Lil Wayne has just released his tenth studio album, I Am Not a Human Being II. It's been eighteen years since his first album: True Story as 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." Whereas now we're just getting whatever lazy nonsense wanders into his addled brain ("'Cause when it Waynes it pours," which, come on).
Wayne understood language so intuitively in those heady pre-Tha Carter III days that he could skip through convention and construction and arrive at 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 succeeded him and did it even better while he got too big to care anymore.
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 has steadily run out of things to say, you can see the deterioration of his creativity. By way of demonstrating this, here are all 80 similes from the new album. Note that only five of them come from guest artists.
Hashtag similes (the ones thar are nouns at the end of a line, apropos of nothing, grammatically) don't count. And obviously this is the most profane thing you will read today. So NSFReading Aloud at Work, I guess.
IANAHB 1. Medicine, I treat it like peppermints. 2. I be grindin' on them hoes like a half pipe. 3. Then I make her take this dick like advice. 4. I stick it in her ass like some fucking steroids. 5. Like a white boy wearing black paint, you're a fake-ass nigga. 6. Runnin' this shit like a faucet. 7. I can make ya bitch root for me like I grew her. 8. 90 billions bitches on my dick like a skewer. 9. I got her over here blowing me like coffee. 10. Bitches sweatin' me like John Mayer, or warm air.
Curtains ft. Boo 11. I'm getting cake like I'm Jewish. 12. Your bitch ride me like a go-kart. 13. I play that pussy like Mozart. 14. I get Adam like Yolonda. 15. She gone ride this dick like the Kentucky-Derby. 16. Game tight like virgins. [Boo] 17. Ain't got no worries like Tunechi. [Boo]
Days and Days ft. 2 Chainz 18. I milk this shit like cattle. 19. That's my word like Scrabble. 20. I'm on them trees like candy canes. 21. I pop a nigga like a 'cycle. 22. [I] drop a nigga like a missile.
Gunwalk ft. Gudda Gudda 23. Cause I'll pull the trigger like teeth. 24. I pull your card like a lawn mower. [Note: card=cord here]