Unedited conversations between artist in a productive critique  discovering  thesis and processes behind the work.








Conversation between Domingo Castillo and Olivia Ramos.


Lil B

Rent Due

Music Video, 2014

3 min., 32 sec.

CASTILLO:  ‪this is going to be very, multi-media...while we also talk about real things happening in reality


very, = very...


is that alright ?


well, both these things are reality


RAMOS:  ‪what do you like about Lil B?‬‬


‪it's part of the construction of his image‬‬


he's hyper existing in a plane of pure image


as opposed to a plane of reality or truth?‬‬


no, as opposed to existing within a frame‬‬

or a framework


you don't think his image has parameters?‬‬


it's always fabricated, there by debunking any perceived truth provided by a frame. I think he's really exhausting every performative image in hiphop in order to reach a state of being


Lil B

No Black Person Is Ugly

Music Video, 2014

4 min., 2 sec.



we'll stick to his late album and the videos that have come out of there


‪i think it's important to talk about these multiple planes. he's doing something by performing where he's folding his identity back into that hyper reality


because while it seems he's being really dumb, he's actually being profound and saying things that no one else is saying at the moment


this second video is different than the first, there is a sense of humanity, of humility even, unlike the first which although might be portraying a sense of reality, it is violent in it's delivery, self centered


a version of reality... i need better words for violent and self centered








i mean the song is called rent's due


if you are a serious rapper


thats the last thing thats ever talked about


‪I like the content, I'm sure this is a constant and common situation


they usually flaunt the fact that they have multiple condos on biscayne...‬‬


and it's a harsh reality, exchanging sex for rent


‪but thats the thing with Lil B, he's almost just performing a mirror of the assumptions of hiphop


on every plane


low level rapper, 'balling' rapper, socially conscious rapper


sensitive rapper‬‬




he also catches beef with basketball players and makes whole albums dissing them


taking it 'back to the game'


‪yes, I see Lil B has beef with Durant‬‬


‪there are limited ways to attract attention to one self - do you think Lil B found his niche in the low-level drama because the high-end has been largely saturated?


‪well he is his own meme and he's been working it for a good 6-7 years by now


when myspace was the standard he had over 150 different accounts

all of them had different music


like 7 songs


he has a self help book


i find it really interesting to see the length and duration of this kind of lived performance‬‬

he's taken advantage of all the contemporary means of communication, social media especially... memes,‬‬




he himself has totally become liquid with all the means of self promotion


‪it's not at all about the music‬‬


although he has talent, he is compensating with all these attachments

spreading himself thin, or just spreading himself, it is sort of brilliant




his own freestyles are called based freestyles


he released a mixtape that had 848 based freestyle songs


he's on a mission to become the best rapper alive where he just always raps gold




ODB has similar content


more sophisticated




Brooklyn Zoo

Music Video, 1995

3 min., 52 sec.

‪and without the need to sell himself so desperately


there is desperation in social media


‪but thats the thing


ODB sold out


Lil B has only released one record


you don't think Lil B is dying to "sell out"‬‬




all his music is free


he's performing the entire history of hihop


and owning it for himself


Lil B

Letter To My Family

Music Video, 2014

4 min., 56 sec.


when he releases his own music, all the beats on his mixtapes are taken from other songs or fans send him beats for free to use


do you think people would buy his music? it's a different market entirely, incomparable to what ODB had available‬‬


the fact that he's out of 'the game' but still able to survive on sheer support is amazing‬‬


it's like metal in the 80s


metal on the radio was hair metal


‪metal filling stadiums...Iron Maiden


it is amazing, he has been able to break free from the monopoly of the industry‬‬


with a direct connection to his audience‬‬

Lil B

NYU Lecture (Part 1)

Lecture, 2014


‪is the music at all necessary for Lil B?


is there another category for him?


‪i mean, it is about the music‬‬


‪is it?‬‬


‪it's weird, it doesn't seem like it


but he's really trying to find an entirely new way of speaking


speaking through action, form, media, content


compressing and letting it contract in your head


he's a black hole


i would call this something else, a conglomerate of little pieces of things - but music is just one of many‬‬


it's not about the music, I wouldn't call him a musician




‪that's why it has to be free‬‬


there is nothing to buy


i mean, he's actually using it for it's qualities to transmit a message‬‬




and you can do that with many mediums


‪and compounding it with the structures that exist‬‬


‪he is an artist‬‬


except using the ones that are available to us all‬‬


performance artist‬‬


the sheer intensity of it is whats interesting to look  at‬‬

he's constantly performing


there is no beginning or end in a way


he is selling himself‬‬




it's much more




in the music business, it's a business because of the massive infrastructure that exists with it


the radio stations are owned by them and advertisers pay them and everyone gets paid and product gets moved


he is literally speaking about the possible freedoms available on the Internet and in networked cultures


he's never part of the sale of anything except positivity and creativity


‪he is in Spotify‬‬


‪thats a platform outside of industry‬‬


unless it's been purchased


but he's making royalties off his music on Spotify


anyone can sign up


or you could go through a distributer


‪i agree with you, but that doesn't make it music‬‬


i listen to it


you listen to people talk too‬‬


‪there is a new form of communication in the making‬‬


that's my point


‪ok this is interesting, why isn't it music?


his interest as an artist is not to improve his musical aptitude‬‬

his interest is to spread his image


you also can't disregard one thing because there is no consistency with a sound


i also have to add some back story to this


‪he was one of these kids that had a boy group in the early 2000s and made money IN the industry


but then left it because it didn't support his own creative endeavors


also provided him a bit of a cushion to start this


‪he is using music as part of a performance‬‬


‬‬thats also kind of limiting


to just call it a performance




‪i think it's performative by nature


but to say it's just a performance negates serious agency


‪i didn't say "just" a performance - there is a lot of power in performance, and Lil B is a great example of that‬‬


he dose not invest in the growth of music as a whole, nor does he contribute to the history of music as much as he does the history of performance via social media


‪thats wild‬‬


‪what is he contributing?‬‬


the content has been done, the style has been done


it's purely the social media aspect


except this:


he's literally rewriting himself into history


in the most post-modern way possible


through music


you think that's going to last?‬‬


‪i don't know, which is why I'm so interested


you think he'll be remembered for his music?