No rapper in this generation has had the amount of ingenuity and cleverness that Lil B has showcased throughout his musical career. Lil B is considered amongst many to be the first “outsider artist” in hip hop. Brandon ignores the standard format and traditional subject matters of hip hop. As an unconventional artist he did not follow the standard rules of being someone who would deemed a talented rapper, becoming an apparatus of shocking creativity. His music can be considered asinine but it is enjoyable to listen to and offers a sense of liberation as he defies the standards of rap and also in some cases the standards of society. As early as the age of 18, Brandon had started to create freestyles consisting of slurred stream of consciousness style of rapping accompanied with horrible lyrics and a catchy beat that would later become his signature based freestyles.
These based freestyles would often be named after a popular celebrity, such as “I’m Miley Cyrus” and “Ellen DeGeneres”. Using already relevant celebrities, Brandon could introduce his music to a wide variety of audiences. These songs included a cooking dance, which is satirical of the glorification of crack and cocaine in hip hop music, and ignorant lyrics permeated with plenty of pop culture references. None of this which had been ever done, was an extremely original idea that received a grand amount of attention and created hype that Lil B would continue to feed off of.
Brandon McCartney has titled a recent mixtape “I’m Gay” which is a play on of the word and actually means that he is a happy and positive human being enjoying life while also promoting self-confidence among people of the homosexual community. In a CNN interview with Gavin Godfrey, Lil B explains the harsh reactions he received, “ Mainly, a lot of them are on Twitter, saying that they’re going to kill me for being gay, and they’re going to kill me for being homosexual even though I’m not homosexual . I did this with the pure intention in my heart to help people, and I didn’t do this for promotional reasons. ” Homosexuality, is not a commodity in the hip hop scene and is often frowned upon.
Although he says the titling of his mixtape was not for promotional reasons, he most likely used it as a marketing technique to add shock value to his music. His mixtape most certainly was a culture shock to the hip-hop community with all the slander and backlash. As Anthony D’Alessandro stated in his LA Weekly article, “The Long Tail of Lil B: Why The Based God is a Genius”, “The fact that we ask these questions at all means that Lil B is doing something right. He is drawing people in, forcing them to become immigrants, tourists, and eventually permanent residents of the Based World. And at the same time you’re judging and trying to understand, you’re bobbing your head to one of his many songs”.
By sparking controversial drama, making horrible music and satirical songs on purpose, Brandon clearly knew that his intentions would gain attention. Challenging the social norms, pushing the boundaries of many subject matters, and defying gender roles by being the first goon in a pink shirt and tiny pants, Lil B has become a prolific icon and rapper. Due to the easily offended Hip-Hop community Lil B can create his socially experimental art. In an interview with prominent producer and DJ 9th Wonder, he explained his conversation with Lil B concerning working together and Lil B’s style of music. th wonder says, “I listened to him explain his theory.
Exactly what he was doing and why it was working. And it spoked more about what people liked rather than what he was doing. He said ‘I put two types of songs out there, I put out a song thats a conscious song. It gets 40,00 plays. “Wonton Soup” gets 5 million plays. ’ That’s what they want to hear, the YouTube generation.
” He has exposed the fact mainstream rappers and rap listeners glorify songs that put an emphasis on materialistic objects and how one-track minded hip-hop music is now with the praise and lust for a rich lifestyle image. Brandon has even developed his own Iphone App, “Basedmoji”, which at one point was ranked number 21 in the free apps category for the App Store. The man’s publicity is expanded throughout many means. He has satirized this persona and has established his fame off of it. Lil B knows that without his strange personality, the drama he ensues, lyrical content, distinct image, he would not be the sensation he is today and would just be engulfed and lost in the oversaturated scene of rappers today.
The first of this innovative style, Lil B has created his sphere of influence, which can be found in many rappers such as ASAP Rocky, Yung God, Yung Lean, Soulja Boy, and Riff Raff. Many of these rappers have drawn inspiration from Lil B and have even collaborated with him on several occasions. Based influences are often evident in these rappers’ style and music. For example, Yung God had made his based freestyles after being influenced by Lil B and acknowledged Brandon as the innovator. Although these rappers have had their share of fame, none have garnered the quite the devoted fanbase and following Brandon has created. Lil B, being apart of the generation where the internet is one of the most, if not the most, powerful means of media, has used this to his benefit, which has by far exceeded the attempt of any other rapper.
During the times when MySpace was the focal point of social media, Lil B had created over 300 MySpace profiles, all filled with his music and he made them easily accessible to the public, increasing the chances that someone could possibly be able to stumble upon them. On YouTube, Brandon has amassed 160,470 subscribers and has over fifteen music videos with one million or more views. Based God’s largest social media account, Twitter, has 929,000 followers and is heavily retweeted by his many fans and is often a trending topic on Twitter as well. On Twitter and other websites, feeding off his drama, Lil B has quarrelled with many celebrities. For example, NBA MVP Kevin Durant, made the grave mistake of calling the Bay Area rapper garbage. Lil B responded with a fan favorite diss track garnering more than a million views.
This controversy led to an expansion of his exposure, which included Lil B having his own commercial on NBA TV and more internet buzz. In a recent NBC Sports article by Dan Feldman, he notes a Kevin Durant interview in which the NBA player states, “Every time I sign onto Twitter and Instagram, there’s Lil B stuff coming up. He’s got so many fans, it’s starting to get on my nerves. Just to get them people away from me, me and Lil B are cool. ” Another prime example, when New York rapper Joey Bada$$ mentioned Lil B in an offensive manner in a song, many of Lil B’s fans attacked Joey on twitter.
The bombardment by the fans caused Joey to delete his account. His cult-like following on the internet is unmatched by any other artist. Lil B completely understands and plots to his advantage, that the more drama he can get involved, the more attention he will receive. Mr.
McCartney has exploited the internet as his platform to make his music easily accessible and make him a continuing relevant topic surrounding constant controversy. Brandon has developed a larger than life persona that has made him an internet legend and a sub-culture icon. Lil B is the first rapper ever to write and publish a book at 19. His book, Takin’ Over by Imposing the Positive! , was praised by many fans for its positivity and abundance of inspiration. No other rapper can say that they have accomplished such a grand task as Brandon has accomplished.
Brandon has also had very rare lectures at universities such as NYU, UC Riverside, and Virginia Tech. In Andrew Marantz’s article, “The Dumb Brilliance of Lil B”, he states, “The mood at the auditorium on Wednesday night was Obama-in-2008 exultant”. The tickets for his NYU lecture sold out quickly in less than ten minutes and became a trending topic on Twitter. An excellent public speaker, Lil B can effectively engage and audience and lift up their spirits. Brandon noted for his “Based” lifestyle stresses the importance of positivity and love for everyone and everything.
These characteristics make him beloved amongst many, a reason why he has such devout fans compared to other rappers. On May 10, 2013 I attended a very rare Lil B concert to witness the indomitable rap sensation. A surreal experience unparalleled to the many concerts I had previously attended, this event was truly life changing. As Danny Chau described in his article, “A Very Rare Night With Lil B”, “But the best moments with Lil B happened after the show was over. Lil B’s generosity toward his fans is unlike anything I’ve ever encountered. After the show, he stood off to the side of the stage for more than an hour and a half to sign autographs and take photos with any fan who wanted one.
Each photo was accompanied by an earnest handshake, with full eye contact and a positive message. This greatly exemplifies how much of a genuine and authentic person Brand McCartney is. A truly humble person he embraces his fanbase and connects with them on many personal levels. His concert was an unearthly occurrence that left people in a trance filled with joyous excitement and glee.
His attitude of carelessness for what others think about him negatively and his prolificness that does not fit into the mainstream and commercial norms. His organic and genuine personality is only a testament of his appeal and long-running popularity. Brandon McCartney aka Lil B the Basedgod , a smart businessman, has transcended his stream of consciousness rap style into a profitable occupation. His minimal effort music but subtle ambitiousness has accumulated to his estimated net worth of 1. 5 million. Although not being the most monetarily successful rapper, Lil B has done more than well for himself with his music that critics would call horrible and lazily executed, while other rappers struggle and put in a tremendous amount of effort to never make it or barely achieve and relevancy.
Brandon is relaxing His music has ushered in a new acceptance with the new generation of hip hop to have fun and liberate yourself with positivity. A satirical rap mogul and cult-like leader, Brandon McCartney has made his money and obtained his fame without a major label pushing his music and with his own self promotion through his enterprising usage of the internet. No other rapper before had the inventiveness of exploiting the internet and creating such an influential internet persona that Lil B created. While many have tried to mirror his blueprint, very little have barely been able to grasp a slight degree of fame.
D’Alessandro, Anthony. “The Long Tail of Lil B: Why the Based God is a Genius”. LA Weekly. 9 January 2011. Web.
2 October 2014Chau, Danny, “A Very Rare Night With Lil B”. Grantland. 13 May 2013. Web. September 25 2014Marantz, Andrew, “The Dumb Brilliance of Lil B” The New Yorker.
13 April 2012. Web. September 25 2014Godfrey, Gavin, “Rapper Lil B on I’m Gay: ‘We’re all one people’” CNN. 31 May 2011. Web.
September 26 2014DJ Vlad. “9th Wonder on Working w/ Lil B” Online Video Clip. Youtube. Youtube, 8 Oct.
2011. Web. 1 Oct 2014Feldman, Dan, “Kevin Durant Squashes Beef with Lil B (or so he says)”. NBC Sports. September 29 2014.
Web. September 30 2014