Basedworld was again a smoldering inferno with the release of the Pink Flame mixtape, Lil B’s highly anticipated follow up to former flames: Blue Flame, Red Flame, Red Flame Evil Edition, Red Flame Devil Music Edition, Black Flame, White Flame, and Green Flame. However, unlike these past efforts, I would argue the primary strength of Pink Flame rests in its heightened overall production quality, despite moments of lyrical shortcomings. In the tape’s opening tracks, I was surprised to encounter the BasedGod espousing a more muted, in a sense, lethargic flow—a striking departure from the aggressive cadence characteristic of his more recent releases, most notably October’s Halloween H2O. The innovative employment of a “Pop Goes the Weasel” arcade game sample seemed to salvage the lackluster lyrical quality of “Eat,” the third of Pink Flame’s 26 tracks. But as the tape progressed, I found the BasedGod matching his production’s energy lyrically.
“Flex 36” shone as one of the tape’s anthems in this regard, the track itself matched only by its prophetically styled music video, which artfully collided staples of Lil B’s visual archive: the Bitch Mob Task Force pink bandana, an absolutely incredible bucket hat, and the very same bindi from the seminal “Ima Eat Her A$$” video. “1000 Bitches” was also a standout, featuring both a Super Mario sample as well as an classic moment of Based self affirmation “Bitch I look great today, you can call me Oprah.”
Pink Flame also features the Pro-Era diss track “Im the Bada$$,” countering Joey Bada$$’s jabs at B on his critically acclaimed mixtape 1999. While Pink Flame features an overarching pacifist message—“Ban the Weapons” advocates nonviolence in an arguably subversive manner, as it features a beat reminiscent of Dr. Dre’s 1992 debut The Chronic that brought issues of gun violence in Compton to the national stage—Lil B rightfully calls out the Pro-Era kids in defense of the sovereign nation of BasedWorld.
On the whole, I believe Pink Flame burns considerably brightly, but cannot stack up to the strength of the BasedGod’s work over the past 6 months, which saw the release of Obama BasedGod, Based Jam, and Halloween H2O, true home runs in the Based archive.
Listen to the mixtape here!
– Emily Manning