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100 Myspaces: That’s A Dream


Lil B – “My Life’s A Dream

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Lil B – “Shoot The Bitch Bra

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Lil B – “Time

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from FREE MUSIC PAGES (Myspace, 2009)

Every time I see a computer it makes me so happy. Every time I see a mic, a studio, I get so happy.

It turns out Lil B’s “My Baby” wasn’t an isolated instance of lunacy but just one small part of a grand experiment. The 19 year old Pack frontman currently maintains 114 myspace pages (not accounting for the “SECRETE” [sp] pages he hints at in blog posts) all launched over roughly the last eight months and each showcasing five or six original songs and freestyles. He calls them “NOVELTY PAGES”, but that’s a disservice to the music within. The pages are numbered chronologically and listening to them in order is like reading an abandoned space journal, a slow descent into madness. Except it’s the good kind of madness.

On the earliest ones he was rapping regular over hit instrumentals and beats that could have been out takes from The Pack’s major label album. The songs have actual hooks, the lyrics about girls and partying. But as time goes on he gets progressively looser with it. The beats get faster and more adventurous, the fidelity lower. He starts to abandon traditional rhymes completely around the page #60, veering towards some sort of spoken word hybrid. By the late 90s he shouting on Chicago juke records and mumbling about shooting bitches in the bra over distorted as all fuck house. In the hundreds he’s rambling about eating with monkeys in space and having flashbacks to the East Bay Vivarium where he was moved to lie about having a pet iguana in a poetry contest. Sometimes he’s singing, sometimes he’s half rapping, sometimes just talking. Always he sounds just a little gone, but mostly joyous even in dark moments. The cynic could chalk this oddness up to trend hopping, a natural outgrowth of the cool-to-be-different Kanye/Wayne era. The realist might say drugs. It may be a little bit of both, but a third factor looms apparent on B’s suddenly immense catalog.

“When you’re on the internet time speeds up.” It almost sounds like a mission statement when B gargles these words on “Time”. Keeping up with internet time can make addicts and destroy lives. Users demand information at a speed that most humans cannot create. Humans consume information at a pace that they can’t possibly process. But while the internet can lock your body it can’t trap your mind. Lil B has played the constraints of speed to his advantage, splattering his psyche all over myspace. The quickest way to produce the continuous music that web culture demands is to dodge any and all conventional construction and just say the first thing that comes to mind. His experiments are simply borne out of necessity. (Imagine if every teenage social network fiend simply channeled all of their omg energy into producing and sharing something creative.)

Quality control suffers, of course, but that’s a small price to pay for the immediate honesty of these records. It’s this honesty that puts Lil B’s current output closer to first generation post-rap bug outs like J. Beez Wit The Remedy and Spiral Walls Containing Autumns Of Light than Kanye’s ego stroking or Wayne’s celebrity freefall. It’s not just about making the exit, but embracing the personal and creative transcendence that comes with it.

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45 Responses to “100 Myspaces: That’s A Dream”

  1. barns Says:

    whoa

  2. MAYNHOLUP! Says:

    deepa den rap mayn

  3. markodude Says:

    ^cosign

  4. w&w Says:

    awesome. hella dope art/life project! & nice interpretation, mr.noz.

  5. mc Says:

    this is shit

  6. Jay Deff Kay Says:

    When Nation of Thizzlam posted ‘Robots Forever’, I thought it was a one time freakout
    http://nationofthizzlam.blogspot.com/2009/03/lil-b-robot.html

    BUT THIS? DAMN. WTF. WOAH. I HAVE NOTHING INTELLIGENT TO CONTRIBUTE.

    “His experiments are simply borne out of necessity.” When you say necessity, do you mean he’s merely responding to a hyper, need-instant-gratification culture, or that he’s responding to the voices in his head (“splattering his psyche all over myspace”) ?

    It sounds like you’re suggesting the former, but I don’t know if I actually believe it as the sole reason (poetic as it sounds). I mean, we’ve seen everyone from Wayne to Charles Hamilton to Freeway attempt to engage and stay on top of this blog rap environment, but this is slightly different….this….this is madness…

  7. noz Says:

    ““His experiments are simply borne out of necessity.” When you say necessity, do you mean he’s merely responding to a hyper, need-instant-gratification culture, or that he’s responding to the voices in his head (”splattering his psyche all over myspace”) ?”

    A little bit of both. The instant need gratification culture has created the voices in his head.

    Chamilton and Wayne and Freeway differ because are still bound by producers and sound quality and the desire to create a legacy and eventually a career. They are flying with a safety net. I get the idea that B has just been sitting alone at a laptop for months, frantically alt tabbing between Pro Tools and Firefox and loving every minute of it.

    I don’t know if you guys have every really truly given yourselves to the internet to the point of true creative autonomy, but you should try it sometime. It’s a very specific form of short term madness and having engaged in it a few times myself I can clearly recognize it as what B is getting himself into with these records.

  8. Adam Bhala Lough Says:

    I’m glad someone’s paying attention to this. Thanks for writing this article. Lil B is a phenomenon. I’ve been following his work for close to a year now. He is a true product of his generation and proof positive of the excesses and madness of the internet and the ability for any kid with a laptop and a microphone to be a rapper. 100 myspace pages? To achieve that, alone, is quiet an undertaking. Beyond the music and the original content. But to post 5 or 6 original songs to each of those 100 myspace pages? Unheard of. Crown him king for certain. King of something. I don’t know what yet. But this kid should definitely be looked out for. He’s really taking what Wayne did for mix-tapes to the next level. He’s the natural progression of Lil Wayne, etc. And I should know, I spent the better part of last year working with Lil Wayne on The Carter documentary. Thanks again for posting this article. Good job.

  9. Laundry Bear Says:

    This is perfect.

  10. mark p. Says:

    Uh, well I’m not going to say this shit is very good or anything, but I was just thinking the other day about how weird it is that no one (that I know of) has attempted to rap over a gabber beat yet. Now, with “Shoot The Bitch Bra”, it looks like Lil B of all people has finally taken that step, so bravo.

  11. SukedowN Says:

    Picture his apartment: littered with Mtn Dew cans, Starbucks Frapuccino bottles, unused phonebooks, empty software boxes, and a twin mattress on the floor sans boxspring/frame.

    Regardless, Im erring on the side of a youngster with too much time on his hands.

  12. no Says:

    I appreciate the post, I’m diggin this stuff. Has anybody done the work of compiling a mixtape of this stuff- the 30 best of the 800 myspace joints? Given that only a brave few will rummage through all those myspace pages, it’d be useful for the rest of us. Great post. I appreciate that you’re trend spotting stuff that may turn out to be ephemera- a wave of songs that may not take hold, or that may only take hold for a tiny audience and for a short period of time.

  13. padraig Says:

    “but I was just thinking the other day about how weird it is that no one (that I know of) has attempted to rap over a gabber beat yet…”

    I dunno about live MCs rapping over gabber tracks but in the mid-late 90s there was that whole Nasenbluten/Bloody Fist Records school of hardcore/gabber out of Australia that mixed the trademark blownout gabber kick drum with some breakbeats a la jungle & lots of hard as nails rap samples – N.W.A, Geto Boys, “It Gets No Rougher” & so on. a lot of is really great, so much better than all the lame generic Dutch stuff, ultra-raw & much faster & with that whole cheesy “Rotterdam terror” vibe replaced by a viciously ironic sense of humor. also Hellfish & his label Deatchant in the UK.

    also “I Luv U” has that gabber kick drum, actually that whole album is full of ultra dissonant/messed-up (in the best possible way) drum sounds.

    anyway “Shoot the Bitch Bra” is operating in uncharted territory either way, like gabber spoken word/hip-house really…I dunno I think this whole comes across better as a massive work of performance art…definitely great to see someone pushing/subverting the social network model into something unique & interesting…I mean that’s the real hip hop ethos isn’t it tho…

    & does anyone know what that ambient/Sigur Ros-sounding instrumental from “Time” is? “Time” also reminds me of that Aceyalone track off A Book of Human Language where he talks about time, uh, “The Grandfather Clock” I think…

  14. ANU Says:

    the grandfather paradox i think

  15. brandonsoderberg Says:

    Really great article and interpretation of uh, what the internet could be/should be. That you click on the link and the joint that plays is him yelping “I went to Japan” over “End Theme” by COLLEGE is pretty telling.

  16. Jarmin Says:

    I understand what’s to like about the whole concept, but lyrically he’s just whack as hell. It sounds like noise. Nice beats here and there, but if you’re just making music for the sake of making music, it loses integrity. That’s the feeling I get here.

  17. NICKO Says:

    Excellent read!

  18. Hey Zeus Says:

    Man this those songs are fuckin GAY..Young L’s album was good cause the guy can rap and make music!! Lil’ B sonds like a retard who found the key to the liquor cabinet. CUNT

  19. daws Says:

    i agree that it’s cool when you can splash the whole undertaking on a posterboard for the science fair but the rap’s a lot less fun for listening than empathizing.

  20. wayneandwax.com » Now That’s What I Call Music Industry Says:

    [...] sez sometimes RT can mean “real talk”; here it’s both re: Lil B (RT @noz): The 19 year old Pack frontman currently maintains 114 myspace pages (not accounting for the [...]

  21. zee Says:

    well he can rap when he wants to bc he’s got songs like that Crown Me King video up there where he is rapping as hard as anyone imo. Hes got a gang of other ones I found too which are up to the traditional stadards for rapping. For me, I’m bored with rap anyway and I dont need too much regular rapping in my life anymore. But when Lil B writes his raps and records his serious songs, I think they are as good as Wayne’s or whoever, and it puts his gag songs into context. What Lil B is doing is way more interesting to me than what Charles Hamilton is doing. Charles Hamilton? are u serious? Im totally uninspired by that guy.

  22. zee Says:

    and ur website is an amazing resource for me. thanks for doing it.

  23. noz Says:

    Yeah maybe I misrepresented his skills with the song selections. He’s able to rap well, he just doesn’t need to. He’s beyond that.

  24. zee Says:

    yeah hes beyond that. I like this song of his called Sexy Brandon where he just listens to the song. I heard that and I was thinking, wow this is crazy hes just listening to the song and thats his song now. thats hilarious to me. a listening session with LIl B as a song. hes like a DJ too haha. I like this page..
    http://www.myspace.com/lilbleavesmusicforyou

  25. The Mixshow Commander Says:

    Excellent post …

  26. k Says:

    incredible shit.

  27. k Says:

    although i think i like the young l stuff better, on balance.

  28. brandonsoderberg Says:

    Man, that COLLEGE joint is gone or has been replaced, I know it sort of defeats the purpose of this whole experiment whatever whatever, but these sorta need to be harnessed somewhere

  29. LIL B - NOVELTY PAGES | I LOVE IOU Says:

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  30. gordon gartrelle Says:

    I was kinda with you until the last 2 paragraphs. When quality is secondary, what’s the point?

    But beyond that, this piece doesn’t sound like you…if that makes sense. Your approach here reminds me of those taken by…

    1) ideologues who hype terrible 3rd World rappers because (with some exaggerations and mental acrobatics) one might read CLR James into said rappers songs.

    and 2) critics who write about Doom as a postmodern performance artist.

  31. noz Says:

    “When quality is secondary, what’s the point? ”

    Quality control is secondary.

  32. gordon gartrelle Says:

    OK,

    My last comment never happened.

    He just seems like Madlib ca 2003, only more rushed and half-assed and releasing everything on Myspace. How is that something to be admired?

  33. noz Says:

    “He just seems like Madlib ca 2003, only more rushed and half-assed and releasing everything on Myspace. How is that something to be admired?”

    I’ve never heard Madlib rap so earnestly about anything but his love of marijuana..

  34. Therm Says:

    Madlib is a genius. So is lil B. One of the surefire artistic strategies is to go crazy and create an absurd volume of work. If basquiat had made 10 paintings, he would have been an asshole who couldn’t draw. 1000 paintings later, he’s a genius. Go back to beat conductor volume 1-2. That shit is brilliant. Good art much more often comes from a state of lucidity than it comes from a belabored process.

    This is the best thing I have heard all year. So fucking great. Listening to this shit is like eating bowls of candy. AAAHHH – now he’s rapping over a jazz version of Van Morrison’s “Moondance!” Page 75!

    Thank you so much for bringing this to light. Great write up to go along with it.

  35. v4g4rd Says:

    Like dude said above – some one needs to make a mix tape out of all of this madness. I just can’t be bothered going through a zillion songs to find the best of all this creative madness. BTW – creative madness – much needed in rap music.To me that was one of the things that made Wayne stand out. That and the fact that he sound(ed) like he love(d) what he do/did.

  36. THE LOST AND FOUND » LIL B IS ART Says:

    [...] credit to Noz for gettin’ the word out about all this craziness… (basically Lil B from The Pack is turning his life into performance art via hundreds of [...]

  37. Lil Beast Says:

    Dis suck

  38. greg Says:

    dam this shit is…. i dont know. this shit is the most progressive/ digressive madness genius prolific crazy unprecedented groundbreaking unheard of/ holy shit i dont know. Give this nigga a grammy truely unique

  39. Oliver Doe Says:

    this dude lil b is dumbwack yo.

  40. btown hoe Says:

    the lil b haters dont get it.
    this man has already won. as soon as you got ppl talking about you, trying to make sense of what youve put out, you’ve already won. i like to imagine lil b as that rapper in half-baked, who smoked so much weed he’s just on another planet…b is on his own based planet, sending transmissions to earth, and he could give a fuck less if you understand it or like it or not, coz since you’ve formed an opinion about it, he’s already winning. In the symbolic order, as soon as something gets put out there for debate, it inherently becomes sanctioned; by asking ‘is this shit dope or not’ you’ve already legitimized it as something worth a discussion.
    Lil b has passed go and collected $20,000 on you hater motherfuckers 5 times over….get with it. innovation is more important than anything else.

  41. LIB B: FIRST RAPPER MADE ON THE INTERNET #1 « B R ¥ T B U R K ? N Says:

    [...] Marley Marl sampling James Brown had a certain economic advantage over Brown himself plus band, Lil B is steps ahead the mixtape rappers. He has further rationalized the production of rap, with himself [...]

  42. LIB B: FIRST RAPPER MADE ON THE INTERNET #1 « B R ¥ T B U R K ? N Says:

    [...] Marley Marl sampling James Brown had a certain economic advantage over Brown himself plus band, Lil B is steps ahead the mixtape rappers. He has further rationalized the production of rap, with himself [...]

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