Ten reasons I love Lil B, and why you should, too!
I'm a huge Lil B fan. Now I wouldn't call myself a Stan -- although that would probably be entirely accurate -- but that's only because I don't reference my love for Lil B in the context of other rappers' songs. That would be an affront to The BasedGod. Lil B must be held in a category apart from all other rappers because he isn't like other rappers, and that's why I love him. Keep reading for the ten reasons I love Lil B -- and why you should, too!
10. He isn't afraid to challenge taboos. Lil B, with particular regard to taboos about sexuality, is fearless. He calls himself a pretty bitch, says he's finer than his bitch and titled his debut album I'm Gay. But this oft-heralded quality goes both ways. Not only is he not afraid to offend the prudes of society, he's not afraid to offend the sensible with songs called "Violate that Bitch" and "Look Like Jesus," in which he proclaims that hoes are on his dick because, you guessed it, he looks like Jesus. Hip-hop has long held itself out to be a counter-culture movement, but the culture of hip-hop has become so ingrained in mainstream culture these days, there's little friction anymore. Lil B will offend you at some point, and that's how you know he's doing something right.
9. He doesn't give a fuck what you think. Really. There are plenty of rappers that "don't give a fuck what you think." In fact, they give so few fucks what you think, they'll dedicate entire songs to making sure you really, really know how little they care. And then here is Lil B, putting out release after release of artistic vulnerability and material that is questionable in every way but for the fact that he only could have made it for himself and the rabid fans who love him for exactly who he is.
8. He's self-aware. Don't kid yourself. Lil Boss knows how to put together a rhyme. If you think he's toiling over lyrics to "Ellen Degeneres," you're fooling yourself. There are a number of songs where B cuts deep lyrically and sports a perfectly acceptable, traditionally rhyming flow, but he chooses not to most of the time. Why? Because it's so much more entertaining this way. There are a lot of clueless rappers that call themselves the GOAT. At least B does it with a smile on his face.
7. He's funny. "I'm a lesbian, man. I only fuck bitches," "I got 56 bitches. I got 51 bitches. I got 13 problems. I got bitches that'll solve them. I might be a mathematician cause the money I be getting" -- this is just the tip of the iceberg. Needless to say, there's plenty of talk about bitches, which isn't unusual, but rarely is the subject of bitches treated with such levity. Other rappers are very serious about their bitches.
6. People get really mad about him, and that's funny. Being a Lil B fan is like being in on a gigantic joke that you get to choose when it's funny and when it's serious -- because it really doesn't matter, and that's what non-fans don't understand. Humor and earnestness don't preclude each other. Lil B could record himself dropping a deuce, and we would still say, "Thank you, BasedGod. May we have another?" in all earnestness while high-fiving under the table at our peers' frustration. Plus, it's funny to see celebrities like Kevin Durant confounded and offended by how a entity such as The BasedGod could exist. Lil B's response? A good, ol' fashioned curse and a challenge to hoop one-on-one.
5. He is a master of social media. Lil B owes the name he's gotten to social media and networking, and he has created one of the strongest online presences of any musician around. Funny story: When B started out, he made music for one dedicated fan (and possibly relative?) on MySpace, Victor McCartney. Now, B has more than 800,000 followers on Twitter. Not bad for a rapper the radio refuses to play.
4. He's a trend setter. The BasedGod, in his own words, started all trends. Certainly an exaggeration, but Lil B truly is a massive trend setter within rap music. All that swag-saying, whooping, fucking your bitch, pretty bitch flossing, naming songs after celebrities? That's all him. And even when nobody's following what Lil B does, it doesn't stop him from doing new things. He releases freestyle albums, a practice which he began when he was rolling with The Pack, and free mixtapes with literally hundreds of songs on them. Who else does that? Nobody.
3. He's the most radically original rapper in recent memory. Lil B's rap is not what most people would call good art. It is the way that Lil B conducts himself, and the way he approaches making music, that is so thought-provoking. In this way, Lil B is a performance artist, but more subtle than artists like Yoko Ono and Marina Abramovic. Lil B is often described as a postmodern artist because his performances seem to act as a mirror to the rap landscape as a whole. It could and has been argued whether this is Lil B's intention, but that's irrelevant. It is Lil B's lack of a filter that allows him to be successful in this way regardless of his intention. Lil B is so immersed in the popular culture of rap, when he releases albums of free-associative thoughts and refuses to edit them, what is left is necessarily the imprint of rap culture on a young mind in its most based form, hence the name of his Based movement.
2. He brings hip-hop back to it's original status as a frame of mind rather than a musical style. Old heads will often tell you that there's a difference between hip-hop and rap -- that rap is a genre of music, whereas hip-hop is a culture and a frame of mind. Lil B is so immersed and emotionally invested in the music he makes, the Based experience ends up transcending music. As KRS-One said, "Rap is something you do. Hip-hop is something you live." Lil B may deviate from the traditional rap mold in a lot of ways, but at the core of what he's doing, he's more representative of hip-hop than most.
1. He is the rawest rapper. Lil B is one of a very few rappers out there truly doing their own thing. You can hate his music, and you can hate what he says, but you have got to respect the hustle, the understanding of the game and the cojones necessary to do what he is doing. He raps what's on his mind regardless of whether or not it rhymes, if it's in rhythm or if it even makes sense. That's the definition of raw. Look it up.
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