Tuesday, June 21, 2011

P&J 2010 (One and Done): Lil B, "6 Kiss"

30 points, t-365, voted on by Andrew Nosnitsky (who gave 30 points to another album, but "6 Kiss" was listed as his #1 album, so it counts)

Wait, this is still on? And didn't P&J wrap up five months ago?

I just returned from two weeks in Milan and Rome, and I haven't any music-related things to report. An interesting looking one-day rock festival took place last week in Milan (Rock in Idrho), featuring Foo Fighters and The Stooges among others. I didn't go, although at 57 Euro, the cost was fairly reasonable. Groups of teenagers sometimes board the subways in Milan and ask for money. Except it's not for charity, it's their job -- they play in small musical ensembles, entertain a train car full of commuters for a couple of stops, and hop onto the next car. Some of them are fairly good! I also toured the La Scala museum, and on days when there isn't a rehearsal you can visit the boxes and see the main hall itself. So I can say that I "went to La Scala", even though it wasn't for a performance. The stagehands were busy hauling things on and off the stage, the lighting techs were testing a few things, and the orchestra members were slowly filing in and warming up. All that stuff would seem pretty pedestrian if you were watching it in an ordinary auditorium, but in LA SCALA it almost felt like a important occasion, a peek behind the curtain into how the sausage gets made (and in this case, you really don't mind seeing how the sausage gets made).

Parts of this trip were soundtracked by L'il B's "6 Kiss". Now it's no secret that I don't listen to much hip-hop, and won't pretend that I can recognize high quality forward-thinking albums in the genre from the rantings of your generic dick-grabbing MC. But I'm way past the point where I'd be disgusted or dismissive of music where the subject matter didn't extend much beyond line after line of talk about bitches and ho's. We're in DJ Assault territory here, which means that after the 105th mention of bitches take my dick and suck it please, I tend to view the whole thing as one big joke. And at 19 tracks, 77 minutes, "6 Kiss" takes its time running that joke into the ground*.

For the most part, the rhymes are fairly good, but it's the music that shines brightest on this album. "B.O.R. (Birth of Rap)" and "I'm God" make for a daring opening punch -- rather than slamming into you at full force, they gently rev the album into being with their soaring, angelic background vocals. It's like Dead Can Dance died and got into the rap game, or maybe the PM Dawn revival happened and I missed it. "Real Plexxx" is like a 70's R&B number remixed by one of the 90's electro or lounge techno revivalists, punctuated by Lil B's sizzling vocals, one of his best on the album. "What I Mean" features of the heaviest basslines I've ever heard -- it's a real bassquake, intended to make your speakers dance their way across the room on their own accord.

From "I Want Your Bitch" onwards, it's nearly all bitches, all hos, all the time. It's a killer track though, like a slowed down 90's breakbeat tune with 85% of the treble removed. "O My God 66" is a half-sung weirdo love ditty that manages to recall both Green Velvet's warped sense of humour and Sheffield Bleep.

But getting through the entire album in one sitting? Forget it. There's way too much fat on here (like the "Rolls Royce" through "What I Mean" middle section) but it's a fantastic listen if you keep your finger close to the skip button.

* I later noticed versions of this album with 22 tracks, so I'm not even sure I have the complete version of the album (or if there are extra bonus tracks, or ...). The album was an internet-only d/l, and Lil B released his first official album only this year (after years of making mixtapes and online-only material), so there's bound to be different packages of his music floating around.

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