I’m tryin’ real hard to keep up with Lil’ B’s constant mixtape output, but that dude doesn’t make it easy.  I’ve barely scratched the surface of The Silent President and Black Flame from just a couple months ago, and he’s already put out BasedGod Velli AND Gold House since then, and he just put out a video the other day for a song that will be on White Flame, which he says is just around the corner.  That dude just doesn’t let up.

But I still make an effort to keep reasonably caught up with the stuff he’s been putting out, and this one song from Gold House I was listening to today caught my ear because it heavily references this one really weird Geto Boys song from over 20 years ago.

Lil’ B – All I Have

Geto Boys – Balls and My Word

Maybe that song’s not that weird to anybody else, but for some reason it feels real weird to me.  I mean it definitely was weird back then for some dudes in Houston to be trying to make rap music, that shit was pretty unheard of at that time.  And it’s weird how there’s no rapping on it all too.  Maybe that’s not as uncommon as I think it is, and maybe the fact that it gives me some flashbacks to learning about this in music school makes my brain feel strange about it.

Steve Reich – It’s Gonna Rain

I feel like those 3 videos in a row are like some kind of weird rap haiku or something, at the end of it your brain is just kinda empty and you have to just start thinking about something else.  Man this post turned out weird.

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  1. Mike Allen says:

    If I had not just watched “Scarface” a few days ago, I wouldn’t have known where that sample is from. It’s a pretty good line too: “All I’ve got are my balls and my word, and I don’t break em for nobody.”

    Someone is going to have to explain Lil B to me. Is it like an anti-art type of thing? Perhaps I just need to take him at face value.

  2. REDLiteDJ says:

    I’d recommend reading his book, if you can get your hands on a copy. I have one but Amber’s got it right now. She’s supposed to be sending it back to me anytime though, so when I get it back you’re welcome to borrow it.

    The thing about Lil’ B is people portray the silliest parts of him the most. Like anything on the internet (or just in pop culture in general, for that matter), the goofiest, most ridiculous things get the most attention while the more serious, heartfelt, or difficult things get downplayed. I think that’s very true of rap in general, actually. Think about what’s on the radio and what’s not, and what effect that has on the mainstream perception of what hip hop is. And I don’t mean to shun his more absurd stuff, it’s as much a part of him as his positivity-oriented stuff is. But those parts of him don’t get equal weight in the discussions about him in general, even though if you actually listen to his music, it’s pretty balanced, maybe even leaning more on the positive message side.

    He’s just trying to be completely open and honest about who he is and what he thinks about the world, and to a lot of people that unfiltered openness is really refreshing. He’s very obviously and purposefully unpolished about his art, and that is a big part of his appeal, I think. There’s a lot about all of us that’s very unpolished, and to see someone being so open and comfortable with that ruggedness makes us feel more ok about our ruggedness. When I hear his music, it makes me feel less self-conscious about my flaws because he flaunts his as much as he flaunts his strengths, you know? And he uses humor a lot too, which is one of the quickest and most effective ways to unite and connect to people, I think. When you and another person think something is funny at the same time, then it says something about both of you, that you share some viewpoint or belief or perspective that makes some thing humorous to both of you. So I think that’s where his humor comes in. He pokes fun at a lot of the textbook rap cliches, and as much as I enjoy those cliches in other people’s music, I can still totally understand and appreciate someone pointing out how cliche they are and how silly they are in a lot of ways.

    So anyway, it’s not like you have to like him, it might just not be your style. But I really do think he’s offering something meaningful through his music. Here are a couple links to songs that might be a little more up your alley than what people post up all over the place and chuckle at.

  3. Mike Allen says:

    Thanks! That’s exactly the explanation I’ve been looking for, especially your third paragraph. Most of what I’ve heard of him is people posting songs and following it with saying something like “he’s a genius” and I really didn’t understand that.

    And you know me well, haha. These tracks you posted all use nice samples. I like the second track in particular. I guess this makes me realize that I usually tend to pay more attention to the production of a song rather than anything else.

    • REDLiteDJ says:

      Cool, I’m glad that helps. It definitely took me a while to figure out what he was all about too, there was definitely a period of me scratching my head trying to figure out what the big deal was. And it’d kinda too bad how he gets presented by most people, I feel like most people that love him can’t explain to anyone that doesn’t already love him that he’s got something worthwhile to say. And I think a lot of people are into him in a kind of ironic way too, which doesn’t help either. Hopefully time will change that though.

      I’m glad you like “I Seen That Light”, it’s one of my favorites too. You should definitely download that “IM GAY” album if you get anything by him, you’ll like it better than any of the rest of his albums, I guarantee it. And I’ll let you know if I can ever get that book back from Amber. Thanks for always reading and contributing and helping out man, you’re the best!

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