LIL B: The BasedGod’s Manifesto
Lil B shares his manifesto for life, love and the pursuit of happiness.
Words: Jason Weintraub
If you have access to the Internet, then it’s safe to assume that you’ve heard of California’s controversial rapper Lil B. Also known as “The BasedGod,” many have become followers of the loutish side of Lil B (that engages in sexual acts with women that his male supporters sacrifice to him), his comical yet ominous sense of humor (rapping about raping celebrities and referring to himself as a “pretty bitch”), his obsession with identifying himself as random celebrities (“Hoes on my dick ‘cause I look like’…” Miley Cyrus, Justin Beiber, Bill Clinton and even a young Ted Danson) or just because of the fact that he gets tons of ass from women, willing to be slaves to his desires because of all of it.
From the outside looking in, it’s easy to see why people have a hard time understanding the inimitable rapper/author/cat enthusiast. However, for true Lil B fans, they see a side that promotes non-confrontational violence, and encourages them to achieve what others have said they couldn’t. Wait what?!
So what he’s a little complex, but cracking the code of Lil B’s mind is not impossible, especially after speaking to him. On a Thursday morning in his hometown of Berkeley, Lil B is eating his breakfast and clearing his mind by the waterfront. As he sits there, he’s constantly checking his Twitter, Tumblr et al the other social sites. While he’s a bit depleted and exhausted from the almost never-ending tour (longer than he has ever toured in his lifetime) he just completed, he’s laughing and in good spirits. You can tell that he is thankful for the opportunity that life has brought him.
“I can’t believe we are alive right now looking at the trees, the cliffs and the water. I’m just amazed to be here with all these car accidents, plane crashes and natural disasters, and I’m happy man.”
For those who don’t follow the jaunty young adult on Twitter, gratitude is his middle name. Some may even say he seems overly enthusiastic with tweets like, “IM SO HAPPY YOU’RE ALIVE TO READ THIS WE ONLY HAVE 1 LIFE TO LIVE, IF YOU WILL LIVE IT HAPPY AND HUMBLY!!!! THANK YOU DONT EVEN RT IT…” But what other artists send out messages like these almost every fifteen minutes?
Knowing his demographic is anywhere from middle school to young adults, Lil B interacts with and stays connected to his devotees that helped to catapult his career to this new extreme.
“It’s crazy with these million fans, it’s a real honor and a real humbling thing for me. It gives me that push knowing that there are people’s lives [that] I’ve changed and they support me.”
Going into further detail about his followers, you can tell that Lil B’s inspiration comes from fan appreciation, the same sort of endearment that started the phenomenal trending topic #thankyoubasedgod. More upbeat now, B says, “I feel like I have a purpose on Earth and I’ve found it through the people. That can make you feel real special through the people, and once you find [out that] this is what I want to do and what I’m here to do, there is nothing else you’ll want to do!”
The time Lil B dedicates to responding to YouTube comments, retweeting and responding to direct messages is insane. Just watching him in his daily process barely clips the reason why his fans are some of the most extreme and loyal ones in the game. Fox News would agree after a crazed supported yelled the infamous “Thank You BasedGod” during a live segment announcing the death of Osama Bin Laden.
Love gone amuck? Lil B fans are extreme…
Lil B also describes his love for life, people and freedom in his music as well. Though his mantras may not be within the songs that get the most attention, songs like “Walk The World” contain profound lyrics close to B’s heart.
I told him about an encounter, where I sent his lyrics to my English professor who replied, “Is this an old T.S. Eliot poem?” Lil B laughed and dropped the basic science to his madness. “Do what you want, be positive and know that there is no right and wrong to some questions. Don’t grade other people’s work and just accept it, that’s what it’s about.”
On what he wants his fans to feel when listening to his music, he says: “Whatever emotion they want to feel with the song that they choose, a positive and negative balance. Whatever they choose I want them to feel it and be able to share their emotions. They should know they are never alone and someone is always going through the same things.”
Is this the reason that rapidly changing, hormonal adolescents are so obsessed with the young rapper? Is it possible that they truly do see him as a figure bigger than any person? Regardless if they do or don’t, B has no problem with his fans looking at him
as a prophet, God or as a religious figure for that matter.
What he does want them to know is that freedom is the greatest privilege they have and that it should never be taken for granted.
“Freedom is the best feeling you can have. Knowing what the past used to be and coming from a culture [that was based] in slavery, that’s what I really read about and learned about in the textbooks. Seeing stuff that is going on now in the world, and the separation that people go through with the mental shackles… People are slaves to the mindset they were taught. People are giving bad signals, too. A lot of people judge and stay with those who look like them and that’s the old way. A lot of people dress a certain way because they think that’s the right way, but there is no right way and there’s no wrong way.”
Continuing to speak on what he calls the “trapped mindsets” of many of today’s troubled youth, B stumbles upon another topic that he is even more serious about. “There’s a lot of violence [that] we need to stop in the hip-hop community. It’s a lot of senseless violence too, even though I think all violence is senseless. There’re a lot of people going through a lot of stuff, but we just got to be happy. We all need to be happy about our lives and not let others get in the way of that.”
Disturbed by our last topic, I asked B if he feels that his devotees sometimes go too far? Is this an abomination? From people throwing their belongings on stage as a sacrifice, to bibles with the words “Thank You BasedGod” written throughout the chapters, that his fans present to him at his shows, some nonbelievers feel that B’s cult-following is a disrespectful one that has long exhausted its welcome. Lil B sees it differently. To him, being viewed as a God is nothing special because everyone can be a God.
“We’re all prophets spreading worldwide guides and lessons. You just got to really love people and life, and once you accept it and love it then you can become a God, too.”
While witnessing thousands of teenagers—donning chef hats, spatulas in-hand—participating in a cooking dance to pay homage to their BasedGod may seem like a fad or trend. Spreading faith to those who have lost it or have difficulty finding it may be one of the main reasons Brandon McCartney is beloved by millions. Whether you are dancing and “cooking” away stress, or listening to a deep ambient song that puts life into perspective for you, Lil B’s listeners are more hopeful then they’ve ever been. When they have no one else to turn to, they find comfort in the hope, happiness and love that BasedGod shares willingly and openly.
After all, isn’t that what we all look for in a god?
Image Courtesy of Lil B’s Tumblr: diorpaint.tumblr.com.