Music this week

Lil Wayne’s least interesting mode is fixation. He’s best when bouncing from one idea to the next,sticking around just long enough to master it

Written by New York Times | Published: October 16, 2010 2:20:58 am

I Am Not a Human Being
LIL WAYNE
Cash Money/Universal Motown

Lil Wayne’s least interesting mode is fixation. He’s best when bouncing from one idea to the next,sticking around just long enough to master it,then splitting before boredom or self-consciousness sets in. Rebirth,the last album released before he began serving a one-year jail sentence at Rikers Island,was his quixotic attempt at a rap-rock album,an out-of-date idea that he treated like aggressive scientific research. From somewhere among those recording sessions came the songs found on I Am Not a Human Being,an uncentred collection of odds and ends meant to sate interest until Lil Wayne’s release from Rikers next month. In a sense it’s an improvement even if a couple of the songs bear the scars of that period,particularly Popular,which has some of the new wave sizzle he was toying with. Lil Wayne’s successes in the last few months have been in divergent modes — the hypnotic I’m Single,the bombastic Right Above It with Drake,and a somewhat preposterous,Haddaway-sampling,No Love,from Eminem’s “Recovery.” But while diversity is Lil Wayne’s strength,it’s a lack of commitment of a different sort that hamstrings this album.

—JON CARAMANICA

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