* * * * 1/2
BEST IN THE WEST
Kim Gordon once said people go to concerts to watch other people believe in themselves, and nobody has created a greater cult of personality based on unstoppable confidence, or swag, than Lil B. But Lil B doesn’t say the word “swag” until about ten minutes into this album. He doesn't need to tell you how much swag he has anymore, especially when he comes roaring out of the gate with as much power as he does on his latest album, I'm Gay. No, the Based God still can’t rap very well, but he’s full of stamina, and he sounds more genuinely happy, or gay, than any musician I’ve heard on record in the past year. This is a man with the freedom not only to say he’s gay but to genuinely be gay and make others feel that way as well (including myself). In addition to how flat-out fierce Lil B sounds, the often esoteric beats are nearly impeccable. High points include the beat on “Gon Be Okay,” which samples Joe Hisaishi's excellent soundtrack from Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away, and the truly queeny beat that lifts up “Get It While It’s Good.” So fierce. So swaggin’. Everything about this album left me with a massive smile on my face, and after I finished listening to it, I took the BART to Oakland, gave my friend a huge hug, ran back to the city naked across the Bay Bridge, and came home in time for breakfast.