Lil B’s Black Ken mixtape from 2010 may finally be on the way

Lil B's Black Ken mixtape from 2010 may finally be on the way

2010 is only a one-digit adjustment to the present year, but it was a long time ago. Like, in 2010, I hadn’t even taken my first Uber, the right still had dreams of Obama as a one-term president, vaporwave wasn’t yet intellectually exhausted, and Lil B hadn’t even dropped I’m Gay yet. But he had teased a mixtape called Black Ken, which, despite a promising lead single (“Thank You Based God (Black Ken Mixtape)”), seemed more like an excuse to enlist Benjamin Marra for some timeless cover art than an actual musical project. As the years passed and he released mixtape after mixtape, Lil B even seemed to forget about it.

Yet, inspired by Kanye’s recent hospitalization — and am I crazy, or does that dude on the cover kind of sort of have a Kanye thing going on? — it seems Black Ken is finally on the way.

If it’s released in the next month, it would be the first Lil B release of the year, which is kind of an insane thing to write. For the record, Mattel has been releasing black male dolls since at least 1968 and released the first Black Ken in 1981. I like that Lil B is a visionary in his own world. And we live in a world where truth is negotiable. So if Black Ken is an aspirational look toward a world where Kens can be black (even though they already are), does it really lose any of its power?

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