Lil B has always been a generous artist, but he’s now reached Bill Gates levels of magnanimity

Lest we forget, Berkeley’s pre-eminent lunatic sage has made his reputation with an avalanche of freewheeling and adventurous mixtapes: this year alone, he’s already gifted us seven full-lengths, the most recent of which being last week’s Green Flame tape. Late yesterday evening, Lil B slung us a direct message on Twitter pointing us towards a new release and…well, to paraphrase Roy Schneider, we’re going to need a bigger hard drive.

The 848 Song Based Freestyle Mixtape does exactly what it says on the gargantuan tin. The 4.68GB download collects 848 different free-associating extemporizations from Lil B’s archives. The tape was also posted to Lil B’s Tumblr, accompanied by the strapline: “THIS ISNT ALL BUT A GOOD START!! FREE FOR LIL B’S BIGGEST SUPPORTERS!! I LOVE YOU!! – Lil B”. This isn’t Lil B’s first venture into supersize releases: last year’s The Myspace Collection collected all of the cuts from the rapper’s 125+ Myspace pages, and clocked in at a comparatively meagre 676 tracks (the valiant folk at Critics Corner turned out a track-by-track guide, an endeavour for which we can’t salute them enough).

The 848 Song Based Freestyle Mixtape is yet further proof that Lil B has become the Just William of hip-hop: every time he wears a lampshade or signs his cat to his label, we just roll our eyes affectionately and say “Oh, Brandon”. That said, it’s arguable that Lil B – who, for good for ill, embodies the old ‘quantity over quality’ maxim better than anyone else in the game – is doing more than most to test the limits of what an album can mean in an age where one can cram as much music as one wants into a single discrete package. Considered alongside Terre Thaemlitz’s recent “full-length MP3 album” Soulnessless, The 848 Song Based Freestyle Mixtape might well be a interesting test case in canvas expansion. We’ll know in approximately eight hours, if our broadband doesn’t tank first.

Click here to grab the tape.



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