I Listened to a 63-Track Lil B Mixtape In One Sitting
I Listened to a 63-Track Lil B Mixtape In One Sitting
2 years ago, Lil B released 05 Fuck Em. It had 101 songs, and was presented to fans as a Christmas gift meant to soundtrack your life and death (thank you BasedGod). Since then, it seems Lil B has been making the news more for absurd click-bait headlines (“Lil B Calls Russell Westbrook a Sandwich”) and less for the fantastic mixtapes we’ve come to know and love him for.
From 2009 to 2011, Lil B released certified classics every other week without any fuss or promotion; in 2015 he’s only released a freestyle mixtape with Chance the Rapper (which to be fair, is among his best work), and now Thugged Out Pissed Off. His latest effort is 63 tracks long, and this what I thought about each and every one.
1. Come To The Waterfront INTRO
With a 63-track project I wouldn’t expect him to have sequencing in mind, so of course the intro hasn’t given anything away. This could be Lil B from Evil Red Flame or Lil B from Silent President. I have no clue what I’m in for.
2. Off Top
This shit sounds like someone hit a mean combo on Dance Dance Revolution.
3. I Love Bitche$
Alright so this starts with a pretty generic hook (see: title) but it’s probably an early contender for standout track. I knew we had a classic as soon as he started his verse with a salute to the late A$AP Yams. This bangs.
4. Stephen Hawking
Really high expectations for this one; Lil B has an affinity for naming songs after arbitrary celebrities, and this one follows a long list of classics (“Swag Jerry Rice” is a personal favorite). This one will pass just for “How the fuck I’m flexin’ in a Honda / No Bentley”.
5. Kill Every Snitch
Swear he came up with the title before the song.
6. Play The Hood
Expected this to sound like “I Am The Hood,” an older song where he covers Nas’s “One Mic” and raps from the perspective of the personification of “the hood.” But it doesn’t. Instead, there’s a verse where he says “My girlfriend is the hood / I’mma fuck the street / I’mma fuck the stove”. Part of me feels like there’s a Trap Queen reference somewhere in there, but I don’t know.
7. Get Rich
This beat sounds like it was made on a children’s toy keyboard (and it probably was), but B makes it work.
8. With Me
You can usually tell in the first 10 seconds if Lil B is going to opt for more traditional-style “rapping” (as opposed to based freestyling), and that’s what we get on this one. He raps “Ya last name rhymes cause you is a busta”. Shots fired at Slick Rick? We may never know.
9. Vest Off
Another early contender for standout track. This has that OVO/40/Toronto cloud rap sound that Drake popularized, but Lil B has actually been doing this since his Mysapace days. Halfway through he gives shout outs to Kendrick Lamar and Lil Wayne, which is probably in response to that time Kendrick said B and Wayne taught rappers “how to swag in videos”.
Yo this dude actually did a “Jumpman” cover? And it goes harder than the original? Best song of 2016? Thank you BasedGod.
11. Flexin Rick Ross
Another classic “word around town” Lil B hook, but this is nowhere near the original track with Andy Milonakis.
12. In Love With The BasedGod
This made me forget whoever did the original "I'm in love with the CoCo.” He is now irrelevant; his career is over. When was the last time Lil B covered a song that didn’t obliterate the original? BasedGod could cover Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” and I swear it would bang harder.
Also, I think it’s hilarious when he refers to the BasedGod as a separate entity to Lil B. It’s crucial to understand that the BasedGod is not Lil B but Lil B is the BasedGod. If you cannot grasp this concept, maybe Lil B just isn’t for you.
13. I Was Born Poor
He delivers some really powerful lyrics on this one, but in a subtle off-hand kind of way. He says “We came from building pyramids / To niggas poppin pills” and “It’s cool to be a doctor / It’s cool to be a janitor” in the same verse but you probably wouldn’t notice it buried this deep in a seemingly throwaway mixtape.
14. Giving Up Remix
Another “don’t give up” Lil B song. Play in case of emergency, I guess.
15. Selling Jerry BASED FREESTYLE
I think this is the fifth time in fifteen songs that Lil B has said “selling Fetty Wap”, using Fetty’s name as a euphemism for drugs(?). Is he implying Fetty is dope? He also shouts out Fredo Santana, which reminds me of the banger they put out a few years ago, “Bird Talk”. I’m about an hour into this mixtape and I just realized I’m less than a quarter of the way through. I need a break.
16. 4 Tha Record
Okay what the fuck am I listening to I’m definitely taking a break
17. Keep It So Gutta
I can’t afford to crack this early in. I have 3 more hours of this fuckery, and the songs are already becoming indistinguishable.
This beat sounds like some corporate lounge vaporwave shit that Lil B snatched from a Dilbert cartoon.
19. I Am Pretty Boy Music
Alright this has that classic Bay Area bounce that you get unreasonably hyphy to. Shoutout Oakland, shoutout Keak da Sneak. This is a breath of fresh air, which is understandably rare in a project of such depth.
20. Yun Wan Beef
I feel like this might have originally been a meal at a Chinese takeout joint and B repurposed it as some sort of Ebonic version of “you don’t want beef.” The strings on here remind of Future’s “Where Ya At”. This is actually one of the harder beats on here. I can dig it.
21. A Brick and FN
At this point I might be imagining things but I believe this one starts by sampling the music that played when you entered some town in Pokemon. Either that or some children’s cartoon pertaining to farms. Regardless, the transition into “Stuck in the hood with no money, I’m scared” is pretty harsh but equally hilarious.
22. Corna Sto
I love angry Lil B tracks; this is the first track that actually sounds like it belongs on a tape titled “Thugged Out Pissed Off”.
23. Finess Em
Wow two good ones in a row thank you BasedGod.
24. Soul Food
I think this was a YouTube release like a year ago. I’m really glad he didn’t just sit on this. Given that I’ve been bumping this for a while, this is my favorite track on the whole tape as of now. He has to be able to recognize which songs are more listenable than the rest; the best songs on the tape consistently have videos.
25. Laugh Now Cry Later
This is one of those more somber Lil B songs where he ad-libs “Yesssss” after every 4 bars but it’s still really good. I have no idea where he gets these beats from but it’s clearly heavily influenced by Clams Casino with the ambient vocal samples.
26. Ny Cab Won’t Stop
I knew immediately B was about to snap when he spat “Fuck it we back with it / We thugged out pissed off / All I feel is pain”. The song seems to be mostly about opportunity, so the title has me thinking this a Frank Ocean-esque backseat confession. This whole tape is quickly hitting peak-Lil B levels but I know it’ll simmer down somewhere in the next 37 tracks.
27. Stopping and Going
Straight from the jump, this one’s a head knocker. It has that heavy 9th Wonder-style piano loop and quarter note drums. Given B and 9th’s working history, I wouldn’t be surprised if he produced this. I’m really impressed with the maturity of the last couple songs, but I’m not sure why he waited an hour to hit this level.
28. Girlfriend on my Nerves
Lil B tryna slap everyone on this.
29. With My Gunz Out
This is like “Change Locations” when Future says “Sixty naked bitches, no exaggeration” except with this song has more guns.
30. Domestic Violence Case
Lil B is probably the most socially conscious rapper in the game, so casual listeners are probably confused when he makes songs like this, saying “I beat up women … cause I’m jealous”. That “jealous” bit is crucial though, as it highlights a degree of self-awareness that characterizes all of Lil B’s tongue-in-cheek raps. It seems he makes songs like this to showcase the perils of a non-based lifestyle, mainly child support.
31. At Work
This dude stopped the beat to announce “I might just fire the whole staff cause I had a bad day” and I still wouldn’t mind working for him. He also used “slavery” as an ad-lib. I’m crying.
32. Sellin Off Dummies
I don’t know what this song is about. It’s amazing how many euphemisms Lil B can conjure for drugs though.
33. Black Bih Stole
This song is about a black girl that stole $10,000 out of Lil B’s room. He sings about it in the all verses, the hook, and even a bridge.
34. I Am A Thug
Had to laugh at the directness of the title, but stopped laughing as soon as the beat dropped. My god, this is really good. Although I never think of rap songs as “beats” and “raps”, Lil B provides some interesting commentary on the beat during a breakdown. “I don’t give a fuck about this breakdown nigga / Cause I’mma double up and tax y’all niggas”. I have no idea what his point is, but it’s always funny to hear a rapper reference a beat they’re rapping on.
35. Take This Trip
This one is pretty bleak but I liked the line “They don’t like the color of my skin, so I gotta move / If you hate me / I love you too”. This is basically the embodiment of what it means to be Based
36. Multiple Mindstates
I think the songs are starting to restate themselves, but this shit is 4 hours long so I can’t blame him for repeating himself. Nothing new here.
37. Based Jam Remix
Every now and then B drops a lyric so profound you pause the song, and he’s got one here: “What’s left of my body? / Couple ideas, and thoughts? / Tryna reach the next level / My life can’t be bought”.
38. Listen Pay Attention
38 tracks deep I’m probably not as attentive as I should be, but I’mma pay particularly close attention to this one. I hear Thundercat strumming the bass on this one, and B is at his most poetic. He raps “They can take my clothes, but not my spirit / On life’s road with these pavement lyrics.” The phrase “pavement lyrics” is one of the most elegant descriptions of rap music I have ever heard; I think it really captures the innate relationship between the genre and the streets, civic space, the public domain.
39. Water on the Paper
Yo he really sampled Portishead for this one. For that reason alone, this gets a pass.
40. Mines Well Be Hank
This is just hilariously clumsy. Not just B himself, but the beat too. I don’t think this song is about anything in particular, so much as it’s a showcase of what rap could be. Or it might just be bullshit. I don’t know. I don’t think Lil B knows, either.
41. Heaven For A G
The title reminded me of an old Tupac record, and it sounds like one too. This reminds me of when BasedGod Velli came out and the cover was a poorly photoshopped mashup of Lil B and Tupac’s faces. I remember there was so much outrage over that, and for that reason alone this song is a timeless classic.
42. Im Positive
This is one of the best songs on the tape thus far. Where the lyrics might seem elementary when written on paper, B sounds totally defeated when talking about his community. It’s the most emotional he’s been out of the last 42 songs.
43. Everytime I Fail
Yo this shit is straight delightful. He’s got a clarinet and an oboe on here. This is Mr. Rogers music but still thuggin and positive. Wow, thank you BasedGod.
44. Handle Your Goals
This one samples Coldplay’s “Trouble” and turns it into an ambient BasedWorld banger. B seems to be at his best on these looped piano samples; they provide a platform melodic enough to make a song, but are somber enough to make it work when he fucks around and forgets what he’s saying mid-sentence.
45. The BasedGods Coming
How fire would it be if Paul Revere rode through East Oakland yelling “The BasedGods coming!!!”
46. Drop Out
Lil B already has an extensive catalog of songs about the cyclical nature of poverty, and this as good as any of them.
47. Dont Need Help
Although I’ve been listening to Lil B for over seven years now, I still struggle to make sense of when he raps about things he obviously neither does nor condones. On just this specific song, he raps about robbing people for Jordans, and later denounces consumerist culture. I don’t know, man.
48. Rules To Join
“We see different truths under the sun / Another man, another son / Different moons, different suns / Same family, different blood”. Yo I have no idea what this song is about but I’m going to give Lil B the benefit of the doubt and assume this is just going over my head. I need to reach higher based levels to know the true meaning.
49. Im Government
The title of this song reminds me of his Obama Basedgod mixtape. 49 tracks deep, I’m honestly astounded at the consistent quality of these songs. I expected all of these to be throwaway based freestyles, but he front-loaded them in the first 20 or so tracks. I’m about three hours deep and still shook my head in disbelief when he spit “I was sleep on the streets / The world was my neighbor”. Lil B is the greatest artist of our generation.
50. Flexin Maury Povich
This is the first track where Lil B really started flexing on his old “Pretty Boy” swag. These types of songs are where B really strikes a balance between the absurd freestyles and somber Tupac-esque joints. I don’t think the song has anything to do with Maury Povich.
51. White Man
This shit sounds like traffic in Guangzhou.
52. Wild Wild West
I hit next after, “No homo, I rape crackers.”
53. Light You Up
BasedGod coins revolutionary new terms every other freestyle, and he’s made another one here. Less than 30 seconds in he mumbles, “Shoutout San Francisco, all my ‘Frisco niggas.” There you have it, folks. ‘Frisco.
54. Cash Out
“Oh my god … Lil B … did you just get cashed out?! Sometimes bitches cash out.”
55. East Oakland International
Another one of those songs where Lil B raps about unreasonably violent acts he’s never committed but it still bangs.
56. Smoking With Obama
We all know Lil B has a flair for titles but he’s really outdone himself with this one. “Smoking With Obama”: 10/10 Best New Title.
57. Tryna Buy Pu2698y
No, that’s not a typo. That’s actually the title of the song, though the hook isn’t as clean as the title suggests. I particularly enjoyed the bridge where Lil B sang “These bitches want that movie star life / I gave her cash and she fucked me” over the sound of a clarinet playing a vaguely eastern melody.
58. Thugs Pain Remix PT2
Damn this song is inexcusably bad. Like really, really bad.
59. 2 Rich To Pimp REMIX
“Yeah man like I said man I’mma tell you who in the building man it’s that pretty boy man you already know that pretty bitch when I do what I do I do what I say I got so many bitches it aint even funny I count on my hand I got about ten bitches” (intentional lack of punctuation).
Yo was this recorded on a TI-84?
61. Ray Rice
I knew this was gonna bang before I even pressed play. Less than a minute in he yells “Fuck the Weeknd, that’s how I’m feelin,’ ” and I don’t think anyone will ever notice. It’s track 61.
62. Bout That Unda
This sounds like a poverty Clams Casino beat, probably made by Sad Boys™ runoff.
63. I Cant Breathe
OK this is very powerful. I wouldn’t go as far as to say he’s saved the best song for last, as there have been some serious gems in here, but I think he’s intentionally closed out the project with something that captures the zeitgeist of contemporary rap in America. What a time.
Well, there you have it. As I finish Thugged Out Pissed Off, I can’t help but feel that Lil B’s mixtape titles in general have always captured the cultural climate of America at a moment of time. Pink Flame and I’m Gay (yes, those are real titles) were released shortly before a flurry of gay rights legislations. Thugged Out Pissed Off, though packaged less academically than the likes of Black Messiah and To Pimp A Butterfly, is honestly an equal take on modern Black America.
The “Pissed Off” bit in particular takes me back to a chilling monologue from Vince Staples’s “Might Be Wrong,” which could aptly be described as “thugged out” and “pissed off.” While so many rappers “go Hollywood”, West Coast artists like Lil B, Vince Staples, Earl Sweatshirt and Kendrick Lamar are providing the clearest insight on Blackness in America in this moment of time. Whether you like it or not, sprawling Lil B projects like Thugged Out Pissed Off are some of the definitive arbiters of “The Times.” Yet, it can almost be guaranteed that when we revisit 2015, we will only look to aforementioned projects like To Pimp A Butterfly. I have little doubt that Lil B will remain an underappreciated cultural force, and you can read more about that here.