Writing about rapper, YouTube star, and burgeoning cult leader Lil B
for this week's Reader
was difficult on a number of levels. There was the problem of explaining the worthiness of a musician who's spent much of his short career making music that, in the words of the New York Times's Jon Caramanica
, "triggers the magnetic sensation of watching someone who can rap reasonably well choose to rap poorly, and waiting to see if that will change." There was the challenge of fitting the book's worth—OK, maybe Kindle Single's worth—of thoughts that I have on Lil B and the nature of his particular type of fame into a page and a quarter. And there was the fact that the dude would just not stop releasing new music while I was working on it, which meant revisions all the way up to the day it went to press.
Also on the B Side this week, we have a top-notch Artist on Artist with Chris Thomson, who's currently in Coffin Pricks and used to be in the Monorchid and Circus Lupus, interviewing Mary Timony, who's currently in Wild Flag (who play a sold-out show tonight at the Metro) and used to be in Helium and Autoclave. Gossip Wolf has the dish on girl-group tribute act Girl Group, lo-fi recording project Zapruder Point, and upcoming albums from the Sea and Cake and David Daniell & Doug McCombs. The Secret History of Chicago Music profiles prolific, influential, and tragically obscure bluesman Tampa Red. And Soundboard features concerts by Shabazz Palaces, Bahamas, Erykah Badu, Outer Minds, Zeke, Perfume Genius, and more.