Basehead Jazz: A Serious Lil B Discussion. Really.

05.28.10 7 years ago 95 Comments

Well, this Lil B thing has sure taken an unexpected turn. Noz and Softmoney, two staunch B supporters, have taken issue with the rapper’s coverage on TSS:

I am, however, saddened by the bile being spewed about B at SS because those guys usually strive to be smarter than that. They are taking a lazy aim at an easy target, when instead they could be offering actual ideas. – Noz

I’ll admit that our coverage of Lil B thus far hasn’t been treated with the same serious tone that we use in our album reviews or more in-depth write-ups. They’ve been comedic looks at songs that are, without a shadow of a doubt, terrible.

Like A Martian” and B’s verse on “All I Know” are remarkably bad beyond almost anything I’ve heard in all my years of Hip-Hop fandom. Comically bad. So astoundingly horrid (again: “I’m fuckin’ on yo’ bitch, then I make her strip”) that they were ripe for satire. Which brings me to the point made by Softmoney:

As I said earlier, though, fine…you aren’t with what B is doing artistically (or, “artistically”). I like him, you don’t, whatever. However, for the life of me, I can’t understand why, when the pipeline of new music is constantly overflowing, that sites still find the need to post about music they (and their readers) clearly hate…that is, other than the fact that B, and to a much greater extent, Soulja Boy, have large followings on Twitter, and provide their followers with links to wherever their music is posted, regardless of editorial tone.

It follows, then, that whenever a site posts music by these artists with 23,000 (Lil B) and 2.1 million (Soulja Boy) followers, it’s clearly going to give them a pretty significant bump in web traffic (I don’t think I’m going out on a limb with that conclusion).

Let’s first address the notion that Lil B posts are done for hits. Since Softmoney says he follows the site, he must know that we at TSS do not sacrifice a shred of our integrity for hits. We are constantly dropping posts hours or even days after songs have hit other sites because we take the time to let new material soak in so we can present it to the reader in a larger context, with a more in-depth analysis. We pride ourselves in presenting this perspective more than being the second (because really, Eskay’s had it for weeks already, probably) to have the new Drake song so we can soak in those added hits. So, the assumption that Lil B’s songs were posted here for a traffic bump from him or Soulja Boy is totally unfounded, off-base and the only offensive thing stated in Softmoney or Noz’s otherwise thoughtful responses. Also, if we were looking for that traffic jump, wouldn’t we just post all of Lil B’s posts to get clicks?

Now, Softmoney contends that we should be spending our time focusing on music that we enjoy over music that we and our readers would clearly dislike. I do agree that it’s important to shine our TSS spotlight on great up-and-coming acts and music beneficial to the Hip-Hop landscape. However, it’s also important to remember that this isn’t a fan site. We report on the state of the music we love, good or bad. We’re going to spend a considerable amount of times giving Freddie Gibbs and Yelawolf their praise, but we’re also going to talk about Shyne’s shortcomings or the laziness behind The Game’s new single. And we’re going to give an album 2 cigs if we have to. The fact is “Like A Martian” and “Look Like Jesus” aren’t just bad songs that can get thrown in the “ignore” pile next to the other hundreds of songs we get on a daily basis. They go in the “holy shit this is God awful” pile. I mean, the man’s in a church saying that hoes are on his genitals because he dresses like Jesus – while wearing a plaid shirt and bling! We comment on songs like these to counter the idea that they should be allowed to dominate radio & urban music playlists when much more deserving material exists.

Of course, there’s another side to Lil B. This is the side that Noz swears is making good Hip-Hop. Tracks like “County Blues,” “Good Morning” and “Age Of Information” are all very different from the vapid stupidity found in the Lil B songs we’ve featured on TSS. And, yes, I’ve heard these songs before. I honestly don’t find them to be remarkable in any way. I would even venture to say that they only appear groundbreaking or great musical accomplishments to some because they are such an aesthetic contrast to “Like A Martian.” But let’s not get it twisted: Lil B does not suddenly transform into Common on any of these records. His elementary flow is still there:

Good morning this is life, not CBS
Went to the drug store, not CVS
Been running long shows like PBS
— “Good Morning”

The subject matter on these songs is, admittedly, a lot deeper and the hoes are noticeably gone from his dick. But the bars are still sub-par, only appearing spectacular when listened to immediately after a few minutes of B under a cross spitting about his skinny jeans.

But maybe that’s why the ignorant Lil B exists.

Noz made a final fascinating point that Lil B is totally self-aware, playing the skinny jeans-wearing buffoon in a statement that borders on parody. It’s hard to say just what’s going on in Lil B’s head. Maybe he’s outsmarted all of us (well, at least me) by proclaiming his skinny bitch-ness on Youtube, knowing that it’d get attention that can be shifted to tracks like “Country Blues” that he feels are better and more substantial. Maybe this is some sort of Bamboozled-like crusade that shows how ignorance will always get more attention than substance. Maybe he’s fooled Soulja Boy into signing him. Maybe – and I’m being toally serious here – the “whoo” ad-lib he does on “Like A Martian” is some sort of alert that he’s in “SB Gang”-mode and will commence with the stupidity. If all of this is the case, then B really is a genius. Because it worked. He’s got us all talking.

With that said, Lil B, if you’re out there sending much-needed traffic to TSS, I invite you to holler at us. I’d love to have a sit-down and discuss all of this with you. All of what we do is about encouraging discourse. So the door is always open. Same goes to Noz and Softmoney for that matter.

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