100 Myspaces: That’s A Dream
Lil B – “My Life’s A Dream”
Lil B – “Shoot The Bitch Bra”
Lil B – “Time“
from FREE MUSIC PAGES (Myspace, 2009)
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.