Lil B’s Black Flame Mixtape

September 14, 2011

When Lil B's detractors (at least the ones who aren't simply virulent and open homophobes) show up in internet comment pissing matches to declare him the worst rapper alive they often cite his off the cuff sloppiness as a rapper. But like everything B does that flow—and much of his overall lo-fidelity recording standards—comes from a place of love, specifically his very vocal fandom of '90s Cash Money. Think Juvenile's "Ha" or anytime either of the Big Tymers touched a mic. This point of comparison is not to necessarily excuse the sloppiness (though Based God has no need for your excuses) but to help to explain it. This might be most evident on Black Flame. Where Bitch Mob had roots in Memphis, much of his latest effort calls New Orleans home with explicit nods to "U Understand" and "Made Man."

The second half of Flame also absorbs much of the tracklisting from B's just two week old I Forgive You. This might seem like a weird choice at first—at least as reasonably weird as one might expect from a mixtape with a bumble bee and golden monopoly houses on its cover—but makes a lot of sense from a branding perspective. Where I Forgive You mostly went overlooked upon its release, Black Flame became a worldwide trending topic in less than an hour. The difference is all in the name, specifically the flame. In calling back to his now classic Blue Flame/Red Flame series he tapped directly into the Pokemon-bred impulses of his target audience. Gotta catch 'em all.

Download: Lil B's Black Flame

Posted: September 14, 2011
Lil B’s Black Flame Mixtape