Lil B

Lil B is a hip-hop musician from the Bay Area who’s earned my respect and fairly loyal following in

Lil B generally uploads very unique (and obviously
photoshopped) pictures of himself to his Facebook page.
This one is but a sample.
A still from B’s music video, “Eat A$$”.
A very classic and widespread picture of the Based God
in one of his more “rare” outfit.

the weirdest of ways.

To this day, I’ve yet to compose a homage to one of the most unlikely role models I’ve come to respect. His name is Brandon McCartney, but the name he’s famous for is Lil B ‘The BasedGod’. The first part of his name satisfies the nature of standard rapper aliases, but the second part reveals the more interesting part of Brandon’s music and philosophy. Lil B regards himself as the creator and, in my eyes, sole practitioner of what he’s termed, “based music.” Music critics describe it as a “stream of consciousness” style of rapping, but I know it as an excuse under which to produce relatable, thought-provoking music alongside mind-numbing exposes about “fucking bitches” and “going dumb”. Just because it’s an excuse, however, doesn’t mean I don’t regard it in a positive manner.

Lil B originally got his music career started through his involvement with the moderately successful, hyphy movement-era group, “The Pack”, whose hit single “Vans” constituted an anthem to their cultural surroundings and was also a fairly catchy, radio-friendly hip-hop tune. Following “The Pack’s” success, however, Lil B split and began pushing his solo endeavors by posting MP3 file after MP3 file across multiple MySpace pages. Essentially, Lil B came to be through an incessant proliferation of content, some of which was admittedly trash. As the size (but not necessarily the depth) of B’s repertoire grew, so did his fan base, and soon he would reach a point where his videos of him executing poor lip-synching whilst accompanied by females who look like they’d rather be doing anything but pretending to be B’s groupies,

I’m aware that I’m describing Lil B as a pathetic, amateur rapper with a penchant for producing crap. In some respects, that’s true. But in other respects, it couldn’t be farther from the truth. You see, Lil B is a duplicitous artist, with the ability to produce fantastic music and the gall to produce music less so. That, in and of itself, is a fantastic quality. In multiple interviews, B has stated that his outlook on life involves being himself and loving others whilst rejecting the naysayers. Often, he expresses this outlook in less than noble vocabulary.

His philosophy is not unique, but his rise to fame and current ubiquity as due to his tantalizing musicianship makes it unique. It’s kind of like hearing the same thing from two different people – even though the message is the same, its purveyor might make you receive it differently.

Throughout my life, I’ve wrestled with the very concepts Lil B seems to have a handle on – understanding who one is, what one wishes to identify oneself with, how one seeks to behave oneself with other people. Lil B, in praising self-esteem and individuality as kindling of a full life, has helped me become more confident about the ways I answer those questions. I don’t want to be like Lil B – talking about fucking bitches and smoking “purp”1 and having a heater – but I want to be that which I want to be as ardently and decidedly as Lil B is himself.

That’s a little of a tongue twister. I apologize.

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