Lil Wayne's "I Am Not a Human Being" Video, Directed by David Rousseau
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 Banger.
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 Martian feel.
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.
Follow David Rousseau on Twitter at @creativeseen and check out his production company's web site at creativeseen.com.