CD Reviews: Lil Wayne, Tyler, the Creator and TiRon & Ayomari

Dirty Rap

Lil Wayne, I Am Not a Human Being II (YMCMB)

Lil Wayne must be really bored with rap. On his latest project, he spends more time waxing poetic about his penis than putting together meaningful bars. Has Wayne lost his mojo? Somewhat. He still manages to whip together a few potent punchlines when competing for the spotlight with 2 Chainz on “Days and Days.” The rowdy “No Worries” is also a winner with its stadium sound and fun vibe. But Human Being II is just an extended penis joke over often strange and ho-hum production. As for the rock efforts “Hello” and “Back To You,” let’s just say Wayne needs to stick to rap. ★★☆☆☆

Offbeat Hip-Hop

Tyler, the Creator, Wolf (Odd Future Records)

“Bitch, I ate one roach and I made a lot of money,” Tyler, the Creator boasts on “Domo23” off his latest album. No longer simply a niche rapper, Tyler and the Odd Future crew have seen their stock soar with TV shows and tours. Now it’s time to prove he’s more than shock rhymes, and Wolf does that. Tyler still offends, but songs such as “Answer” and “Rusty” (a middle finger to the critics) are more personal, leaving you curious about what goes on in Tyler’s head. What handicaps Wolf is its sound—like a dull blade trying to slice through a steak—and its excessive length. He’s a work in progress, but Wolf is a positive step. ★★★☆☆

Soulful Hip-Hop

TiRon & Ayomari, The Wonderful Prelude Pt. 1 (Self-Released)

California’s TiRon and Ayomari have been flying under the radar for far too long. After putting out the criminally ignored A Sucker For Pumps in 2011, the duo tease an EP titled The Wonderful Prelude Pt 1. Obviously part of something bigger, this tiny dosage of music reminds us of their musical prowess. “No Filter” and its soulful groove allow TiRon and Ayomari to do what they do best: talk about the opposite sex. Never offensive, the duo effortlessly crafts hip-hop love songs. Even when they aren’t rapping, it is just great feel-good music, as “The Master” demonstrates. Although far too short, it’s just enough to leave us wanting more. ★★★☆☆

Disc Scan

Upcoming albums on Andreas’ radar …

MAY 14: Mobb Deep’s Prodigy and producer Alchemist collaborate on Albert Einstein. Not sure what to expect from these guys but with a title named after a genius, it has piqued our curiosity.
MAY 21: French Montana has had a ton of hype behind him, and now it’s time for him to put his music where his mouth is with his debut album Excuse My French.

Suggested Next Read

Robert Redford is Aging But Ageless


Robert Redford is Aging But Ageless

By Michael Phillips, Tribune Media Services

Some actors are lucky. In the third act of their careers, they become dream versions of their own parents, or grandparents. Paul Newman did that. So did Katharine Hepburn. We got to know them, and love them, at one age; then, against every Hollywood dictum, they were allowed to mature, to mellow, as they acquired a few more years. They weren’t competing with their iconic youthful images so much as putting our memories of those early years to good use, as the crow’s feet, slowed gait and thinning hair came along and changed them.