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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?‬‬

 

Castillo:  ‪it's part of the construction of his image‬‬

 

he's hyper existing in a plane of pure image

 

Ramos:  ‪as opposed to a plane of reality or truth?‬‬

 

Castillo:  ‪no, as opposed to existing within a frame‬‬

or a framework

 

Ramos:  ‪you don't think his image has parameters?‬‬

 

Castillo:  ‪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.

 

 

Castillo: 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

 

Ramos:  ‪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

 

Castillo:  ‪megalomaniacal?‬‬

 

Ramos:  ‪provincial‬‬

 

Castillo:  ‪haha‬‬

i mean the song is called rent's due

 

if you are a serious rapper

 

thats the last thing thats ever talked about

 

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

 

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

 

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

‬‬

Castillo:  ‪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

 

Ramos:  ‪sensitive rapper‬‬

 

Castillo:  ‪absolutely‬‬

 

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

 

taking it 'back to the game'

 

Ramos:  ‪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?

 

Castillo:  ‪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

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

 

Castillo:  ‪absolutely‬‬

 

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

 

Ramos:  ‪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

 

Castillo:  ‪yeah‬‬

 

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

 

singularity

 

Ramos:  ‪‬ODB has similar content

 

more sophisticated

 

 

ODB

Brooklyn Zoo

Music Video, 1995

3 min., 52 sec.

Ramos:  ‪and without the need to sell himself so desperately

‬‬

there is desperation in social media

 

Castillo:  ‪but thats the thing

‬‬

ODB sold out

 

Lil B has only released one record

 

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

 

Castillo:  ‪‬no

 

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.

 

Castillo: 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

 

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

 

Castillo:  ‪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

 

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

 

with a direct connection to his audience

 

Castillo:‬‬

Lil B

NYU Lecture (Part 1)

Lecture, 2014

 

Ramos:  ‪is the music at all necessary for Lil B?

‬‬

is there another category for him?

 

Castillo:  ‪i mean, it is about the music‬‬

 

Ramos:  ‪is it?‬‬

 

Castillo:  ‪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

 

Ramos:  ‪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

 

Castillo:  ‪well‬‬

 

Ramos:  ‪that's why it has to be free‬‬

 

there is nothing to buy

 

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

 

Ramos:  ‪yes‬‬

 

and you can do that with many mediums

 

Castillo:  ‪and compounding it with the structures that exist‬‬

 

Ramos:  ‪he is an artist‬‬

 

Castillo:  ‪except using the ones that are available to us all‬‬

 

Ramos:  ‪performance artist‬‬

 

Castillo:  ‪the sheer intensity of it is whats interesting to look  at‬‬

he's constantly performing

 

there is no beginning or end in a way

 

Ramos:  ‪he is selling himself‬‬

 

Castillo:  ‪no‬‬

 

it's much more

 

ok

 

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

 

Ramos:  ‪he is in Spotify‬‬

 

Castillo:  ‪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

 

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

 

Castillo:  i listen to it

 

Ramos:  ‪you listen to people talk too‬‬

 

‪there is a new form of communication in the making‬‬

 

that's my point

 

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

 

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

his interest is to spread his image

‬‬

Castillo: 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

 

Ramos:  ‪he is using music as part of a performance‬‬

 

Castillo:  ‬‬thats also kind of limiting

 

to just call it a performance

 

Ramos:  ‪why?‬‬

 

Castillo:  ‪i think it's performative by nature

‬‬

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

 

Ramos:  ‪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

‬‬

Castillo:  ‪thats wild‬‬

 

Ramos:  ‪what is he contributing?‬‬

 

the content has been done, the style has been done

 

it's purely the social media aspect

 

Castillo:  ‪except this:

‬‬

he's literally rewriting himself into history

 

in the most post-modern way possible

 

through music

 

Ramos:  ‪you think that's going to last?‬‬

 

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

 

Ramos: you think he'll be remembered for his music?

‬‬

Castillo: absolutely