A Lot Has Changed In The Five Years Since Lil B Last Played Dallas. But One Thing Hasn’t: Dude’s Still An Infectiously Fun Performer.
All photos by Karlo X. Ramos.
A half-decade after his first Dallas performance, Lil B finally returned to bless the city with positive vibes this past Saturday night.
But five years, it turns out, is a long time. And a lot has happened between that last show, which took place at the now-defunct The Door, and this one, which went down at the less-than-a-year-old Canton Hall. For one thing, the 28-year-old Berkeley, California-born rapper known as The Based God, has lectured at MIT. He also un-cursed NBA star Kevin Durant, cursed Durant’s former teammate James Harden and then un-cursed Harden too. Oh, and he also added five more mixtapes and two more full-length albums to his already immense discography.
But something else has happened over that stretch: The rapper’s pink bandana-clad “bitch mob/task force” fanbase has diminished some. Only in size, though: While the turnout to Canton Hall on Saturday night was about half the turnout from Lil B’s last Dallas appearance, it was no less enthusiastic about the rapper it was on hand to see.
Earlier in the night, the openers had did their best to connect with those same fans to varying degrees of success. JG and DMG$ spun out bass heavy tracks attempting to draw some energy out of the small crowd, and they had some short-lived success when they gathered a small circle and inspired some light moshing. DJ bemyfriend traversed back and forth between the latest in hip-hop and pop-punk classics from the likes of Blink-182 and Panic! At The Disco, and cleverly tied the seemingly disparate genres together with the melancholy sounds of the last XXXtentacion. Tay Money, meanwhile, demanded the crowd’s attention by performing in front of a myriad of recycled ass-shaking porn clips being projected onto the screen behind her. The Outfit, TX, meanwhile, got the crowd livest of all — until, in the heat of the moment, one of the group’s members fell off the stage, only top be cheered like a hero when he popped back up a few minutes later and handed out free The Outfit, TX merchandise to the fans showing love.
Of course, once Lil B took the stage, things truly turned up. In an instant, the space went from half-empty to half-full, and the crowd shoved its way to the front of the stage, everyone trying to get as close as to The Based God possible. Throughout the space, though, Lil B’s mantra of keeping things positive could be felt.
That’s something we’ve seen from him before, though.
A new — and welcome — addition to his set came as he performed his crowd favorite “Wonton Soup,” during which he he omitted the gay slur once used in its lyrics. It was a cool moment to see, especially considering how audience, which was at this point loudly shouting along with the performer, happily followed his lead without missing a beat.
Even more so than before, it somehow seems, Lil B is all about everyone enjoying themselves at his shows. That much could be seen too in his extended set list, which included cuts from throughout his discography, including the millennial Texan anthem “Texas” and plenty of tidbits from his most recent mixtape, “Platinum Flame.”
The world around us may continue to change, but Saturday night’s performance at Canton Hall made it clear that our love for The Based God hasn’t.
The room full of aging and young bitch mobbers alike who joined us on Saturday night would probably agree.
(Full disclosure: Central Track has been a presenting sponsor at both Lil B performances in Dallas to date.)