You may have lost track Lil B. For more than a decade, Berkeley native Brandon McCartney has maintained a binding grip on the internet’s attention, whether he is crowned as the future of hip-hop or his death. Even non-believers had to admit that there simply was no other person like him, and that the passage of time had vindicated his vision. Lil B’s fingerprints are everywhere today: whether you follow the Drain Gang’s positive, transcendent phrases, RXK nephewAn endless stream of biblical conspiracy theories, or Certified hunterDIY cartoon rap, all roads lead to the risen lord.
While his offspring captured the spotlight, Lil B stepped into the role of godfather. He still released no fewer than 15 mixtapes over the past five years (a relatively slow period for him), but for the first time since initially unleashing his silly theses of self-empowerment into the world of rap, it felt as though the sun might finally be out. Laying on Lil’ B’s empire. Attention-based economy operates, and while fellow wayward nurse adder continued to grab wayward eyeballs Powerful retrospective compilations And Strange takes on astral drum’n’bassLil B’s recent strips have offered few surprises. AfrikaansYet Lil B’s most striking proposition in years: an electric jazz album that sounds like it was recorded with the cheapest MIDI presets on the market. where his previous “classical music” releases Picks and flowers And 4 Tears of God wandering in a slight aberration, Afrikaans Less tied to basic notions of melody and harmony, Lil B’s digital jams dot the Casio’s clutter.
Despite its supposed categorization as jazz, the closest point of comparison to Afrikaans Fall into the chintzy vaporwave wave they offer James Ferraro And Orange Milk Records. It’s a complete bizarre moment to see Lil B, an artist who has irrevocably reshaped online culture, create a record that reflects a very different side of the early 2000s internet. Afrikaans“Adventure is an impressive thing, even if listening to it might cause you slight brain damage. Discordant horns and endless amateurs scream due to the mallet stampede of GarageBand cymbal crashes on the opening tracks, “My Fathers Drums” and “A Song for Mom.” The latter will be a struggle to get over half of its grueling eight minutes; the entire album is 72 minutes long, which seems long until you consider that the average Lil B mixtape runs nearly two hours.
Afrikaans Yet it contains flashes of Lil B’s quirky, restless creativity. “Cricket” is the most requested of the bunch, with piped synthesizers leading up to a new age groove that tramps into a 16-bit sunset. The method of hitting bongos that opens “Kim” suggests what would happen if a DK crew I got approval Frank Zappa‘s Jazz from helland “Solano Stroll” rides a weird guitar slash that won’t make you blink if you pop up on Foodman Record. Even the brutal style of “Welcome to Oakland California” feels purposeful: arriving after a string of similar Bay Area tracks tossing hip-hop into the mix, the song’s noodle drums explode in a cacophony of car alarms, smashed glass and police sirens. The cheapness of the instruments imbues the music with a deep malice and awe, like a desperate plea for help alluded to Fisher-Price See N’ Say.
It takes patience to put up with all the noisy plastic horn samples, and even the album’s most intriguingly experimental gestures can’t stand up to an ocean of hopelessly disturbing regression. However, there is something vaguely ambitious about Lil B’s willingness to throw himself into ideas that are outside the realm of what anyone else in hip-hop is currently doing. Afrikaans He reduces his free-flowing, anything-going philosophy to a purely instrumental form; The ratio of bad to good tracks is secondary to the project’s daring, and the strangeness of it all makes a much deeper impression than the music itself. At a time when Lil B’s influence is arguably more relevant than ever (“based onenter into the entire general lexicon, whether or not that audience knows where the term originated), Afrikaans as evidence of his permanent external status. The results may be funny, but no one has ever accused Lil B of not being entertaining.