With only a little more than a month until Lil Wayne gets released from Rikers Island, the Weezy buzz continues to build. Of course, it helps that while incarcerated, the reigning rap king has released more music than many of his free-man counterparts. The latest entry in the Wayne canon isI am Not a Human Being
, a new album released digitally this past Monday to coincide with his 28th birthday.
However, all the material was recorded before his prison sentence. Wayne, a notorious workaholic, was deep into sessions for his next "proper" album, Tha Carter IV, when his time ran up. It's from this batch of material that the title track for I Am Not a Human Being originated.
There's lots of Miami stamped on the track. Wayne recorded the song here, and the final product was mixed down and
engineered by a locally bred up-and-comer behind the boards, Mike
Now, there's a video for the track as well, directed by David Rousseau, who, along with Gil Green, is putting Miami on the map as a source of
music video artistry. Rousseau shot the clip for "I Am Not a Human
Being" (the song) in that February two-day flurry that also included
Young Money's "Roger That" epic, and the more casual videos atop the
Marlin Hotel featuring Mayday.
Wayne's performance in the video came during one of the more
off-the-cuff sessions of that weekend, filmed in a Hialeah studio
called Propmasters. (The other cutaway shots were filmed separately
about a month ago.) The release date for the video wasn't set, and the
song itself wasn't even finished.
"We were filming a bunch of stuff, and we didn't know when any of it
was going to be released," Rousseau says. "It was just a mad dash to
get as much footage done as possible."
Rousseau managed to make the whole thing look otherworldy and
high-gloss, though, with creative use of some surprisingly low-budget
lighting tools. Oh, and one thing that's not a clever film trick: the
neon-glowing stars and lips on Wayne's face and neck, respectively.
"He had these tattoos, and when you put the black light on them, they
glow in the dark. That's actually not a black light trick! We didn't
even know that existed," Rousseau recalls. "So we ended up testing it
under black light, and then we bought black lights over at Wal-Mart,
just a bunch of the ones kids have in their rooms!" That, combined with
carefully angled blue and day-glo lights, gave Wayne his electric
Another thing that wasn't faked: those quick money-snipping shots.
"That's real money. A lot of artists use fake money, but Cash Money
only uses real money," Rousseau says, chuckling. Luckily, they got it
right within a few takes, wasting "only a couple hundred bucks."
While everyone's angling for a piece of Wayne the second he gets out,
Rousseau remains relaxed, confident their creative collaborations will
resume in the future.
"I'd love to work with him again. On a personal basis, I just want him
to be home, know what I mean? He's a human being, I want him to be back
with his family and his kids," Rousseau says. "He's super creative, one
of those artists that kind of like Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull -- you just put
the camera on them and as soon as the camera and the lights are on,
they have it. That's something you can't fake, and you feel privileged
to work with them."
Check out the video for "I Am Not a Human Being" below.
You can also see Rousseau's work just about every five minutes,
everywhere in the form of his video for Enrique Iglesias' "Baby I Like
It" (AKA that video with the Jersey Shore cast), as well as an
upcoming one for Pitbull's new Spanish-language single "Bon, Bon." It's
designed as a sequel to his "Calle Ocho" video, featuring much of the
same female eye candy, and it's due out within a couple weeks.
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