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Lil B - 'I'm Gay (I'm Happy)'

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Lil B - 'I'm Gay (I'm Happy)'
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Imagine inking every inch of your body and rapping over some of the best beats hip-hop has to offer, while everyone calls you dumb. No matter how many times you rhyme "bang" with "bang," you still get no respect. That's enough to make you quit the game. But enough about Waka Flocka Flame.

Lil B is less concerned about proving his mettle than he is about showing his range of emotions. He's been doing the songs on I'm Gay for years, but no one noticed. B is largely to blame — his prolific output works against him, as the shock-bait side of his music drowns out the rare glimpses of thought-provoking songs on YouTube. Well, he's now made an entire album of thought-provoking material.

Walk into Gay expecting a pastiche of cliches and get ready to wipe egg from your face. Instead, what we have here is an exhibition of B's depth backed by flawless production. Music-wise, this ranks among the most impressive rap albums of the year.

Still, his poetry falls short, even by today's standards. You can hear the toil in his breath, as he struggles to impress a panel of imaginary critics. It's a huge distraction not even the nostalgia-flavored "Game" or the brilliant, "Iris"-sampling "I Hate Myself" can redeem.

Released: June 29, 2011
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