Deciding to stand solo as the lone wolf of California rap group, The Pack, Lil B has made an ostentatious reputation over the internet. With the release of controversial songs “Miley Cyrus” and “Wonton Soup,” Lil B furthered the wedge between Hip-Hop purists and casual listeners. Although Lil B was given head nods from the likes of critically acclaimed Chicago rapper Lupe Fiasco and underground Queensbridge lyricist Cormega, his ongoing acts of foolery and connections to acts like Soulja Boy has left many unsure if he’s worthy of praise. Perhaps cognizant of his growing reputation as an attention grabbing hipster, the self proclaimed “Based God” decided to change these notions by producing a much more mature body of work. And as a result, he released Angel’s Exodus, an album that offers insight and a glimpse of revelation inside the spontaneous and mind boggling emcee.
The album opens with “Exhibit 6,” an open wound letter expressing Lil B’s darkest sentiments. However, the lackadaisical instrumental and Lil B’s forced, monosyllabic rhyme scheme are lulling and fail to inhibit the emotional tragedy he speaks of. The following track, “Life’s Zombies,” is amorphous, and while the sonic, soul sampled instrumental arouses more attentiveness from the listener than the last, it fails simply because it is totally void of rhyme. Had Lil B had more finesse and tactility with his word play, the allegorical play on Resident Evil would’ve been more enchanting. Unfortunately, the album continues to get worse before it gets better. “All My Life (Remix),” for example, is a lyrical monstrosity that gouges painstakingly at the eardrums as Lil B heretically sings, “All my life.” The next track, “Bay Area Music,” is at least listenable and has more substance, but still remains pedestrian.
Halfway through the album Lil B hits a highlighting pinnacle with the track, “Motivation.” The aptly titled track is an impressive and humbling narrative of his come up, and gives an insightful revelation about his life over an exquisite and luscious instrumental as he spits lyrics like, “Long time I was mad, I didn’t have no paper, got fucked by the game contract labor, same dudes fucked me over act like my neighbors, niggas slept on the bars, now they ask for favors...” Although this serves as a pinnacle of the album, the remainder of the album becomes faulty due to a lack of synergy between the production and Based God’s lyricism, with the heart wrenching song, “1 Time,” being the only exception. In “1 Time,” Lil B exhibits his exit wounds while still trying to manage to give a heartwarming shout out to his fallen loved ones. Even those who are not fans of Lil B can’t ignore lyrics like “I already think Ima die from the way I’m livin’/ I’m by myself, eating fast food on Thanksgiving,” or, “please help me if I leave when the pastor’s speaking/ even though I listen to him for the inspiration/ I know life’s real/ and we separated/ but we get together before the game’s over/ R.I.P. all the angels and the fallen soldiers.” Unfortunately, the rest of the album was sparse of the two rarest gems on the album.
Regardless, one has to give Lil B credit. The album is void of A-list guest appearances, recognizable producers, and ridiculous bubble gum lyricism present in previous songs such as “Wanton Soup” and “Miley Cyrus.” However, the album suffers due to Based God’s unrefined lyricism which falls in between subpar and pedestrian. Moreover, undesirable and skip ridden tracks such as “Vampires” and “All My Life Remix” sully the album. But perhaps this is just a warm up for Based God. He did manage to squeeze in two exceptional, well polished gems which lead me to believe he has potential for growth if he chooses to do so. If you’re not a Based God fan at this point, this may not be an album you want to pick up. Angels Exodus won’t under exceed your expectations, but it won’t exceed them either.