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Lil B

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For the Japanese female R&B duo, see Lil'B.
Lil B
Lil B Nuemos 2012.jpg
McCartney in 2012
Background information
Birth name Brandon McCartney
Also known as The BasedGod
Born (1989-08-17) August 17, 1989 (age 25)[1][2]
Berkeley, California, United States
Genres Hip hop
Occupation(s) Rapper, record producer, author, motivational speaker, activist
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2004–present
Labels BasedWorld (current), Permanent Marks, Weird Forest, SODMG, Fool's Gold, Amalgam (former)
Associated acts The Pack, Soulja Boy, Riff Raff, Kid Pheno

Brandon McCartney (born August 17, 1989), professionally known as Lil B and often known as The BasedGod, is an American rapper, record producer, author and motivational speaker from Berkeley, California. Lil B has recorded both solo and with The Pack. His solo work spans several genres, including hip hop, new age, and choral. His hip-hop work in particular is often described as "based", a term also used to describe a lifestyle of positivity and tolerance. He is noted for his extensive use of social media websites such as MySpace and Twitter to build an online following.[3][4]

Music career

1989–2007: Early life and career beginnings

Brandon McCartney grew up in Berkeley, California, and attended high school at Albany High in Albany. He adopted the name Lil B, and began rapping at age 16 with San Francisco Bay Area based hip hop group The Pack. After two locally successful mixtapes, at the peak of the Bay Area's hyphy movement, the group's song "Vans" became a surprise hit. The song was ranked as the fifth best of 2006 by Rolling Stone magazine.[5] The strength of "Vans" led the group to release Skateboards 2 Scrapers, featuring a "Vans" remix with Bay Area rappers Too $hort and Mistah F.A.B.. In 2007, Lil B and The Pack released its first album, Based Boys.

2009–10: Solo success, collaborations, & Rain in England

On September 24, 2009 Lil B would release his first digital album entitled I'm Thraxx it was released on independent label Permanent Marks. On December 22, 2009 Lil B would release his second digital album entitled 6 Kiss to critical reception.[6] On March 25, 2010 Lil B would release his debut mixtape Dior Paint.[7] On April 3, 2010 Lil B would officially sign to fellow artist Soulja Boy's label SODMG Entertainment.[8] On May 7, 2010 Lil B would release a mixtape entitled Base World Pt. 1.[9][10] On July 5, 2010 Lil B would release a collaboration mixtape with Soulja Boy entitled Pretty Boy Millionaires.[11] Lil B had recorded over 1,500 tracks as of July 2010, including hits "Like A Martian", "Wonton Soup", "Pretty Bitch", "I'm God", all of which were released for free.[12] On September 21, 2010 Lil B would release his debut studio album entitled Rain in England on CD and Vinyl through Weird Forest Records, it would be met with very critical reception, though it did not chart the Billboard 100.

In November 2010, Lil B would be featured on a cover, in The FADER's 71st issue.[13]

2010–present: Second album

On December 29, 2010 it was announced & confirmed that Lil B apparently signed a multiple-album deal with Amalgam Digital.[14][15] On July 10, 2011 Lil B would release his third digital album entitled Paint, through his label BasedWorld Records.[16][17]

On January 18, 2011 Lil B would release his fourth digital album entitled Angels Exodus, through Amalgam Digital. On April 14, 2011 Lil B would announce that his next album would be entitled I'm Gay, the album's title would cause mass controversy even causing Lil B to receive death threats.[18][19][20] On June 29, 2011 Lil B would release his fifth digital album entitled I'm Gay (I'm Happy), through Amalgam Digital it would go on to chart, the album entered the Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart at number 56 and the Heatseekers Albums chart at number 20 for the week of July 16, 2011.[21] In 2011 Lil B was chosen for the XXL Freshmen cover along with fellow rappers Meek Mill, Big K.R.I.T., Cyhi The Prynce, Lil Twist, Yelawolf, Fred the Godson, Mac Miller, YG, Kendrick Lamar & Diggy Simmons.[22]

On May 17, 2012 Lil B would release his first Instrumental album entitled Choices and Flowers under the alias The Basedgod. On August 11, 2012, Lil B stated on Facebook that the only official album he had released was Choices and Flowers under his alias The BasedGod, he would also that that all other releases by him are mixtapes & that he was working on his first official studio album, he would also state before the first Lil B album comes out he will release a rock album.[23][24] On September 16, 2012, Lil B would release a rock single entitled "California Boy".[25] On December 30, 2012 Lil B would release his second Instrumental album entitled Tears 4 God under the alias The Basedgod.[26]

On December 24, 2013 Lil B would release a mixtape entitled 05 Fuck Em, the mixtape would contain over 101 songs.[27]

On June 1, 2014 Lil B would release a mixtape entitled Hoop Life, it would be known for containing a track entitled "Fuck KD" which was a direct diss to NBA superstar Kevin Durant.[28]

Musical style

Lil B and music critics refer to his rapping style as "based", a word that Lil B also uses to describe a positive, tolerant lifestyle. "Based" is a reclaimed word, as described by Lil B in Complex:[29][30]

“Based means being yourself. Not being scared of what people think about you. Not being afraid to do what you wanna do. Being positive. When I was younger, based was a negative term that meant like dopehead, or basehead. People used to make fun of me. They was like, ‘You’re based.’ They’d use it as a negative. And what I did was turn that negative into a positive. I started embracing it like, ‘Yeah, I’m based.’ I made it mine. I embedded it in my head. Based is positive.”

Rapping technique

Slate columnist Jonah Weiner labeled him as one of a "growing number of weird-o emcees", calling him a "brilliantly warped, post-Lil Wayne deconstructionist from the Bay Area".[31]

Pitchfork contributor Mike Powell notes that:

The issue isn't whether or not Lil B fans are 'indentured to the idea of ironic fulfillment,' but whether or not Lil B haters are indentured to outmoded ideas of artistic credibility. He's not making art designed to last the test of time, so holding him to the standards of timeless art is pointless. Ultimately, my take with Lil B is that he keeps the price of entry to his world so low that complaining about him is a waste of energy. He offers himself to his audience for nothing—giving him nothing shouldn't be hard. Furthermore, I don't even know what 'ironic' means in the context of Lil B. If he really didn't think that the world was a beautiful and endlessly amusing place, where does he find the energy to keep rapping about it for free?[32]

Musical critic Willy Staley described Lil B's work as "variegated", because it ranges from critical parodies of the hip-hop genre to "half new age, half spoken word". He further notes that Lil B draws from a large variety of genres, especially those not commonly used by other rappers. In an interview with Staley, Lil B agrees with this analysis, saying, "I can do 'Swag OD' but then my favorite musical artist right now could be Antony and the Johnsons. That's the difference between me and these other rappers, and other musical artists in general."[4]

Other ventures

Record production and Songwriting

Lil B also produces records & song writes as well, Lil B is known for producing a majority of his own records.[33]

Music video director

Lil B is also known throughout his music career for directing & shooting most of his own music videos, usually leaving his own personal message in the beginning or towards the end of the video.[34]


Takin’ Over by Imposing the Positive! is a book written by Brandon McCartney and published through Kele Publishing in 2009.[35] The book is a collection of and written in the form of e-mails and text messages, and is written in such a way that the author is e-mailing the reader. Subjects include positivity, optimism, and living what he calls a "Based Lifestyle".[36] The book was passed out in an unscripted NYU lecture on March 2012.[37] On March 30, 2013 McCartney announced that he was in the process of writing his second book.[38]

Motivational speaker

McCartney has given motivational lectures at several colleges, including MIT and Carnegie Mellon University.[39] They are generally focused around his personal experience in life and current events.[40]

Basedmoji and vegEMOJI apps

Lil B launched the "Basedmoji" app on January 16, 2015.[41][42] On January 17, 2015, Lil B released "vegEMOJI", in cooperation with vegan company "Follow Your Heart",[43][44][45] despite the fact that Lil B is not yet a vegan, he has stated that he is cutting down on his consumption of processed foods, and that he is "ashamed of eating meat".[44]

Public image


Lil B's fans are commonly referred by him as BasedWorld or Bitch Mob.[46][47]

Lil B has also been known for creating & popularizing the "Cooking Dance".[46][48]

Social Media

Lil B has garnered popularity through the use of social media. He created over 125 MySpace pages for his music. [49] Lil B has also gained a lot of popularity on YouTube, having accumulated over 40 million views on his official YouTube channel.[48]

Two popular Internet memes have been inspired by Lil B. "Thank You Based God" depicts a celebrity crying, with the caption "Thank You Based God", or its acronym "TYBG".[29] "Based God fucked my bitch" is another popular Internet meme.

Personal life

On January 16, 2015 Lil B's apartment building in Contra Costa County, California caught on fire early in the morning on Thursday after an electrical fire spread through the building. Lil B & six other people were saved by 15-year-old Mateo Ysmael, who ran through the building to wake everyone up.[50][51][52][53]

During an interview Lil B would state:

I'm grateful to be alive, if that kid didn't come knocking on my door, it could've been so much worse than it was.


I'm Gay

When Lil B released his fifth album, titled I'm Gay, he received several death threats. Although he is heterosexual, he says the title is a message of support to the LGBT community. Referring to the original definition of gay, he says he is gay because he is happy.[54]

Joe Budden

In 2010, a number of exchanges between Lil B and Joe Budden were had over Twitter. Joe Budden had been seeming to speak mockingly about Lil B's "Based" movement and his tweets, to which Lil B responded, initially friendly but then with insults.[55] Lil B went on to release a diss track called "T Shirts & Buddens",[56] which was then featured on his "Everything Based" mixtape. Lil B later apologized for his insults and noted his respect for Budden, calling him a "legend".[57]

The Game

In 2011, after hearing a verse from Lil B on the Lil Wayne mixtape Sorry 4 the Wait, Compton rapper Game referred to Lil B as the "wackest rapper of all time." Lil B responded by calling Game "irrelevant," to which Game then threatened to knockout Lil B.[58] Game targeted Lil B in his verse in his track "Martians vs Goblins" featuring Lil Wayne and Tyler the Creator, with the line "Tie Lil B up to a tank full of propane, swag, now watch him cook". Lil B addressed this on his track "Tank of Propaine" on his "White Flame" mixtape. Several weeks later, the two settled their differences through Twitter after which Lil B urged fans to purchase Game's The R.E.D. Album.[59]

Joey Bada$$

Lil B took offense to the lyrics in the song "Survival Tactics" by late rapper Capital STEEZ, a founding member of the group Pro Era. In this, he raps, "They say hard work pays off / Well, tell the BasedGod don't quit his day job." Lil B responded with a song titled "I'm The Bada$$". Joey Bada$$ then responded with a song titled "Don't Quit Your Day Job!".[60] When the feud became public on Twitter, Joey became a target of a lot of attacks from Lil B's fans, which ended up with Joey deleting his Twitter account,[61] though restoring it later. In an interview with WWPR-FM, Joey Badass denied that he deleted his Twitter account because of Lil B's fans.[62] Later, in an interview with VladTV, Joey admitted the feud was created for publicity, and admitted he's a fan of Lil B's more serious work.

Kevin Durant

In 2011, NBA superstar Kevin Durant tweeted his befuddlement with Lil B's popularity, and Lil B responded by "cursing" Durant that he would never win the NBA championship.[63] The feud between the two has simmered since then, culminating in Lil B releasing the diss track "Fuck KD" in 2014 and even a commercial on NBA TV where Lil B calls out Kevin Durant.[64][65][66]


Main article: Lil B discography

Studio albums


Year Film Role Notes
2015 Basedworld[67] as Himself Documentary


  1. ^ Lil B. "THIS IS BEAUTY AND ART THANK YOU FOR THE BIRTHDAY LOVE!! AUG 17th! HAPPY #BASED DAY!! ALL". Based World. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  2. ^ Lil B. "Lil B Myspace page". Myspace. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  3. ^ Cite error: The named reference NYTJul2010 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  4. ^ a b Staley, Willy (7 September 2009). "The man behind the meme". San Francisco Bay Guardian. Retrieved 19 May 2012. 
  5. ^ "The Rolling Stone Magazine Top Tracks/Songs of 2006". December 2006. Retrieved 2013-02-07.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  6. ^
  7. ^ Darkhas (20 November 2013). "Dior Paint by Lil B (Album, Abstract Hip Hop): Reviews, Ratings, Credits, Song list - Rate Your Music". Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  8. ^ "Soulja Boy Announces Signing "Lil B" (Newest Member On His SODMG Roster)". WORLDSTARHIPHOP. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  9. ^ "LIL B - LIL B Base World Pt. 1 Hosted by 514". DatPiff. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  10. ^ "Lil B". Pitchfork. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  11. ^ "Soulja Boy and Lil B - Pretty Boy Millionaires (soulja Boy & Lil B)". DatPiff. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  12. ^ Roberts, Steven (2010-07-30). "Lil B Is Taking The Net By Storm, One Freestyle At A Time". MTV News. Retrieved 2011-01-18. 
  13. ^ FADER, The (20010-11-30). "World Premiere! The FADER Issue #71: Lykke Li, Lil B & Young L + Odd Future". The FADER. Retrieved November 14, 2013.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  14. ^ "Lil B The Based God Signs with Amalgam Digital, Preps New Albums". Amalgam Digital. 2010-12-29. Retrieved 2011-01-18.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  15. ^ "Lil B Signs With Amalgam Digital | Prefix". 2011-01-05. Retrieved 2011-11-24. 
  16. ^ "iTunes - Music - Paint by Lil B "The BasedGod"". iTunes. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  17. ^ " Paint: Lil B "The BasedGod": MP3 Downloads". Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  18. ^ "Lil B’ Names New Album I’m Gay - The Urban Daily". The Urban Daily. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  19. ^ "Lil B Titles New Album ‘I’m Gay,’ GLAAD Reacts". RapFix. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  20. ^ "Lil B Says I’m Gay LP Title Provoking Death Threats, Slurs". MTV News. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  21. ^ "Lil B Album & Song Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved July 24, 2011. 
  22. ^
  23. ^!/LILBTHEBASEDGOD/posts/514861768531009
  24. ^ "Lil B "Halloween H2O" Mixtape Download & Stream". HipHop DX. Retrieved 29 October 2012. 
  25. ^ Battan, Carrie (September 18, 2012). "Video: Lil B Makes His Foray Into Rock Music With "California Boy"". Pitchfork. Retrieved June 4, 2014. 
  26. ^ "". Facebook. Retrieved 14 December 2012. 
  27. ^ "Lil B Drops 101-Song Mixtape, 05 Fuck Em". Pitchfork. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  28. ^ "Lil B's Hoop Life Mixtape, Featuring "Fuck KD", Has Arrived". Pitchfork. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  29. ^ a b "Thank You Based God: 10 Reasons Why You Should See Lil’ B This Weekend | The Do List | KQED Arts". 2014-12-17. Retrieved 2015-02-19. 
  30. ^ "Lil B Talks Getting Sucker Punched, Gay Rumors, & Drake Envy | Complex". June 2010. Retrieved 2015-02-19. 
  31. ^ Weiner, Joseph (18 January 2011). "The Triumph of the Weirdo. Rapper". Retrieved 19 January 2011. 
  32. ^ Powell, Mike. "The Curious Case of Lil B"
  33. ^ "Lil B Releases "Classical Music" Album". Pitchfork. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  34. ^</
  35. ^ "Takin’ Over". Kele Publishing. Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  36. ^ "REVIEW OF MY NEW BOOK "TAKIN OVER"". Based World. Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  37. ^ Marantz, Andrew. "THE DUMB BRILLIANCE OF LIL B". The Newyorker. Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  38. ^ "Dior Paint". Dior Paint. Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  39. ^ "Lil B To Lecture At Carnegie Mellon University This February". February 13, 2015. Retrieved February 25, 2015. 
  40. ^ "The Full Transcript Of Lil B's Groundbreaking Lecture At MIT". November 22, 2015. Retrieved February 25, 2015. 
  41. ^ "Lil B Releases "Basedmoji" App for All Your Based God Emoji Needs". Pitchfork. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  42. ^ Brandon Mccartney (17 September 2014). "Basedmoji". App Store. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  43. ^ Joanna Rothkopf. "Lil B launches the vegan emoji app you never knew you needed". Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  44. ^ a b "Lil B on his hot new vegan-themed emoji app". 
  45. ^ Brandon Mccartney (17 January 2015). "vegEMOJI". App Store. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  46. ^ a b Drew Millard (30 April 2013). "The Complete Guide to Understanding Lil B". Sound of the City. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  47. ^
  48. ^ a b "Lil B & How Social Media Created Based World - Luna Vega". Luna Vega. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  49. ^ Lil B - Interview - FADER TV. YouTube. 25 November 2009. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  50. ^ "Lil B Escapes House Fire Thanks to Teenage Neighbor". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  51. ^ "Lil B Saved From House Fire by Teenager". Pitchfork. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  52. ^ "Lil B Saved From Apartment Building Fire by Teenage Neighbor". Spin. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  53. ^ "Lil B Escapes From House Fire With Help From Teen Neighbor". Billboard. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  54. ^ Zakarin, Jordan (2011-04-24). "Lil B's 'I'm Gay' Album Title Results In Death Threats". Retrieved 2011-11-24. 
  55. ^
  56. ^ Lauren Nostro. "Joe Budden - A History of Rappers Picking Fights With Lil B - Complex". Complex. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  57. ^ Author: Your Name/Company. "CB  » BADRAPPBEEF: Lil B vs. Joe Buddens Explained". Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  58. ^ "Game Wants Lil B To Come At Him [Video]". Hip-Hop Wired. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  59. ^ "Game & Lil B End Beef On Twitter". Hip-Hop Wired. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  60. ^ Daniel Isenberg. "Video: Joey Bada$$ Says Dissing Lil B Was "Too Easy"". Complex. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  61. ^ Rose Lilah (2 February 2013). "Joey Bada$$ Deletes Twitter Following Frustration With Lil B Fans". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  62. ^ "Interview With Joey Badass At The Breakfast Club Power 105.1 - YouTube". 
  63. ^ "Lil B From The Pack on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  64. ^ Andrew Sharp. "An Outsider’s Guide to the Lil B–Kevin Durant Beef". Grantland. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  65. ^ "Lil B Made a Commercial on NBA TV Calling Out Kevin Durant Because Life is Good as Hell". NOISEY. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  66. ^ "A very #BASED interview with Lil B about his Kevin Durant beef -". 
  67. ^ Trevor Smith (31 December 2013). "Lil B "Basedworld" Documentary To Be Released In 2014". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 

External links