No one really knows what to expect when Lil B comes to town. Touted as the Andy Warhol of rap, the Based God certainly knows how to command the attention of the masses. At nearly a million twitter followers and a hundred million YouTube views, Lil B has used the internet seamlessly and abundantly to share his stream of consciousness with whoever’s listening.
The Based God claims to have recorded over 3,000 songs, some more complex than others. From “I love you” to “I am God” to “I’m Miley Cyrus,” nothing is left unsaid, and no guise is left unworn. Lil B connects with many because he is many – he is a shape shifter of consciousness in his art and vocabulary, where words like Based transform from insults to statements of positivity. Hip-hop purists may not accept the spoken-word freestyle meanderings of the I’m Gay rapper as real rap, but Lil B – Attention Deficit Incarnate – doesn’t seem to care.
He tells kids to be themselves, and he lives what he speaks: at least if he’s holding back in his lyrics, it’s hard to tell. In return, they give him undying loyalty, campaigning to “Protect Lil B” at all costs. And of course there are beefs – from Kevin Durant to Joe Budden to Game, there are many whose publically incredulous reactions to Lil B have sparked social media outrage from the BasedWorld. His fans are involved and engaged by him, flocking to his shows, defending him vehemently on social networks, and changing their perceptions to match his ulfiltered message of…being unfiltered.
Critics may call him gimmicky, though continually relevant might be a more accurate description – Lil B connects with the digital generation and has become something of a Christ-figure to the fans who soak up his message, branding himself as the savior in 2010’s “Look like Jesus” – which, the song goes on to explain, is why there are hoes on his dick. He’s the subject of countless Based God memes, fan sites and catch phrases, a true example of internet saturation. He’s even published a book about the Based lifestyle: Takin’ Over by Imposing the Positive! was written in the style of emails to the reader, and instructs on living in optimism.
Watching Lil B is like looking into a carnival funhouse mirror – an obscured reflection of an already strange reality. A cooking dance, a statement of happiness, a fleeting moment of ignorant bliss – perhaps one can know what to expect from the Based God after all. He plays November 11 at Fortune Sound Club.
– Amalia Nickelget tickets