Lil B Releases ‘I’m Gay’ Cover Art
After Lil B stirred up a frenzy of criticism and support a few months ago when he revealed the controversial title of his new album, I’m Gay, the Bay Area emcee has now unveiled the cover art for the album.
Lil B released the artwork to RapFix Live yesterday (June 15). And although many were probably expecting the cover to be a flamboyant and over-the-top piece of imagery, Lil B has provided a rather toned-down piece of artwork inspired by the late African American painter, Ernie Barnes’, famous painting, “Sugar Shack,” which served as the cover for Marvin Gaye’s 1976 album, I Want You. Barnes also painted a similar piece for the credits of the classic ’70s sitcom, “Good Times,” and, in the ’90’s, his painting was also sampled for the cover of rap group Camp Lo’s 1997 album, Uptown Saturday Night.
While Barnes’ “Sugar Shack” showcased the raw fun, dancing and sexuality of a ’70’s juke joint, Lil B’s album cover, which was created by his artistfriend, Uncle Grumpy, uses the “Sugar Shack” theme to display the dividing lines between (mental) slavery and freedom.
“Pretty much, the album cover you see, it’s the three sides of slavery, mental slavery and mental freedom at the ending where everybody is happy,” B said to MTV News. “The reason why I did the I’m Gay album, I really seen that the hip-hop community is being very close-minded and very hateful, very violent.”
With his new album, Lil B explains that he hopes that he can sway people to take power away from hateful words as well as be more accepting of others.
“People use evil words, money, separation, stuff like that. I just wanted to make this to show words don’t mean anything,” he said.
Perhaps, despite everyone’s concerns, Lil B really is, in his own unique way, on a mission to change the world. And even if he isn’t, at least he’s sparking some much-needed conversation about it. –nicholas robinson