Review Summary: "Thank you Lil B for this amazing mixtape, you can fuck all my bitches." - Michael Jordan
Lil B seems to be a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde act. On one track he'll be a sincere and charismatic figure with elegant flow, and the next track he's a madman, blurting out verses off key and off time. Skirting the line between complete joke and GOAT, Lil B traverses the tight rope between being a laughing stock and a revolutionary rapper. How the man is able to pull off swag tracks like "Run For Mayor" and still be able to pull off tender emotional tracks like Will Power is unparalleled. Lil B is not only a great rapper, but an impressive entertainer as well, pulling off a duality that is rare in music on his impressive mixtape Based Jam.
The main problem with Based Jam
and Lil B in general is the influx of way too many unnecessary tracks. Based Jam
runs rather long with 21 tracks with many tracks that could have easily been cut. I have to give it to the man for being ambitious, but he's already proven he can put out a ton of material, this is made rather apparent by his ten mixtapes released this year and it's completely unnecessary to clutter this album with so many tracks. Based Jam
starts really strong with a string of mostly funny tracks, and ends with a stellar run of serious raps, but the middle is cluttered with a lot of filler.
The production on Based Jam
ranges from really basic repetitive beats in tracks like "I Still Got Beef," to the ridiculous and over the top, cheesy synths in "Hit Em Up," and finally to the beautiful layered songs like "Doin Bad." The variety in beats helps make Based Jam
an unpredictable ride that is always changing and entertaining. With samples ranging from the R&B classic "I Like The Way," to "Aquatic Ambience" from Donkey Kong Country, Based Jam's
samples are always varied and always interesting. For being a mixtape the production is very impressive, and the variety in the beats certainly fits well with Lil B's frantic style.
The more serious (and way better) tracks spring up more often in the second half. If Lil B had cut out the filler and the swag tracks, he could have gained some major respect in the rap scene with an album full of his beautiful ballads. But a las, what we get instead is a mixed bag that ranges in quality, but is at least always entertaining. While Lil B implements a rather lazy and fuddled flow in his swag tracks, he's always on point on his more serious tracks. The quality of the tracks seems to be in tune with Lil B's motivation. When he's rapping about something that means a lot to him, he gives it his all resulting in impeccable flow and timing. Tracks like "Will Power," "Doin Bad," and "Total Recall" show Lil B at his best: as a serious rapper.
The other side of Lil B is the swag loaded hype man spewing out ridiculous line after ridiculous line. The swag tracks are parodies of swag and gimmic/novelty rappers like Soulja Boy. His strategy is basically to troll the rap game, only making videos for his joke songs thus making them well known instead of his serious tracks which only his true fans know. If he released an album with only his serious material he would surely gain recognition as a serious artist, but I guess that's not what he wants. Lil B is a true visionary in how he sells himself, becoming one of the biggest cult rappers of all time. He is known as the wackest rappers in the game, and one of the best which is quite the feet that makes Lil B one of the best entertainers around. Based Jam
is likely to be lost in Lil B's cluttered and intimidating discography, but it's a strong enough record to stand on its one that will hopefully rise to the top of Lil B's catalogue.