Bay Area rapper Lil B released “Call Me Black Ken” along with the Benjamin Marra-designed artwork for his Black Ken mixtape in 2010. Marra’s attention-grabbing cover art featured Lil B portrayed as a male doll to mirror Mattel’s toy figure Ken, as female dolls inspired by the trademark Barbie figure surrounded the rapper. A 26-track Black Ken Preview was released in conjunction with Datpiff.com, but the project never saw a formal release.
In a Twitter exchange from Nov. 24 with pharmaceutical executive/worst-dude-ever Martin Shkreli, Lil B announced the seemingly abandoned project would see a release in the near future.
lil b fina change the world wow I been crying listening to new songs from Lil B unreleased extremely rare art black Ken mixtape - Lil B— Lil B THE BASEDGOD (@LILBTHEBASEDGOD) November 24, 2016
@MartinShkreli Wasup legend I respect ur love for art and music we talk more soon what I have on my hands is the THE future - Lil B— Lil B THE BASEDGOD (@LILBTHEBASEDGOD) November 25, 2016
Shkerli sparked outrage in 2015 after the former Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO raised the price of the 62-year-old HIV drug Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 per pill. Shkerli made a name for himself in music circles after paying $2 million to buy the sole collector’s copy of the Wu-Tang Clan album Once Upon A Time In Shaolin. Those incidents were punctuated by Shkerli’s arrest, his decision to step down as Turing’s CEO, and a feud with Wu-Tang member Ghostface Killah. Shkerli publicly previewed tracks from the album as a response to Donald Trump winning the 2016 Presidential election.
Lil B, the self-proclaimed “Based God,” praised Shkreli as a legend thanked him for his purchase of Once Upon A Time In Shaolin. There is currently no formal release date for Black Ken. In addition to the Black Ken artwork, Marra has designed cover art for A Fistful of Peril by Czarface. Marra writes, illustrates and publishes for the Traditional Comics imprint. Marra and Lil B previously collaborated on the artwork for the 2010 project 6 Kiss.