There is so much to be said about Hip Hop’s latest YouTube sensation, Lil B, that it’s hard to even know where to start. There are his adlibs, sheer disregard for audio quality, unique instrumental selection, off-beat rhyming, and the cooking dance. The list goes on. At least for the moment, the masses flock to the kid, most likely thanks to sheer entertainment value. But a slew of low budget videos doesn’t necessarily dictate how a full-length audio project will turn out, and the longtime front-man from The Pack is ready to take on that challenge with Angel’s Exodus.
In fact, and rather surprisingly, California’s Lil B strayed from his usual subject matter for Angels Exodus, and the project is nearly devoid of what the public has come to know him for. Gone are the “Woo! Woo! Swag!” adlibs, the references to cooking, and the incessant random name dropping of celebrities. It seems as if the Based God has even given up on pursuing sexual romps with his male listeners’ female companions, to put it nicely. A new year has apparently brought out a new attitude in Lil B, as his demeanor switches up to the serious side, and he even decides to pick out some better beats.
The opener, “Exhibit 6,” comes complete with a shout out to Jay Electronica and some actual rhymes over a slow-paced, dark instrumental. The Based God laments, “I can’t sleep at night, the pain got me open / The pain got me angry, the pain got me smoking / Flat on my back, it was a courage that was potent / Now I’m giving blessings, I won’t take suggestions / Haters try to down me, but this is my progression / Me up in the studio is when you see perfection.” Another one of the more favorable listening options on Angels Exodus, “Motivation,” features Lil B looking back on when people were criticizing him, and observing how now they’re all “on his dick.” But cohesive content can’t last forever in a Based lifestyle, and things aren’t always so clear.
For each “Exhibit 6” or “Motivation” there is a “Vampires” or “All My Life” remix. The former is a tale of Lil B transforming into a vampire, in which he actually proclaims that he has “a taste for human flesh.” The Based horror story takes place over a happy-sounding instrumental, and ends with Lil B taking the Nicki Minaj approach to exaggerated emotion and vocal inflections as he warns “don’t let the vampires get you” in a tone so questionable that it deserves a pause. The remix to “All My Life” is perhaps one of the worst attempts at singing on a record with the intention of even possibly being taken seriously. The vocal shenanigans that occur throughout the track end up taking away from the point he was actually trying to convey through his bars, but listeners will walk away from the track reassured that Lil B will be Based for life.
In some ways, Angels Exodus is impressive for the sheer fact that Lil B seems to have shown some sort of artistic and mental growth since his initial YouTube blitz. His loyal following of chefs-in-training may be pleased by this, but those who signed up for ignorant, explicit lyrics in the same style as his previous hits like “Suck My Dick Ho” and “Pretty Bitch” will either walk away disappointed or confused. Media frenzy aside, and with no consideration of his past, Angels Exodus is still a long way from enduring Rap music. Even mass amounts of hype can’t cover up Lil B’s poorly mixed vocals, off-kilter methods of blending rapping with simply speaking, skewed perspective on life, and utter knack for taking what makes Rap great, and doing the exact opposite.