Published at City Life
I’m Gay (I’m Happy) (Based World)
If there’s one thing Lil B does well, it’s marketing. The former member of The Pack rode a string of ridiculously titled songs (“Wonton Soup,” “Look Like Jesus”) and bizarre viral videos to prominence in the hip-hop blogosphere. The Based God made even bigger waves when he got on the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation’s radar after announcing the title of this album.
But for all the marketing, the music must stand out — and stand on its own. The subject matter on I’m Gay is undeniably heavy, a serious departure from the Lil B many fans came to love online. The opening salvo, “Trapped In Prison,” offers a perspective on poverty and wealth. Later, Gerard McMann’s “Cry Little Sister” is channeled on “Unchain Me,” a celebratory track aimed at those who said he wouldn’t make it. The social commentary continues throughout the album on tracks like “Gon Be Okay” and “I Hate Myself.” In short, the album borders on inspirational and depression.
I’m Gay is severely handicapped by Lil B’s uneven delivery. That issue aside, the pioneer of the Based lifestyle displays an unbelievable stream of consciousness, positivity and desire to make the world a better place seldom seen in hip-hop. ANTHONY SPRINGER, JR.