Love him. Hate him. You can’t ignore him. Lil B’s a poignant provocateur poised to take a dedicated cult following to greater heights. Sky’s the limit, Based God.
This social-media assassin sure sounds friendly on the telephone.
Beaming in from the Bay Area on my phone line is Lil B The Based God, the big dreamer MC who’s used MySpace, YouTube and Twitter to build a captive audience that continues to grow with him. Just a few minutes into the conversation, it’s clear that his charm can disarm a hater—of which he has plenty.
They all came out in full force when Brandon McCartney declared this past spring during his Coachella set that his next collection of underground tunes was going to be released under the title I’m Gay. No, B isn’t a homosexual, but he does know the power of words. His catchphrases, such as “Thank You, Based God,” have become part of daily hip-hop jargon, and he’s even been offered the ladyfriends of a few impassioned fellas at concerts on occasion. Must be nice.
Seriously, the kid from The Pack has a knack for gettin’ under fel- low rappers’ skins with his ambitious antics, but he’s also networked his way into career-turning achievements, like his recent guest spot on Lil Wayne’s Sorry 4 The Wait mixtape. Yup, you can attack his still developing art, but don’t dare dismiss this online hero’s hunger and desire for more. Good luck, young homie.
Lil B tells his own story, after the jump.
“I just feel like I’m on a path to being rap’s Michael Jackson in my world. I feel different. Anytime I get on a song, I feel like every- body listens, and everybody really cares, and everybody’s really moved. I just feel like Lil B is something that stirs up so much, and that’s so passionate with rap, and that has so much love, it’s crazy. There’s going to be something epic, like when people look back on the greatest painter, and all the greats—the Einsteins and stuff, peo- ple who really made history. I’mma be one of the hip-hop forefathers based on the music I’ve produced, all the things I’ve brought to hip- hop, the sounds, the trends, all the stuff I’m doing right now. I got history to make.
“I understand what Tupac was doing. Look, Tupac said stuff in his videos that I speak about daily to my partners, or that I just preach about. You know, I don’t even watch his videos, because we’re on the same tip. I do sometimes now, but then it’s so weird. I feel the same thing with Lil Wayne. Before I met him and we recorded the first time in the studio, I was always like, Man, Wayne is doing it right, writing and stuff. And this is years ago. Wayne made me work hard. And now to have my music touching people, and the letters that I get, all that, man. It’s like, tattoos of the songs. I feel different, for real.
“I feel like I’m going to be one of the mega-bosses, like Jay-Z, like Wayne. My brand is going to be trusted like Whole Foods, because the greats embrace me and understand me. That’s the main thing. The people who have the great opinions, like Jay-Z, Wayne, people who really mean something…Jay Electronica, Freeway, Lupe. And that’s just off the dome, that I can remember. The people talking, the rappers that’s hating, it’s like I understand. But then, I don’t never hate and not know what I’m talking about. First, I don’t even hate, but it’s like, All right, if I’mma hate on something, I’d rather just know what I’m talk- ing ’bout, or research. Like when I made the Joe Budden diss: I don’t know Joe Budden. All I did was pull shit off the Internet and things that I thought about. And that was hating on my part.
“But it’s like, if you’re going to hate on somebody, if you’re gonna hate on Lil B, you have to do your research. And then when you do the research, it’s going to hurt you, ’cause it’ll be like, Ay, ay, bam, bam, bam, you’re going to dig, and then you’re going to find some- thing you like, and then it’s gonna hurt ’em [laughs].
“I used to be that way a long time ago. I didn’t used to understand Tech N9ne and Insane Clown Posse. Used to be scared of Three 6 Mafia. I was like, Three 6 Mafia works with the devil a little bit. Like, Why does Tech N9ne have the face paint on? It’s scaring me. Insane Clown Posse, they scary. I still haven’t grasped Tech N9ne, but I know he’s amazing—not saying I haven’t grasped it because I don’t understand it, I just haven’t really been listening to him how I should be, and I’m ’bout to start, I’m ’bout to get on in. So I understand when people are like “All right, whatever” about me. People misun- derstand me because…it’s just like…I’m a great. People just kind of have to take it for what it is. I used to hate on my name. Now my name means something epic. I’m also—I got the exterior, the Based God—Lil B the Based God. But I’m always Lil B, for sure.
“The Based God came from my freestyles. I freestyled over, like, 1,300 songs. During that time, I was rocking, finding out stuff about myself and going into parts of my brain. What being based means is just being yourself, doing what you want to do, making people accept you for you, staying positive. When I was doing that, I was like, Man, you know, I feel like the ultimate, like, I-don’t-give-a-fuck ultimate, like I’ll do anything I want to.
“The “Thank You, Based God” thing…I was just making fun in my songs, joking around in some of my freestyles, saying funny stuff like, “Thank You, Based God,” like, “Fuck my bitch, Based God.” We’d all be joking on the Internet, people started making pictures and writing, and then we’d write it in a funny language. A lot of people who fuck with my music, nerds and funny people and some cool people, they like to joke and they like to be serious. Broke people rock with my music, rich people, fresh people rock with my music. It’s girls—slutty girls that rock with my music, dirty girls. You know, brother, you know we respect women. The tumblr? You know! It’s love, man. The [Dior Paint] tumblr is going down [laughs].
“I came out the fire, brother. I came out the fire. I’m successful. You know what I mean? I’m still breathing, when I first did it… Now everybody’s trying to hop back on and forget about it. I’m telling you, when I first did it, man, muthafuckin’ friends was hitting me, or so- called friends hitting me like, “I can’t fuck with you no more” [laughs].
“Muthafuckas were dropping like flies, you feel me? Like friends and fans were just lost, lost so many supposed fans. Really, it was just like a strike in history for me. Because who’s ever been that savage? I’m different, bruh. You know why, family? Because, look, bro, who can call their album—who could disrespect themselves, in American terms, the worst thing…. This might just be me being ignorant, but I’m just saying, in America, if you’re not gay, it’s disrespectful to call yourself gay. You know hip-hop does not fuck with the gay shit. So it’s like, I went further than anybody will ever go in life, I went further than anybody, and still being a straight man and holding my dignity. [Calling myself a “pretty bitch”] wasn’t enough, wasn’t powerful enough.
“Nah, the [“I’m Happy” in parentheses] wasn’t to clean it up—it’s just that I’m not gay. If I was really a homosexual, then I’d keep it as I’m Gay, but I’m not. People thought I was trying to cop out, but I’m not trying to cop out. If I was gay [laughs], then I’d be like, “Yeah, I’m gay, there’s no stopping it.” I’ve helped some of my homophobic fans that don’t respect the gay lifestyle, and now they accept it for what it is and accept people and love. I’ve helped people in hip-hop be less homophobic. I’ve changed the world and helped the world because of this. That’s how I feel.
“Since I own all my stuff and I’m unsigned, I do what I want to do. And to tell the truth, I’m Gay was a mixtape. The hype was so big, people started calling it an album. I mean, everything I’ve put out has been, like, LPs, and these are original works, and those are original works, but when my real album comes out, y’all gon’ know. That’s gon’ be worldwide, in the stores, no problem, on TV, I’m talking about the whole nine. I got the master plan, and I’ve been working on my album my whole career—six years strong. I’m only 50 percent done. But that’s going to be coming in due time.
“I haven’t really dropped my official first album. Nah, nah, not yet. And this is me talking to you about this first. I respect the love I’ve been given, and it’s not bad selling a couple thousand mixtapes. My mixtape made it on Billboard, the Heat Seekers. I’m Gay was an amazing piece of art to add to my collection. It made Billboard charts, and I pulled that album out of my ass. I’m not done.
“Right now, I’m having some thoughts. You know, I definitely wanna work with Weezy again. I wanna work with him on my album. I’m in the best position ever. The stuff I got upcoming, it’s going to blow people away. People are not gonna expect it. I was blown away when I did this verse, and I can’t tell you with who, but I’mma tell you like this: We got in the studio this month, and I’m telling you, man, it’s going to be crazy. It was that one, in how hard I went, and who I’m rapping on there with. It is going to shut the game down. I don’t know how I did it unsigned, bro. I don’t know how I’m doing it, but I’m doing it. Yeah, this is worldwide. I’mma say it like this: Some might say he’s the greatest of all time.
“I’m really trying to finish what Drake started. I’m trying to go like how Drake was with it. He kept killing it. I do what I want, I’m happy at the end of the day, and I’m getting money with it. I’m in the right position, you know? Shouts out to Mack Maine, that’s my fam. Really, I’ve been rocking with them for a minute, like Mack, and having love for Wayne, reaching out to them for some years, even before they were super-super-super poppin’. A nigga always been a supporter. It was just a matter of time. Wayne said he really liked a song I did called “Free Wayne” when he went to jail. Like I’m glad just— me as a fan—you know, it was over a beat that he and the Hot Boys did called “50 Shots,” and I redid it.
“I was just listening to him heavy, and I’m like, man, like Wayne killed this, so I did it for him. When I finally met him for the first time in Miami…how I met him was so crazy. We were in a club and I had the glasses on, and I couldn’t even see, and I see a muthafucka screaming like, “Ayee,” and I looked, and it was Wayne. It didn’t register in my head. I’m like, “Ah, man, that’s what it do,” and then 10 seconds later, it hit me. I’m like “Fuck this, bro.” I started screaming like, “Ayee!” and started tripping out. Man, those moments are some of the reasons why I do it, why a muthafucka’s got swag and shit. Wayne gave the whole industry a motivation and a pedestal for the longest. It’s great to be embraced by him. We met up and just chopped it up for a second, real fast, not really, and then I found out the next day: “Wayne wants to get you on the song for a mixtape.” I’m like, “Let’s do it.” So muthafuckas hit the studio later on that night. And you know, man, I’m not gonna lie, I was nervous the first time being in the studio with Wayne. He had everything already ready, too. It was a bunch of rappers in there. Muthafuckas was surprised, too, like, “Damn, boy, like who this nigga B, how is he here?” Like, “I can’t believe it.” All these rap niggas is spitting, and I’m in there like, “That’s what it do,” ’cause it really just hit me like, Man, I’m a star. Like, I made it. I mean, God bless Wayne for giving me this motivation and this positive energy, and respecting me enough to want to get me on his mixtape.
“I’ve always been a warrior and also always had a good, pure heart. I just look at it like, man, stay positive, stay out the way of the negative and deal with situations as they come. It’s the only way I’ve found that I can make it in life. I just think that’s the best thing I can promote, unconsciously and consciously, and just say it even when I don’t want to say it. Staying positive, being positive means a lot to the brain and to the spirit. It means love, peace, just being relaxed, having fun. Because America sucks. Coming back from Europe to America, I was thinking about making a move, because America is like the land of the real killers. There are real hunters in America. Muthafuckas got guns… there are real savages out here in America. Real inhumane humans. Everybody has to find out how they want to live. I found out how I wanna live, and now I’m happy with life. I don’t wanna die. I don’t wanna get shot. I don’t wanna fuck around. Because I’m so happy.
“Music saved my life. Rap saved my life. I live my life to rap.”
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