I think we can all agree that Berkeley-based loudmouth Lil B is full of surprises: last week he released a splashy watercolor Hallmark card of an album called Rain In England; this week he's dropping MF Based, a "rare" (how does that work, exactly?) mixtape of half-baked freestyles dedicated to MF Doom. (Cop it now and get the RARE GOLD EDITION FRONT COVER!)
It's clear enough how the tape is Doom-inspired, with frequent shoutouts to the Metal-Faced Villain and some tasteful jackings of his beats -- in fact, the sample selection here is pretty exquisite. The harder sell is how Lil B himself is Doom-inspired: where the New York MC sometimes tries too hard to push his hyperactive ramblings into cornily rhyming packages, B has come up in a post-Lil Wayne world, where lazy-weird is cooler than geeky-weird.
As such, B barely rhymes, and barely freestyles in any conventional sense of the word: except for the legit opener "Wild Based Boys" and the at least coherently menacing "In The Hood," the tape is all free-associative drawl about "livin' life in the two-double-oh-ten," unwound slowly over A Tribe Called Quest-caliber beats. It's cool some of the time, as on tracks like "My Caddilac" (sic), where you can actually hear his mind racing to keep up with the beat; beyond those moments, though, MF Based sounds like laurel-resting. Pretty cocky for a 21-year-old, but then... have you met this kid?
Follow us on Twitter @SFAllShookDown and @dlb