Lil Wayne's I Am Not a Human Being II: A track-by-track breakdown of every simile used
In the heady pre-Tha Carter III days, Lil Wayne understood language so intuitively that he could skip through convention and construction and arrive at an expression that made him seem like the only dude speaking in colors, while everyone else was stuck in black and white. That's why he was the greatest. And then people followed him and did it even better, while he got too big to care anymore.
Lil Wayne just released his tenth studio album, I Am Not a Human Being II. It's been eighteen years since his first album, True Story, when he was one half of the B.G.'z. In that time, he's been a lesser-known member of an embattled Southern hip-hop group, a scrawny kid, a mixtape hero, the greatest rapper alive, the world's biggest pop star, a crossover cautionary tale, a completely non-discriminatory shill and an old man playing catch-up in a style he practically invented.
That style would be the free-association that people once reverently described as "dadaist" but now more commonly refer to as "stupid." And he deserves it, really: In 2007, we were getting vivid genius like "I'm so motherfuckin' high, I could eat a star." Now we're just getting whatever lazy nonsense wanders into his addled brain.
Metaphors and similes have always been a valuable tool for anyone writing poetry, rappers very much included. But Wayne's style allowed for looser association, and as he's steadily run out of things to say; that's where you can see the deterioration of his creativity most obviously. By way of demonstrating this, here are all the similes from the new album. Note that only five come from guest artists. The general guidelines are that hashtag similes (the ones where it's just a noun at the end of a line, apropos of nothing, grammatically) don't count.
What's your man doing? I pop his motherfucking top like a can good.
Medicine, I treat it like peppermints.
I be grindin' on them hoes like a half pipe.
Then I make her take this dick like advice.
I stick it in her ass like some fucking steroids.
Like a white boy wearing black paint, you're a fake ass nigga.
Runnin' this shit like a faucet.
I can make ya bitch root for me like I grew her.
90 billion bitches on my dick like a skewer.
I got her over here blowing me like coffee.
Bitches sweatin' me like John Mayer, or warm air.
Curtains, ft. Boo
I'm getting cake like I'm Jewish.
Your bitch ride me like a go kart.
I play that pussy like Mozart.
I get Adam like Yolonda.
She gone ride this dick like the Kentucky Derby.
Game tight like virgins. [Boo]
Ain't got no worries like Tunechi. [Boo]
Days and Days, ft. 2 Chainz
I milk this shit like cattle.
That's my word like Scrabble.
I'm on them trees like candy canes.
I pop a nigga like a 'cycle.
[I] drop a nigga like a missile.
Gunwalk, ft. Gudda Gudda
Cause I'll pull the trigger like teeth.
I pull your card like a lawn mower. [Note: card=cord here]