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Lil B, I’m Gay

It’s been a busy couple months for Lil B. After announcing the title of his album would be I’m Gay, the California native’s name was plastered in mainstream press clippings from the Huffington Post to CNN. Then, last month, he announced that he was recording with Lil Wayne. And now the new album.

I’m Gay and his last mixtape, Bitch Mob Vol. 1, sound as different from one another as any two pieces in Based God’s extensive catalogue. On that previous release, the 2011 XXL Freshman grumbles alongside throwback Bay Area production. Here, by comparison (and this is only by comparison), his delivery is crystal-clear over the expensive, Just Blaze-style soul samples.

To find a closer precursor to Lil B’s most recent release, look back to Angels Exodus, his last proper album, which dropped in January. Like Angels Exodus, I’m Gay is influenced by traditional East Coast boom-bap production styles. For this reason, Lil B die-hards may accuse I’m Gay of pandering to hip-hop purists; in reality, though, the project’s production is high quality and inventive. Conventional soul samples bump against samples as strange as the chorus from the Goo Goo Doll’s single “Iris.” But what else would you expect from Lil B, who looped Pitchfork darling Ariel Pink on his 2010 track “Hugh Hefner.” New Jersey producer Clams Casino engineers the standout beat, sampling Gerard McMann’s 1987 Goth-rock hit “Cry Little Sister” for Lil B’s balled of mental slavery “Unchain Me.” Like Angels Exodus’s “Motivation,” Clams uses vocal samples on “Unchain Me” to create an atmospheric, stretched-out melody, punctuated by crisp drums.

Sonically, I’m Gay and Angels Exodus are similar, but their subject matter is Based Worlds apart. “Motivation” tells the story of Lil B’s rise to the top, and the consequences he faces as a result. “Unchain Me” is less about Lil B and more about the world. Throughout I’m Gay, B shares his opinions on plenty of hot button topics, from race to religion to health care to welfare. These opinions are often nontraditional (a nod to his album’s contentious title) and have the potential to alienate listeners. But that’s okay. In “Open Thunder Eternal Slumber” Lil B raps, “No sir, I don’t believe in Jesus/You is a slave to the world and the books of preachers.” But his trademark ambiguity rescues this verse from a pit of Odd Future-esque angsty quicksand. A couple bars later, he says, “No disrespect, I found myself in church/Paying respect to the lord like everyone else/But the picture of the blond hair and blue eyes is something…” He trails off, seemingly at odds with himself. Then, he stammers, “that…I…ain’t.” Lil B’s stunted flow reveals his complex relationship with Christianity, reaching out to religious listeners, instead of shunning them.

Many called the title of this album a marketing ploy. The album, though, shows that the title is a reflection of B’s hopes to critically consider deeper content and reject widespread assumption about ourselves and society. There are no “Miley Cyrus,” “Justin Bieber,” or “Charlie Sheen” records here. If Lil B only wanted to make money, he sabotaged himself from the moment his album dropped on June 29. Labels normally release albums on Tuesdays, but Based God released I’m Gay late Wednesday night, exclusively to iTunes, completely unannounced (never mind a promotional campaign.) The next day, he posted a link to download the album for free on his Twitter. But that shouldn’t be surprising. As he raps on “I Seen The Light,” “I don’t got greedy, man/Just the fame is enough.” With the release of I’m Gay, expect Lil B’s fame to continue to grow. —Henry Greenfield

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  • 2883Joker

    Classic album. Real Hip-Hop. Just what we needed. Fuck them critics & the haters.

  • GSW

    This Jerk is a supercilious cretin.
    His songs are the musical equivalent of the jersey shore on mtv.

  • Collan

    How did album only get L, minimum XL, not a single skippable track.


    Is it me or does Lil B has some of these writers at XXL in his pocket?

    Look,he had enough promotion and everybody now knows who he is,but looking at the numbers it seems like the people has spoken.His music is just internet shit and nothin else.Stop hypin this dude up.He had his time in the spotlight with all the gimmicks and dropped a so so album.If he had a real fan base he would’ve debut at least in the top 50 and sold way more downloads than he did.

    He should’ve kept his music on the ignorant level than trying to rap about somethin.His whole marketing stragedy blew up in his face.

    • ROBD916

      couldnt have said it better myself

    • swype-matic

      Wow, you definitely saved me some time. Good job

    • matt

      “If he had a real fan base he would’ve debut at least in the top 50 and sold way more downloads than he did.”

      he gave his album away for free to his 250,000 twitter followers…. that might have something to do with the numbers

      • matt

        also this album has some very deep lyrics.. if you see this then i’m sorry but it’s your loss

        • SOMETHIN NEW

          Dude,if you scan down to my second comment,you’ll see i gave him props for rapping about somethin.

          I’m just saying what everybody knows,he dropped a weak album.Stop making it look like he’s a victim and everybody is trying to take him down.It is what it is.

          People lie,numbers don’t.So you can sit here and come up with every lame excuse to defend this clown and i still have my case sealed up in black and white.XXL and him promoted this as a album,last time i checked,you don’t hand out albums for free,only mixtapes.He claims he’s going to wear a beat up pair of vans until he gets his first mil well how the fuck are you gonna do that when you decide to hand it out for free because it wasn’t selling?

          You Lil B fans need to learn about being real.It didn’t sell the first week and it hasn’t done nothing since.So what’s next,is he going to pull a Dennis Rodman stunt and start wearing women’s clothes?It seems that men are becoming more effeminate as the years go by and it’s sad.Stop being a victim and see things for what they are.He’s only big with teenagers on the internet and when other artist collab with him it’s only to keep their name hot because he’s the flavor of the month.

          Don’t take this as a diss because it wasn’t,i didn’t mean to wipe Mcrib sauce on your kufi but i had to.

  • jimmmyjam

    the albums dope for what it is, its obvious the people hatin on here aint actually listened to it. and the reason it ddnt sell well is explained in the fuckig review. he never promoted it and dropped it without telling anyone. no one even knew about it.

  • Zach

    The message behind the tracks are great ans soo is the production. he just can’t rap, I can’t stand his delivery.

    • micahbaiz

      agreed. i keep going back and forth on dude (no homo) one minute he raps like a nodding heroin addict and the next he does some cool as shit like call his album “i’m gay” and give it away for free so people will dismiss publicity stunt hearsay. it’s like i think highly of dude, himself and how he rolls, but his flows are sooooo garbage it makes me hate myself for liking him. idk…

  • sdakar

    next year , WHERE YOU AT???

  • Rap Fan

    Erm, I haven’t as of yet heard the album, but after reading the review, I was very surprised at the ‘M’ rating given. It sounded like an XL or at least an L was going to be given for the lyrics, as I found very little criticism for his lyrics.

    What’s up with that?

    • swype-matic

      Even with the great beats on here, and some of the content, he has an AWFUL flow/delivery, one of the worst in rap along with Shawty Lo, Wayne, DJ Khaled, Chingy, and other people like that. That’s why he got that rating.

  • dANNY

    I see why people could shoot this album down before they have heard it because everything Lil B has released up to this point had been below average in my opinion. BUT there was something that kept bringing me back to listening to this kid and giving each release a chance and in all fairness Lil B has surprised the shit out of me with this one and delivered a very solid hiphop album. His lyrics and beats, especially the samples are on top form here and although his flow and delivery isn’t up there with the greats I think its easy to see past it due to the strengths this album has in every other area.


      dANNY I see your point but to all the people who are claiming that people are dissing the album without hearing it needs to know that it’s uploaded on youtube for people to hear and on other sites.

      So let’s stop saying people didn’t listen to it before they made comments.I’m not taking a shot at you but some people need to be truthful.The album dropped Wednesday night with no promotion but by the weekend everybody knew it was out.You can’t really hide any info on the internet.You can make anything type of rumor up on the web and within minutes that rumor would be trending everywhere.

      I listened to his album,i give it props for the things he was rapping about but other than that IT DIDN’T LIVE UP TO THE HYPE THAT THIS SITE AND LIL B SAID IT WOULD.It wasn’t an album that changed the game in anyway.Point Blank.

  • G3

    lil b bitched out by putting im happy in brackets in the title, he proved it was all just a marketing ploy to get this crap buzzin.

  • guttaman

    ^^isnt that what your suppose to do in the music industry…create a buzz?? sure the album title is for the controversy but thats great! it creates dialog, interest, and hopefully sales.
    admittedly, lil b’s flow is really trash but
    he is an interesting character. i like his antics more than the music.

  • unclesam

    I’m fucking shocked. I’ve listened to more than half the album now, four songs to go. And so far the album is something between an L and an XL. It’s dope. I mean, I had high hopes for the album when Lupe said it was great and all but this was more than I hoped for. Wow, why does this guy make himself look like an idiot when he’s much closer to being a genius than being an idiot? This was an amazing album, one of the best by far in 2011.

  • Los Angelez Angelz

    He should dead himself.

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  • yougnprofit

    tupac dead ,biggie dead,lil b alive like a motherfucker….aint that a bitch?things just s=aint the same for gangstaz

  • Michael

    he got good hooks and chorus, he just cant rap. But i do have to give him props cause i was shocked by the message of the albe, considering what he usually talks about. If his cd woulda been available as physical copy and a digital copy. I think he coulda sold more copies.thank u based god

  • http://www.facebook.com/L.Q.ENT L.Q.

    Are you SERIOUS????????????? This was so bad it didn’t derserve the review, the delivery was horrible, the lyrics were dumb, but the beats were nice. Just be honest and give him an M….

  • hojjat

    love your chanel

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