It sucks to have to call Lil Wayne’s post-prison output – made while sober (we assume) – disappointing and devoid of the searing, brilliant whimsy and menace of his previous drug-incubated work. Particularly in the aftermath of last week’s TMZ-led death scare, it feels right to root for Wayne’s sobriety. But his new album shows more unravelling by one of hip-hop’s most cherished and beleaguered figures.
Temperance might dull his inspiration, but it can’t shake his confidence. Unfortunately, that smugness is also his undoing: there’s no quality control here. He goes from being uncharacteristically ham-fisted on sneering Curtains to humourless with goofball intentions on No Worries. Though Weezy is known for being (sometimes indefensibly) uncouth, the sex raps on II are boring, desperate and depressingly cynical.
He regains some focus on Love Me, featuring Future and Drake and helped along by a slinky beat from Mike WiLL Made It. In fact, from 2 Chainz (Rich As Fuck) to Gunplay (Beat The Shit) to a reunion with Trina (Wowzers), his collaborators deliver.
Top track: Love Me, featuring Future and Drake Anupa Mistry