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.
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IANAHB 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]
No Worries, ft. Detail These niggas falling off like baggy clothes.
Back to You She ride me like a drive-by. I be loaded like software. I beat it up like a fistfight.
Trigger Finger Blunts like fingers, I'm about to make a fist. Glock clip full like the moon in the sky. Pass that weed, like I studied. And controlling my thoughts is like taming sharks. You ain't gon' hurt nobody like Kid 'n Play. Eyes hella red like chlorine nigga. These niggas buying hatorade by the twelve-pack like two stomachs. I'm laced up like two shoes. And these niggas nag like bitches. Actin' like little fags like Richard. You gotta problem I can fix it like a mathematician.
Beat the Shit, ft. Gunplay Got a pocket full of ass-whoopings, I'm giving 'em out like nicknames. Get beat like a drum. I'll bring it to your chest, make you King me like Kong my nigga.
Rich as Fuck, ft. 2 Chainz AK on my nightstand, right next to that Bible, but I swear with my 50 shots, I'll shoot it out like 5-0. She get on that dick and stay on all night like porch lights. And I'm sprayin at these rusty niggas like WD-40. Bitch niggas go behind your back like nunchucks and that's fucked up. I just wanna hit and run like I aint' got insurance, hoe. Then put the bitch out like a house fire. I'm killin these hoes like Michael Myers. I eat that cat just like a lion And pussy feel just like heaven on earth.
Trippy, ft. Juicy J I'm blowing like I'm stuck in traffic. I'm smoking on that strong, got me coughing like I'm getting buried. [Coughing=coffin] Eyes rolling back and keep blinking like hazards. Take a bitch home and fuck like rabbits.
Love Me, ft. Drake and Future And these hoes love me like Satan. These hoes got pussies like craters. She say my dick feel like morphine. I hope my name tastes like sardines.
Romance I stand up in that pussy like a sunroof.
God Bless Amerika None!
Wowzers, ft. Trina 'Til she tired like a rim. Give her head like a brim. I hope that pussy smell like a violet. Down here waiting for her to cum like payday. Dick head like a bullet. I hope her ass feel like cushion. I hope that pussy tastes like pudding. I'mma leave that ass smoking like a Amsterdam tourist, man. This pussy so clean, like soap in your mouth. [Trina] If that dick like a tree watch me build a treehouse. [Trina] I stay on that dick like a fucking balance beam. [Trina]
Hello, ft. Shane Heyl We pass weed like time over here. Don't worry, I'll be back if her pussy like crack. And that apple bottom, bite that apple like Mac. Cause I'mma wear this ass out like a uniform. So ride this dick like a horse, pony, unicorn.
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