so, over 10 tracks,a mini-EP in modern hip-hop terms, he has managed to assemble an all-star cast of Grammy-winning producers and guest verses from Drake and Nicki Minaj. Other rappers may wish to follow his pruning example – after an uncertain start with ‘Gonorrhoea’, the quality curve swoops up on the wistful ‘With You’, and stays there through the mastodon-footed early Beastie Boys stomp of the title track, the filthy ‘What’s Wrong With Them’ and the jarringly euphoric ‘Popular’, in which Wayne charmingly promises to “suck that pussy like the Dracula”, a pledge which is wrong both spiritually and grammatically.
Of course, The Law Of Lil Wayne states that, after an offcut that sounds like an album, the next album will sound like an offcut, but ‘…Human Being’ gets the mouth watering nevertheless. Come on, Mr Parole Officer, and let’s see what he does next.
Click here to get your copy of Lil Wayne’s
‘I Am Not A Human Being’ from Rough Trade Shops.