“Anything is everything, everything is bullshit
Lord please protect me from myself in this pulpit”
“Thraxxx Kiss” is a full circle maneuver for Lil B. When Brandon “Lil B” McCartney was first getting his solo career off the ground almost a quarter century ago he dropped the digital mixtape “I’m Thraxx.” By some accounts this is his “first” mixtape, although a cursory glance shows he dropped two with fellow Pack member Young L before this one. It would at least be fair to say it was his first major effort completely on his own, establishing a career where albums and social media followers would increase in volume and scope year after year. At this point Lil B’s legendary hustle is arguably more important than his music, but calling this one “Thraxxx Kiss” shows McCartney hasn’t forgotten how he got his start or the fans who adopted his based mantra and lifestyle.
Now the all time best sample of M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes” goes to T.I.’s all star track “Swagga Like Us.” You could argue there was no reason to go back to it after that, but Lil B is never one to shy away from a challenge, so he turned the line “bona fide hustler making our fame” into the song “Bonafied Hustler” and did it quite well. The curious thing here is that Mr. McCartney produced both the song and the video back in 2010, but until this mixtape the song didn’t have a bona fide release. Even though waiting so long to include it on a tracklist is strange, this too feels like Lil B trying to bring things back 360 degrees, showing it’s a full circle from then to now and ain’t no stopping the Based God any time soon.
“Fuck a 9 to 5” is also a sentiment his fans or even his haters can relate to, whether that job is blue collar, white collar or service industry. Unfortunately as much as you can appreciate the sentiment the song is a hard one to listen to. AutoTune is usually supposed to correct your pitch, but in this case it turns B into a robot whose pitch never changes, and the screaming electronic sounds behind it are migraine inducing. It’s an A+ effort for creativity and originality but an absolute F- for anything you’d want to listen to again. This is the gift and the curse of Lil B. He’s unafraid to say, do or try anything, but he often doesn’t know when to separate the wheat from the chaff.
“Heartbreak Hotel” redeems it though. He’s back on that AutoTune shit, but his crooned hook to a lady he wants to spend his time with is not a monotonous one note affair, and the watery and light instrumentation has only the tiniest hint of percussion. The chorus will be over-the-top to some but from my vantage point it’s absolutely charming. Based God giveth, Based God taketh away, and it’s all about finding the good moments to balance out the bad ones. One of the bad ones here is that for inexplicable reasons, Brandon put the same song on “Thraxxx Kiss” three times.
I wish I was exaggerating but every playlist and discography entry for the album lists “All Night” three times at track 8, 10 and 12. I listened to it all three times to be sure and while track 12 is longer, the only difference is that he censors the swear words. It’s not a bad song, it just didn’t need to be duplicated twice let alone thrice. This is the textbook definition of Lil B at his most erratic. As good as he can be as an artist, as great as he can be at marketing himself through the internet and speaking engagements, he can be equally as careless when it comes to the music he puts out to represent himself. If even one person did QA on his music they could’ve been like “Aiyyo B, you got the same song on here three times. Did you really mean to do that?”
Speaking of duplication “Already” is on the mixtape twice as well, although I’m partial to the “Chopped and Screwed” version that closes out the presentation. I’m not sure we needed both though. If anything he’s creative enough that he could release a whole album chopped and screwed, which used to be the norm for any big rap artist from the South (especially Texas). In conclusion “Thraxxx Kiss” is Lil B’s salute to his career warts and all. When he’s on he can really shine and when he’s not it feels like he’s just fucking around and not even trying. If you’re going to roll with the Based God you already know that’s how it goes, but if you’re new to #TYBG then the roller coaster ride you’ll go on here is quite a surprise.