Skip directly to content

Why I like Lil B: A Review

Latest News

  • Why I like Lil B: A Review
    Posted by  
    June 30, 2011

    I have a problem. It's something that I noticed a while ago and I think its something that has to do with my introduction to a wide array of musical genres as a child. My problem is is that it's really really hard for me to dislike music. I have such an appreciation for it in all its forms that I sometimes find myself listening to a schizophrenic range of sounds in the whip or on the iPod. You really have to go out of your way for me to just completely despise what someone creates musically. Now in the midst of this self-awareness I have discovered there is a certain context within music that I gravitate to more than others and that context is something that I have defined for myself as "Liberation Rock". It can be described as music that is subversive, revolutionary, political, challenges the status quo, mostly positive and even militaristic. A few examples of this would be "Know Your Rights" by The Clash, "Politik Kills" by Manu Chao, "Gentleman" by Fela Kuti, "Do It Like A G-O" by The Geto Boys, "Confrontation" by Damian Marley, "Rush Of Blood To The Head" by Coldplay, "Everyman For Himself" by Billy Blue, "In One Ear" by Cage The Elephant, "The Catalyst" by Linkin Park, "Strange Fruit" by Billie Holiday and the list goes on. I guess up against my political and social upbringing songs and artists like these strike a chord with me. Now this affinity for "Liberation Rock" doesn't negate or take away from songs and artists that don't necessarily fall under that personal category for me. Dependent on the environment, I have the uncanny ability to sit and universally enjoy whatever is coming through the speakers at almost any given time. But songs that express the qualities of my very own genre of "Liberation Rock" definitely get more burn in the system by far. And as it happens through their music I develop an interest in the artist him or herself. Sometimes the journey into the world of the artist outside of the music they create can be fruitless and even disheartening. Quite literally your hero's musically can be real assholes or morons in almost every other facet. But in all honesty that is a rare occasion. And even sometimes it's the inverse and the personality and mentality of the artist outweighs the music they create and the person becomes more of an interest than his or her art. In regards to Lil B I must admit I'm somewhere in the middle of those extremes.

    Before we get any deeper let me put my inherent biases on the table. First, I blindly and unconsciously love anything that comes out of the Bay Area of Northern California. It's part honest respect for the cultural products that emerge out of that region and part happiness and empathy that in the midst of the social turmoil and raw violence and despair that has plagued that area for decades that artists reppin' the Bay are capable to create and express themselves at all. I have the same appreciation for artists that carve out a name for themselves in Detroit and New Orleans. Second, my faith is in the youth. So I find myself constantly observing and trying to empower and support the youth in any way that I can. No matter what they create. Through the youth expressing themselves you have a golden opportunity to communicate and gain a new perspective on the ever changing world around us. It's a beautiful thing.

    So Lil B is from The Bay and he's a youth hahaha we can stop right here! He already good in my book. But what gets Lil B admission into my coveted genre of "Liberation Rock" is his absolute lack of fear when it comes to challenging the status quo. Whether it be in hip-hop, which is very elitist and caste and class oriented, or just society in general, which is very elitist and class centric. His albeit "rocky" road musically has been honestly at times unbearable to walk on. Some of Lil B's past works have been underwhelming to say the least and at moments I would seriously consider heading out for smoother pavement. But every now and again an absolute jewel would come to the surface and I'd find myself unable to fathom leaving this kids side for any reason. The vulgar lyrics, happy go lucky cooking dances and sometimes pointless stream of conscious style rambling started to give way to hints of a deadly serious revolutionary mentality lurking underneath. Now I'm not talking Dead Prez or Immortal Technique level stuff here but something just as powerful and meaningful. What I was witnessing was a man in the process of profound self-realization and self-awareness. And seeing that this road has led to the promised land in the form of "I'm Gay (I'm Happy)" has been for me just as fulfilling as the new understandings that I'm sure Lil Bars has come upon if the content of his new album is anything to go by.

    First let me make something abundantly clear, the title "I'm Gay (I'm Happy)" I think is absolute genius. Those two words together side by side in almost any format in the society we live in can be a cultural and social death sentence. And in many places in the world (even here in the good ole' US of A) they can mean an ACTUAL death sentence. I'm talking a shanked in the shower, beat with a bat, beheaded on Friday kinda death. The best and rarest of braveries is bravery in the face of death. Let's be honest Lil B's album probably won't even be commercially released in certain countries because of the title alone. I just wish he did a song called "James Baldwin" and I would've loved to see you twitter-lectuals and goon rules street professors argue against one of the foremost, prominent black intellectual radicals the world has ever known who just so happened to be an overt homosexual but repped the ghettos of Harlem harder than Nicky Barnes and Rich Porter combined and took the struggles and achievements of the black and impoverished experience and intellectually and dazzlingly rubbed it all in the pasty face of the oppressive power structures of the time and this time as well! I wish a nigga would!!! Don't matter if your gay, that's between you and your religion. All I care about is if your down for the cause. Which a LOT of hetero's ain't. Go figure. Now the doper thing about the title is that it exposed the raw power of words and reinforces the concept that "perception is king" in a very simple and even remedial use of homonym (no pun intended but you gotta chalk that up as a mean double entendre!) The word "gay" referring to homosexuality in the minds of the "guilty" ,as well call them here, sent shockwaves throughout our hip-hop community. Making Lil B the target of attack and ridicule. But Lil B's ultimate intention and preference for the word "gay" was its "one who is happy" definition. So basically my lil homey was being attacked for being happy. The poetic justice in that is awe inspiring. If that don't speak to the conditions that exist in this world and this society I don't know what does. Hate on somebody simply because they are happy or have found happiness. How many of us are innocent of that injustice? Not many. Including me at times. Now whether Lil B did that on purpose or not is really not an issue because the reality of someone (that would be me by the way) interpreting and analyzing his album title that deeply gives merit to his action regardless of his initial intent. I mean it is HIS album title.

    I won't carry on much longer but I did want to get to the content. Now normally reviewers delve deeply or comparatively lightly when talking about an album. They mention favorite songs or less than favorites for that matter, maybe even breaking them down and bringing finer points of production or lyrical execution to light. Well I'm not going to mess about with any of that. At the end of the day it's all opinion and one man's trash is another man's treasure. If you like it you like it if you don't you don't. The reason I give this album entrance into my "Liberation Rock" library hangs on the power and impact of just one single, solitary line uttered by Lil B in the midst of the entire work that is "I'm Gay". And that line is:

    "The Hood Is A Lie!"

    The modern processes of life experienced that would culminate in a 21 year old African American male who more than likely is a direct descendant of slaves, raised in a consumerist and corrupt society dominated by inequality, fear, system-trust and self-doubt, coming from a region of the country that is notoriously violent and self-destructive (to this day I still can't believe The Tenderloin exists in these modern times), that more than likely has buried friends and seen raw poverty in the land of plenty, that has received a subpar education and has been profiled and downgraded even before the day of his birth on this soil, teased with excess and a little bit of the "good life" for the price of ones morals, freedom and even life itself, in the face of all that for him to say with confidence and surety that:

    "The Hood Is A Lie!"

    speaks louder to me than the best, most well-timed, Just Blaze produced and Hype Williams directed punchline any rapper can think of! You can't buy that type of provocative, chilling social commentary. You have to live that. Furthermore it commands respect, and not that phony ass "48 Laws Of Power" "saw it on Gangland" respect either. I mean that Malcolm Martin Luther Junior respect. And if the youths are making these types of statements in these times and in the midst of all that is against them I have no choice but to be Gay (Happy) too!!!

    So there you have it. I like Lil B.

    Sincerely and with a gangsta ass "I-Wish-A-Nigga-Would" attitude,

    Wasalu "Lupe Fiasco" Jaco

    P.S. His album cover is better than yours too!

    Filed under:
    60
Lupe Fiasco's picture
on June 30, 2011

I have a problem. It's something that I noticed a while ago and I think its something that has to do with my introduction to a wide array of musical genres as a child. My problem is is that it's really really hard for me to dislike music. I have such an appreciation for it in all its forms that I sometimes find myself listening to a schizophrenic range of sounds in the whip or on the iPod. You really have to go out of your way for me to just completely despise what someone creates musically. Now in the midst of this self-awareness I have discovered there is a certain context within music that I gravitate to more than others and that context is something that I have defined for myself as "Liberation Rock". It can be described as music that is subversive, revolutionary, political, challenges the status quo, mostly positive and even militaristic. A few examples of this would be "Know Your Rights" by The Clash, "Politik Kills" by Manu Chao, "Gentleman" by Fela Kuti, "Do It Like A G-O" by The Geto Boys, "Confrontation" by Damian Marley, "Rush Of Blood To The Head" by Coldplay, "Everyman For Himself" by Billy Blue, "In One Ear" by Cage The Elephant, "The Catalyst" by Linkin Park, "Strange Fruit" by Billie Holiday and the list goes on. I guess up against my political and social upbringing songs and artists like these strike a chord with me. Now this affinity for "Liberation Rock" doesn't negate or take away from songs and artists that don't necessarily fall under that personal category for me. Dependent on the environment, I have the uncanny ability to sit and universally enjoy whatever is coming through the speakers at almost any given time. But songs that express the qualities of my very own genre of "Liberation Rock" definitely get more burn in the system by far. And as it happens through their music I develop an interest in the artist him or herself. Sometimes the journey into the world of the artist outside of the music they create can be fruitless and even disheartening. Quite literally your hero's musically can be real assholes or morons in almost every other facet. But in all honesty that is a rare occasion. And even sometimes it's the inverse and the personality and mentality of the artist outweighs the music they create and the person becomes more of an interest than his or her art. In regards to Lil B I must admit I'm somewhere in the middle of those extremes.

Before we get any deeper let me put my inherent biases on the table. First, I blindly and unconsciously love anything that comes out of the Bay Area of Northern California. It's part honest respect for the cultural products that emerge out of that region and part happiness and empathy that in the midst of the social turmoil and raw violence and despair that has plagued that area for decades that artists reppin' the Bay are capable to create and express themselves at all. I have the same appreciation for artists that carve out a name for themselves in Detroit and New Orleans. Second, my faith is in the youth. So I find myself constantly observing and trying to empower and support the youth in any way that I can. No matter what they create. Through the youth expressing themselves you have a golden opportunity to communicate and gain a new perspective on the ever changing world around us. It's a beautiful thing.

So Lil B is from The Bay and he's a youth hahaha we can stop right here! He already good in my book. But what gets Lil B admission into my coveted genre of "Liberation Rock" is his absolute lack of fear when it comes to challenging the status quo. Whether it be in hip-hop, which is very elitist and caste and class oriented, or just society in general, which is very elitist and class centric. His albeit "rocky" road musically has been honestly at times unbearable to walk on. Some of Lil B's past works have been underwhelming to say the least and at moments I would seriously consider heading out for smoother pavement. But every now and again an absolute jewel would come to the surface and I'd find myself unable to fathom leaving this kids side for any reason. The vulgar lyrics, happy go lucky cooking dances and sometimes pointless stream of conscious style rambling started to give way to hints of a deadly serious revolutionary mentality lurking underneath. Now I'm not talking Dead Prez or Immortal Technique level stuff here but something just as powerful and meaningful. What I was witnessing was a man in the process of profound self-realization and self-awareness. And seeing that this road has led to the promised land in the form of "I'm Gay (I'm Happy)" has been for me just as fulfilling as the new understandings that I'm sure Lil Bars has come upon if the content of his new album is anything to go by.

First let me make something abundantly clear, the title "I'm Gay (I'm Happy)" I think is absolute genius. Those two words together side by side in almost any format in the society we live in can be a cultural and social death sentence. And in many places in the world (even here in the good ole' US of A) they can mean an ACTUAL death sentence. I'm talking a shanked in the shower, beat with a bat, beheaded on Friday kinda death. The best and rarest of braveries is bravery in the face of death. Let's be honest Lil B's album probably won't even be commercially released in certain countries because of the title alone. I just wish he did a song called "James Baldwin" and I would've loved to see you twitter-lectuals and goon rules street professors argue against one of the foremost, prominent black intellectual radicals the world has ever known who just so happened to be an overt homosexual but repped the ghettos of Harlem harder than Nicky Barnes and Rich Porter combined and took the struggles and achievements of the black and impoverished experience and intellectually and dazzlingly rubbed it all in the pasty face of the oppressive power structures of the time and this time as well! I wish a nigga would!!! Don't matter if your gay, that's between you and your religion. All I care about is if your down for the cause. Which a LOT of hetero's ain't. Go figure. Now the doper thing about the title is that it exposed the raw power of words and reinforces the concept that "perception is king" in a very simple and even remedial use of homonym (no pun intended but you gotta chalk that up as a mean double entendre!) The word "gay" referring to homosexuality in the minds of the "guilty" ,as well call them here, sent shockwaves throughout our hip-hop community. Making Lil B the target of attack and ridicule. But Lil B's ultimate intention and preference for the word "gay" was its "one who is happy" definition. So basically my lil homey was being attacked for being happy. The poetic justice in that is awe inspiring. If that don't speak to the conditions that exist in this world and this society I don't know what does. Hate on somebody simply because they are happy or have found happiness. How many of us are innocent of that injustice? Not many. Including me at times. Now whether Lil B did that on purpose or not is really not an issue because the reality of someone (that would be me by the way) interpreting and analyzing his album title that deeply gives merit to his action regardless of his initial intent. I mean it is HIS album title.

I won't carry on much longer but I did want to get to the content. Now normally reviewers delve deeply or comparatively lightly when talking about an album. They mention favorite songs or less than favorites for that matter, maybe even breaking them down and bringing finer points of production or lyrical execution to light. Well I'm not going to mess about with any of that. At the end of the day it's all opinion and one man's trash is another man's treasure. If you like it you like it if you don't you don't. The reason I give this album entrance into my "Liberation Rock" library hangs on the power and impact of just one single, solitary line uttered by Lil B in the midst of the entire work that is "I'm Gay". And that line is:

"The Hood Is A Lie!"

The modern processes of life experienced that would culminate in a 21 year old African American male who more than likely is a direct descendant of slaves, raised in a consumerist and corrupt society dominated by inequality, fear, system-trust and self-doubt, coming from a region of the country that is notoriously violent and self-destructive (to this day I still can't believe The Tenderloin exists in these modern times), that more than likely has buried friends and seen raw poverty in the land of plenty, that has received a subpar education and has been profiled and downgraded even before the day of his birth on this soil, teased with excess and a little bit of the "good life" for the price of ones morals, freedom and even life itself, in the face of all that for him to say with confidence and surety that:

"The Hood Is A Lie!"

speaks louder to me than the best, most well-timed, Just Blaze produced and Hype Williams directed punchline any rapper can think of! You can't buy that type of provocative, chilling social commentary. You have to live that. Furthermore it commands respect, and not that phony ass "48 Laws Of Power" "saw it on Gangland" respect either. I mean that Malcolm Martin Luther Junior respect. And if the youths are making these types of statements in these times and in the midst of all that is against them I have no choice but to be Gay (Happy) too!!!

So there you have it. I like Lil B.

Sincerely and with a gangsta ass "I-Wish-A-Nigga-Would" attitude,

Wasalu "Lupe Fiasco" Jaco

P.S. His album cover is better than yours too!

Comments

ColeWorld0154's picture

LMAO @ a quality artist like lupe feeling lil b. This dude is making a mockery of my favorite form of music and he's a joke. LIL B is garbage and I could care less what anyone thinks about him even if its one of my favorite rappers..
ColeWorld0154's picture

LMAO @ a quality artist like lupe feeling lil b. This dude is making a mockery of my favorite form of music and he's a joke. LIL B is garbage and I could care less what anyone thinks about him even if its one of my favorite rappers..
Existence's picture

Lupe I agree with everything you said. Im also a fan of lil b. But in the back of my mind I know hes taking the substance outta hip hop which is a problem for me being a up an coming artist. I hope he starts to write lyrics or theres gonna be alot more lil b clones in the future...and I dont mean that in a good way. >_>
sol1869's picture

Thanks for this thought-provoking article. If you especially enjoy "Liberation Rock" then you shouldn't overlook Australia's best band - NoKTuRNL - this is an earlier track, their last album "Time Flies" is totally Lasers. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AoXsIDt1Qdo
Xavier Marquis's picture

@Easythere I understand where you are coming from as far people using "That's Gay". My point was about what the word actually means and where it came from. My opinion on why he named his album that is just my opinion. It stays that way no matter his explanation. People need to understand that nigger and nigga are the SAME WORD. White people would use both words. It just depended on how proper you were or how improper you spoke. When I'm asked "Why can you say it, but I can't??" I reply with my own question, "Why would you want to?" The history behind the word will never change or go away and there will always be people that will be offended by it. No matter the context. I don't know what race or color you are, but I'm glad that we can have a civil discussion about sexuality and the "N" word. Kudos to you.
NerdAtDaCoolTable09's picture

"Little Bars" is a trash, horrific, and flat out GARBAGE rapper. That's not even debatable. And yes i have heard his "deep" yet not metaphoric at all songs. And yes i have heard his "regular rapper flow" in which he is faster on his delivery but still lines are random and has many words that arent in the english dictionary, well not even urban dictionary. Lil B is an entertainer. thats cool. I cook(when) im swagin out nshit. But you sayin THE MILLIONSSSSS of other rappers who are better than Lil B dont deserve a Lupe Fiasco Cosign but he does???????????????????????
IHADSOMELAGEARS's picture

Wasalu Muhammad Jaco aka Lupe Fiasco, you expressed my sentiments practically to a T about this thing called music. I gave myself an honest assessment, I analyzed myself in retrospect to the umph degree and I came to the same conclusion. I love music to such an extent that I can never meaningfully say “I hate something”. I can never truly dislike what may be considered a taboo sound to some. Take the extreme, ass kickin’ death metal genre. While it’s not my cup of tea per say, I respect it for the rawness and the point blank, in your face-ness about it. To echo what you said, you’ve got to come off on something ultra unintelligible for me to completely dismiss it. Lil B. Watching some of the videos he posted, I was initially apprehensive towards him. The lyrics were almost to the point where I couldn’t stomach them yet somehow I digested everything. I was thinking simultaneously, “How are you setting yourself apart from the typical rappers silhouette?” but, that thought was based (haha, no pun intended) on what I had heard up to that point. My opinion started to shift when I watched this particular vid “Illusions Of Grandeur” http://youtu.be/SGYeBRthYso . It wasn’t the most lyrically mind boggling thing I’d ever heard but, to hear those stripped down honest words is what brought the attraction more so than anything. I don’t ride anybody’s coattails but when I’m truly interested in something I start diggin’. Dude is walking at his own pace and what appeaI can rock with that any day. AGREED, perception is everything. Ultimately we interpret whatever however we want. Sadly it tends to lean towards the negative rather than the contrary but, as you put it often, theirs always that DUALITY in the mix. I’m for that positive though. Lupe went in on it: "I just wish he did a song called "James Baldwin"...I wish a nigga would!!!" I feel you on that. #love it :)
EasyThere's picture

@Xavier Just for your reference from a different point of view. http://www.thinkb4youspeak.com/
Mr.Hez's picture

Lupe I respect your opinion and i do not agree per say but your insight did lead me to hear something that was worth my time...So with that i say thank you for your words of wisdom...and that album cover is damn awesome XD &WAIT! Has anyone actually heard any songs off the album? if u listen to "Trapped in a Prison" u may think otherwise....I hate to admit it but it’s not even bad...at all...hearing that one track has me second guessing this guy a bit...How are some of you fans of one of the most innovative controversial & revolutionary artist but yet won’t give another artist a chance...right now, you’re doing exactly what most people do when they hear Lupe.. Judge, Say He is lame, and shun anyone associated...you people need to stop being so closed minded...Cause yall acting like Lupe's message was squeaky clean when he first started...Damn hypocrites FnF^ https://www.facebook.com/MrH3z http://soundcloud.com/mrhez
EasyThere's picture

@Xavier To some people the word "GAY" when used in false context is derogatory. Sensitive homosexuals take offense when people say "That's so gay." We can think all we want what Lil B's intentions might really be but this is a statement from him in interview: "The reason why I did the I'm Gay album, I really seen that the hip-hop community is being very close-minded and very hateful, very violent...People use evil words, money, separation, stuff like that. I just wanted to make this to show words don't mean anything." Let me point that out again. "I just wanted to make this to show words don't mean anything." Words can be very hurtful. You are correct I will never see a Nigger Pride Parade, but do I see people embracing the word "Nigga" in reference to people of their same complexion, absolutely. So which one is truly the offending one for a white person to say, Nigga or Nigger? As for the use of niggardly not being fitting, I would strongly ask you to reconsider. While we both know that the word is different, screen people you know and ask them what niggardly really means and see how many people misinterpret what you are trying to ask them. If the majority of people really know the real meaning then I will be happy that society is smarter than I take it to be. But why is it bad taste then, and I'm Gay not?
MiloPKL's picture

It's simple. This is what Lil B represents: Love, peace, freedom of expression, freedom of the mind, freedom from hate, freedom from fear. If you can't agree with these things because you have some mental slavery about a gangsta image and expectation of hip hop, you are not really free. You are afraid to express yourself. That is why you hate. Lupe I saw you live in Aus in Feb. Peace out, Milo.
asinine's picture

wait one sec first you call obama a terrorist, then you go onto the o'reilly factor to defend your asinine comment and end up looking dumber. now you're supporting this trash rapper who calls himself "a based god" and you're supposed to be ...MUSLIM??? on top of that he tiltes his album "i'm gay" and youre supposed to be muslim. to quote a truly great rapper "You're an actor (Lupe), you're not who you're depicted to be" smh
Xavier Marquis's picture

@EASYTHERE The word "GAY" isn't derogatory. The original definition is "Carefree" or "Happy". Eventually homosexuals decided to use that word because it was an expression of how they were and how they lived their lives. That's why you see gay pride parties and festivals. If you have negative feelings or thoughts when you hear the word Gay, that's your issue. Niggardly and nigger are two different words. If a white rapper created a song or album with the tittle you referenced it would possibly be poor taste, but the word isn't nigger so your comparison isn't fitting. With that being said, the word nigger was negative and derogatory at creation. It's not a positive word now. You may see black people using it in a different context, but you'll never see a Nigger Pride Parade. I don't think that Lil B was trying to eliminate the negative connotation that some people associate with gay. I think that he is aware of peoples ignorance and chose to exploit it. -Xavier Marquis. Google me :)
EasyThere's picture

I'm still not sure what I think about the title...sure it makes a statement but he isn't gay. How would people respond to a white rapper that created a song or an album along the lines of "Stop being so niggardly. (Don't be so stingy)" As in the case of Lil B's album, it has an entirely different concept then you think it might have. Niggardly came way before the racial slur we are all familiar with but people still turn their head when it is mentioned because of the obvious similarity. Would we react with the same praise for an attempt of a white person trying to eliminate the negative connotation of the associated (even though it is falsely) word even though they do not experience what living in that cohort is like? Think about it, take a second.
702City's picture

First of all, I had no clue who the hell this 'Lil B' was until a friend mentioned it to me about an hour ago. You see, I got tired of all this mainstreaming crap the radio puts out that I hit up the underground world of Hip-Hop and I indulged in it. I was so disappointed what Atlantic did to Lasers, it would have been Great, but it turned out to be such crap in my ears. Only a few songs that were on the album that I liked and had that Old Lupe Fiasco feel to it, like 'All Black Everything'.. Anyways, I agree with JHeck11 to a certain point. His voice just.. Not even going to get into that. I am a true Hip-Hop head. What I look for in Hip-Hop is the lyricism, voicing the truth, delivery, decent beat (non poppy sound to it), a good voice, etc. Now, since I am a Lupe fan, I got so curious that I went on youtube and searched some songs from his album, 'I'm Gay'.. I couldn't stand his voice nor his delivery so in MY opinion, it was horrid. This is one of the reasons why I can't stand Kanye when he's on a track. I might have taken this.. Lil B guy more seriously if it weren't for his such childish name. I have heard so much crap from 'rappers' whose names start with Lil that I find this guy to be garbage. I feel like his title on the album is to get hype out of it. And it's working since apparently an underground listener like me got curious to see what all the hype is about. Lupe, I'm a fan of yours from way back and I just wish you could drop some mixtapes like you used to and spit some hot fire instead of ranting on Twitter. Rant in your songs instead. Fuck all this poppy crap on Lasers, 'Out of my Head'.. That is NOT Lupe Fiasco. I know I'm off topic but had to say it.
wnatisha's picture

This clears a lot up. I mean I haven't listened to the whole album yet but when you were tweeting about him and his album I was like "What?". I see where your coming from though I mean it's your opinion and your taste. I really can't comment too much on this because I've never listened to his other music. All I know is if people read this they'll understand why you like Lil B.
Binx's picture

Im sorry Jheck11 but really? No offense to Lupe but his new album is ruining rap, and it's by no means Lupe's fault. Lupe came on the scene with the potential to be a game-changer outspoken but intellectual about his topic, but signed to a label that wasnt interested in his ideas just selling records. Atlantic is holding him back making him release garbage tracks like the majority of those on LASERS(let me know if you find one major media source that says otherwise). Not saying LASERS is a terrible album but its cycled through the machine of current popular music trends such as the rapid shift towards electronic sounds, so it comes across as regurgitated pop. Thus rendering the "message" unrecognizable. Lil B on the other hand may not be the best or that well educated but he has garnished all his popularity and put him in his position through his own work. Dominating the social network one site at a time. While his attempts at portraying certain ideas may be self-contradictory at time you have to respect the effort his put into promoting himself and the shamelessness he present in his early work. All down without a label tying him down, maybe future artist should looks towards his business model and see where it gets them.
Chahtawoman's picture

Excellent review, so many points can't pick 1 to comment on. One question though; when are you going to take the time to combine all the stuff firing off your synapse into 1 thesis (or two) and do the book?
mrashtray's picture

much respect, lu. i'm not a fan of lil b at all, but you've def opened my eyes with this review. i read it all. coming from a fan since F&L, and i will continue to be a fan until the day i can't breathe. FnF^
lupefan90210's picture

As I read on it gets better and bettter. This is so good! You're really speaking your mind.../ heart
lupefan90210's picture

Actually I really love this. I feel so inspired. One day I'm going to tell everyone how I feel about someone like this. I love that you talked about self awareness. It kind of sounds like when I write about how much you inspire me. -How much I like listening to you
komputadora's picture

wow, Lupe - finally, someone with eloquence who can write about Lil B. I've been looking all over for something like this. I love Based God and I can tell you that he is probably the most significant artist working right now - he's changing things so significant within music that it can only be interpreted as being revolutionary in music. The based freestyles are where it's at - complete disposal of traditional hip-hop form with a tight clamp on aesthetic that's just overwhelmingly brilliant. Nothing comes close, can't come close. there's so much power & unique energy trapped in 'look like jesus' that I come close to crying when I listen to it. Amazing, amazing stuff. Never heard of you before, Lupe, but now I'm interested. You're a smart dude. But you're wrong about one thing - aesthetic relativism is a lie, because real Art is truth. Statements like " it's all opinion and one man's trash is another man's treasure" which is the same as saying 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder" - these concepts are not wisdom. True art is different - it is created in the divine and channeled through the artist. Great art already exists in our collective subsconscious and is channeled, so beauty is beauty. that's all. good work, Lupe. Great stuff.
Tryin2SellUsGayShit's picture

Lupe Fiasco lost me as a fan. Lil B acts as a disgrace to hip-hop and himself. I don't care if the dude put out Pac quality music he is a lame. Lupe I try and defend your ass every chance I get because honestly "Words I Never Said" and "Black Everything" hit home for me. Also I may add they are the only 2 decent songs on your Lasers PoS. Now your over here promoting Lil B garbage like he paying you or something. Okay, you like his trash that is fine stop shoving it into your fan bases' face. You are a lame ass disgrace, promoting everything you stood against your whole career. Talking about how dumb ass people are a cult or a following to unintelligent behavior and believe me Lil B is beyond unintelligent. The album title alone SPEAKS 1000 words beyond anything I could even explain. He is a disgrace, " a gimmick " if he would of came out without all the controversy and laid some heat out then I may care, but Lupe your a sell out also... I'm finished with your music as fast as I picked your shit up. STOP advertising your fag love with Lil B and go G check yourself. Damn shit is a disgrace to hip-hop go rock out in your band you don't belong in hip-hop. Stop sucking Lupe off, he sold out and is a lame promoting this nonsense Im done... lol
FingerTuts's picture

In order to understand someones music you gotta understand the person first. The whole thing with Lil B, is positive. He makes songs that are supposed to be stupid, silly, and comedic. But has some other deep shit out there as well, u just gotta lend an ear to him and youll see wassup.. Anyways mad respect for Lupe. Mentor Lil B get on a track w/ him
Matt Pulver's picture

Excellent review, Lupe. I am comforted these days that so many artists are so politically minded and liberation-oriented. Aaaand, Imma plug my own work on Jay-Z, which outlines the liberatory nature of hip hop: http://multibeforeidie.tumblr.com/
G. Hall's picture

well said.
AgentBlue2010's picture

Well said, as always. I'm exactly the same with music. I can't fathom how people can say they're true fans of music when they consciously decide to dislike or ignore certain genres, or artists, because of an idea or image put forth by the media, the artist him/herself or by other people in general. Focus on the art, focus on the music. I'm tired of people being so influenced by negativity and spreading nothing but contempt for others who express themselves honestly and with consistent sincerity like yourself. Live and let live, people!
Xeniyah's picture

Yeah I agree totally JHeck11 Lupe looks at things from a deeper standpoint, just as we do with his lyrics the only difference is I don't think Lil B meant it in that way whereas Lupe means what he says in his lyrics. I do believe it's marketing but you can't hate on Lu's optimistic attitude toward the situation.
Xeniyah's picture

Still don't like the music. I understand he may have whatever message but his music is absolute garbage to me. Thanks anyway Lu for the explanation very insightful and well written, you'll always be the best in my book.
JHeck11's picture

Lupe, I love you man but seriously? You are supporting lil B? He sounds like Chewbacca taking a shit over a terrible beat. Also, the "I'm Gay" album title is nothing more than a cheap marketing trick. He just did it for shock value. Lil B is a lil bitch and he's ruining rap, not helping it.

Pages

Discuss this Photo

Discuss this Video

Discuss this News

Discuss this Album

Discuss this Track