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Lil B, Black Flame

Lil B has been busy lately. Between touring, recording verses with Lil Wayne, dropping an unofficial album and several mixtapes, the Bay Area rapper is scrambling to hold listeners’ attention. But maybe all this has left the Based God depleted, as he sounds on his new mixtape, Black Flame. The latest installment of the legendary (to Lil B fans, at least) Flame series, Black Flame has none of the energy of the Blue or Red editions, and none of the thought provoking lyricism of I’m Gay [I’m Happy], B’s last commercial release. Instead, Lil B sounds like he never has before: fatigued.

Mr. McCartney seems to be trying to prove that he can go beyond “cooking” music, as a more conscious lyricist. But on Black Flame, it seems that even he does not believe his message. “Stop gun violence, we worth much more/More than one choice, you don’t have to go to war,” he rhymes in “Down 4 To Long,” but the nice sentiment of the rhyme is lost in his uninspired delivery. The final product, however well-intentioned, ends up not only being lackluster, but undermined by Lil B’s apathetic tone.

In fact, B seems most energetic and focused when drops the pretense of the ‘hood savior, and goes back to what fans know him best for: his Swag music. “Goldhouse” is the highlight of Black Flame, and the album’s only real cooking song. Despite his more feminist musings such as “you was born beautiful,” as he rhymes earlier on “Ms Woman,” “Goldhouse” has Lil B rapping, “suck my dick, bitch!” with fervor that is absent from the rest of the tape.

However, for the 11 songs prior to “Goldhouse,” Lil B seems bored as he raps over boring beats. Even when he exclaims “I ain’t just rhyming,” the evidence points to the contrary. Black Flame sounds more like a collection of tracks that did not make the final cut of I Forgive You, his last mixtape, than a proper release. This thought is further supported by the fact that the second half of this mixtape is actually comprised of cuts from I Forgive You.

Perhaps Lil B’s campaign of positivity has zapped all the hunger from the Master Chef. Or, perhaps when you record every waking thought into a rhyme, as Lil B seems to do, there’s bound to be material that is more stale than stellar. Still, one of Lil B’s strongest attributes has been his originality, which is strikingly absent from Black Flame.. “You think that I’m stupid but I’m wiser than I look,” raps Brandon on “Down 4 To Long.” He’s already proven that, in the 1000 songs he has released. Lil B has already grabbed our attention. Now, he needs to prove that he can hold it. –Martin Spasov

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

    I can’t believe he got an L for lyrics…I listened to this and his ability to rhyme does not deserve an L. It deserves an M. Both the rest is accurate….

    • VanHalenBItvh

      shut the fuck up abd quit hating on a nigga makin money, i bet hr can rap better than you.

      • thetruth

        “tie lil b up to a full tank of propane, swag! now watch him cook & just stand there & look.” – game.

        • 2883Joker


        • Daddy$$$$

          he said “when im with my uncle i’m a crip too”
          real ass nigga foreal

      • swype-matic

        I think it’s funny when fans of wack/mediocre rappers defend those rappers, but all they can say is somebody is “hatin” and “get money”. Can ya’ll dumbfucks think of something original?

        • J

          swype just hatin cause he ain’t got no money and the basedgod fucked his girl

          • swype-matic

            How the fuck old are you, 13?

    • word

      can’t believe it got an l? i cant believe xxl even rated this shit.

  • http://neonleon.wordpress.com chris brewster

    lol lil b is just fuckin’ around

    • areldub

      fuckin around huh?..seems to be the only thing he does…hell, kinda makes you think he just can’t rap…

      • GOD2U

        this guy is so bad at rapping. He makes people think that being this whack is ok so everyother half retarded rapper who has no flo and rhyme like 6th graders around a lunch table think shhit if lil b can do it i can. False hopes.

      • markus

        he can rap. listen to “the bible” by lil b. he’s made good songs, you just need to find them. sadly the only songs that become popular are his funny ones. but i still enjoy it. tybg.

  • 25forLife

    I definitely agree with XXL on this one… As a fan of Lil B since Spring ’09, he’s been able to come up with a long list of “Classic Lil B Hits” but on Black Flame, only “Goldhouse” resembled his usual style and tempo that fans are used to. I hope he uses this to revamp his “Classic Lil B Style”. Until the next mixtape, I’ll be listening to the other mixtapes in this ‘Flame’ series and unfortunately, purposely overlooking “Black Flame”.


  • VALENSI666

    I agree with @25forlife i dnt even listen to none of his new shit its not the same shit im used to and i honestly dnt like it. he needs to change or he is gona lose alot of more fans

  • bullets

    This guy is trash the best part of the review was when martin pointing out that lil b is only a legend to his fans this dude has no talent outside of sampling! And I hate when people say stupid shit like “oh he’s just fucking around” or “he’s not being serious” then why the fuck would you support a song you know is being mad to insult your intelligence? Furthermore his so called serious songs suck! so i dont see how he’s playing when he makes dumb shit he should be crowned worst rapper ever off that lil wayne feature alone!

  • $yk


    he had his chance with ‘He’s Gay’…Marvin Gaye cover and all…and failed miserably…his future is in a marketing firm somewhere…not being a rapper because his publishing catalog (music) is worthless.

  • Dre G

    Howd this guy get anything bigger than a “S”?

  • Daddydick530

    Making money or not, that nigga sucks at every aspect of hip-hop.

  • Fireforreal

    I give him a S or if your really drunk a M. Wait no still a S

  • Joker

    you forgot to consider the mastered version of the i forgive you mixtape which adds a lot of value to this free mixtape

    I think lil b is a very honest person, this comes with positivity and this translates exactly to his music, music is just that to him a form of art as expressive form. he also seems to be lover of music and that is more important that adeptness at craft.

    • $yk

      here’s a good example…

      you can’t be a pianist, sit down in front of the piano and play off key notes and say you’re expressing your art by going out of the box to purposely play off key. No one will ever respect you for being a pianist nor will they purchase your music…

      now imagine Stevie Wonder doing exactly what I typed…and now look at LIL B…now tell if me LIL B is doing something groundbreaking or out of the box…

      • Nehemiah

        lmfao!!! You right, $yk! (If one of you muthafuckas tell me Im homo for saying he’s right, i’ll track you down from your IP address and kill you! According to Science we all Homo-Sapiens of course not dick suckers! lol) Lil B is just one of today’s lil Bitches lol he makes money off muthafuckas that never heard or liked real hip hop.

  • AnteK

    How the hell could Im gay get an M for lyrics when this gets an L … at least on Im Gay he took up some real issues as song subjects

  • Audsims

    Its a shame how starving for talent the so called hip hop audience is for something new they even embrace garbage like this now. SMH. ALL HIP HOP MARTYRS ARE ROLLING IN THIER GRAVES!

  • http://www.xxlmag.com/reviews/2011/09/lil-b-black-flame/ jordan

    Lil B sucks. Don’t fucking listin to him. His lyrics are worth shit. He rem ids me of soulja boy. He soulja and Tyler the creator worst rappers in the game

  • http://facebook.com/lgotti Brotha L

    is lil b horro core if so he raw and um come wit a another cookin soong wolpack lives niggas lil b d shytttttttt

  • Staephendedalus

    Although I think Black Flame was a departure for him (listen to the old school “real 100″ and his delirious dreamlike flow on “logged in”) I see what he’s getting at that he sounds tired.

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