Over the past decade, Brandon McCartney AKA Lil B’s notoriety as an internet personality/troll with oddball rap aspirations has found a way to eclipse the actual music he’s released; in fact, the self-appointed BasedGod surely has many fans who’ve never listened to one of his projects in full. There’s at least one good reason for that: Most Lil B releases come in around two hours in length (his notorious 05 Fuck ‘Em mixtape is five hours long, and over 100 tracks deep), and a lot of these releases barely evolve past their bizarrely amateurish delivery and vaporwave-inspired production, which is often looped for minutes even after the rapping’s finished. What makes Lil B such a prominent force in hip-hop, even despite waning popularity, isn’t his impressive lyrical ability, but his penchant for celebrating rap as a positive cultural force. He constantly promotes positivity and a love of West Coast style that makes him a hard artist to outright dismiss, and even harder to mock as he’s grown a rabid core fanbase over the years that seems to love the BasedGod’s eccentric activities.
In this sense, Options delivers exactly what fans want — even with some added bonuses. “4 The Paper” is a six-minute long odyssey in vocal inflection with even its most ludicrous, autotune-augmented lines (“I’m a slut, I’m a ho, bitch throw the cheese”) delivered with disarming conviction. “Drank on Your Lean” is chopped and screwed to such a ridiculous degree that just its inclusion here is humorous, while “Ballerina Based Freestyle” features ear-splitting piano keys over a sleek bass drum beat. The most adventurous—and flat-out hilarious—section of Options comes in the form of a series of remixes, ranging from 6ix9ine’s “Gummo” to Tay-K’s “The Race” — but peaking with “This Is the BasedGod,” a re-work of Childish Gambino’s empty political gesture (“This Is America,” you may have heard of it) into a carnal proclamation of self-worth on which Lil B proclaims that “Young BasedGod got these bitches getting naked” with such fevered glee that you can’t help but be on his side by the end.
Published as part of What Would Meek Do? | Issue 4