There may not be another figure in hip-hop as enigmatic as Lil B. At a glance, Lil B seems to exist as a living meme, floating around the periphery of the rap world as a roadside attraction. However, anything more than a glance would likely reveal an undeniable sense that there is a method behind his apparent madness. The identity that Lil B has created for himself is multifaceted, characterized by music, tweets, and videos that are often inspirational, vulgar, or nonsensical. Regardless, they stay consistent with a type of surreal authenticity that his cult following has come to expect from him.
Scroll down to the bottom of this article to hear a very rare and based song by Lil B!
Born Brandon McCartney, Lil B is also known as The BasedGod, as well as Lil B ‘The BasedGod’. However, Lil B has discussed how he distinguishes the two monikers as separate entities. In his own terms, “The BasedGod” is who Lil B aspires to be and where he derives his strength from, but Lil B also says that The BasedGod speaks through him sometimes. Yes, it sounds absurd, but absurdity gradually becomes the norm the deeper you fall into the rabbit hole that is Lil B.
Lil B is originally from Berkeley, California, where he established the foundations of his rap career at 16 years old during his involvement with the rap group known as The Pack. While The Pack largely remained an underground player of the Bay Area’s hyphy movement, their breakout hit “Vans” put Lil B and the rest of The Pack on the map. Along with its substantial local popularity, the song was also listed as the fifth best song of 2006 by Rolling Stone and remixed by Bay Area legends Too $hort and Mistah F.A.B.
In September 2009, Lil B dropped his debut album, titled I’m Thraxx on the independent label Permanent Marks. As per Urban Dictionary, Thraxx is defined as a word meaning “to do something to the extreme not just regular.” As it turns out, Lil B really meant that sh*t. Within a year after the album’s release, Lil B signed with Soulja Boy’s label SODMG Entertainment and had recorded over 1,500 tracks. Along with several mixtapes and albums, Lil B apparently had over 125 MySpace pages linked together to feature his music. At this point in his career, Lil B had a number of songs that had received considerable attention, such as “Like A Martian”, “Wonton Soup”, and “I’m God”. As Lil B’s presence in hip-hop and the internet became increasingly noticeable, the phrase “Thank You Based God” became a popular mantra amongst Lil B’s supporters, as well as a meme in its own right. A quick Google search would reveal the seemingly endless photos that share the caption.
Once Lil B’s creative DNA spread across the internet like wildfire, citizens of the world demanded to know: what is “based”? Thankfully, Lil B provided the answer to the question when asked about it in a 2010 interview with Complex:
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.
Lil B embraces his based lifestyle through his music, which are in the form dubbed as “based freestyles”. Lil B has described his based freestyle as a representation of himself in “the purest form”, allowing his unconscious mind to spell out whatever he’s feeling inside. along Considering that he was able to hit a four-figure song count within a year of starting his solo career, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that the majority of his released music has been improvised.
At this point in his career, Lil B has six albums, one EP, and a whopping 52 mixtapes… And that’s just what’s on record. One of those mixtapes, titled 848 Song Based Freestyle Mixtape, includes an 855-song track list (go figure). Another mixtape released by Lil B, titled 05 F**k Em, has a track list of 101 songs. Two of Lil B’s albums are collaborative projects: in 2015, Lil B teamed up with Chance The Rapper to drop a six-track tape called Free (Based Freestyles Mixtape). Five years prior, Lil B dropped the Pretty Boy Millionaires mixtape with Soulja Boy after he signed to Soulja’s SODMG Entertainment label. Outside of mixtapes, Lil B has also featured on tracks for a surprising number of high profile artists in the rap game. Those names include, Lil Wayne, 9th Wonder, Gucci Mane, Mac Miller, and E-40, just to name a few.
Now that a foundational knowledge of Lil B has been established, let’s take a look at snapshots of Lil B’s based career and lifestyle that illustrate a more comprehensive understanding of the phenomena that is Lil B.
Lil Nico Beef
Although Lil B has strongly pushed his agenda of positivity throughout his career, he’s no stranger to conflict. One of the first instances of those conflicts came about in an early stage in Lil B’s career. In June 2010, a video surfaced of Lil B getting sucker punched by a local rapper named Lil Nico. The video seems to be an amateur interview done by Lil Nico, but ends with Lil B eating several punches before Lil Nico and his crew quickly exit the room.
Lil B described details of the incident in an interview with Complex as well as in a self-made response video. It’s said that Lil Nico attacked Lil B after Lil B brushed off Nico’s request for him to put him in contact with Soulja Boy, whom B had been working with at the time. Lil B believes that Lil Nico had premeditated the attack, but says that he had never met him before in his life. Lil B sustained minor injuries to his lip, which can be seen in his response video.
After the incident, Lil Nico posted an apology video to YouTube, admitting that it was a childish move to attack Lil B in the way he did and that his emotions got the best of him. Lil B’s response, on the other hand, was in no way apologetic. Although he ultimately said he holds no hard feelings against Lil Nico, he calls him out as a “b***h a*s n**ga” in the same breath. Lil B related the instance to a bigger struggle of self-hatred within the African-American community in a tone of gravity that is seldom seen from a rapper who’s known for his carefree based-ness.
Joe Budden Beef
In the same year of his beef with Lil Nico, Lil B got into it with Joe Budden, launching a diss track at him after tension built between the two over Twitter. While we could give you the play-by-play, The BasedGod himself sums up the incident pretty eloquently in an interview he did with XXL. When asked about his situation with Budden, here’s what he said:
I’ma supporter of Joe Budden. I listen to his music, I think he’s a very talented and truthful artist and this… That insult, you know, he… It was crazy ’cause I felt like he was making a mockery of me over Twitter, so [I tweeted], “Joe follow me. I’m a supporter of you. Check me out. Let’s do some work.” He didn’t follow me. I’m like, “Okay, Joe, I’m getting very emotional right now. I feel like you’re making fun of me. Follow me.” He didn’t follow me, I said, “Fine, Joe, I’m a better lyricist than you. You cannot see me lyrically.” Then he started tweeting, like, “Ooh, really,” he’s like, “I wouldn’t wanna be dissed by somebody that looked like Jesus,” and really making fun of me. And you know, I’m thinking in my head Joe Budden is really a worthy opponent ’cause a lot of people aren’t worthy of me to address them. He’s worthy of me to address and so, I destroyed him and you know, it’s done now.
Lil B goes on to say that he later apologized to Budden and told him what prompted him to make the diss track. It seems as though Budden forgave him, because Lil B claimed that Budden later hit him up to be on Mood Muzik 4. Budden even gave props to the diss track in a tweet he posted years later. Check out that tweet, and Lil B’s Joe Budden diss, below.
That Lil B diss still hard all these years later tho lol
— Joe Budden (@JoeBudden) April 25, 2017
The Game Beef
A year after his beef with Joe Budden, Lil B hopped right back into controversy when he started beefing with The Game. The conflict started when The Game listed Lil B as the #1 wackest rapper of all time in a a VladTV interview, based off of Lil B’s verse on Lil Wayne’s Sorry 4 the Wait mixtape.
Lil B responded to The Game after being questioned about his comments in LA. “I ain’t mad at him. I respect Game,” he said. “I got Live From Compton 1 & 2, so Game already know he a legend in my book… But he’s irrelevant! Based God!” After The Game caught wind of Lil B’s response, he dissed him on the “Martians vs. Goblins” track on his R.E.D. Album, dropping his name and threatening to tie him up to a tank of propane. Lil B responded by taking shots at The Game on his track “Tank of Propaine” on his White Flame mixtape.
Lil B’s track proved to be the last of the hostility, as their beef was squashed weeks later. The Game says that Lil B called his phone personally and explained that he was a fan of his. Lil B would also tell his Twitter followers to go cop The Game’s R.E.D. Album, which The Game definitely appreciated. Check out The Game speaking on putting their feud to rest below.
Joey Bada$$ Beef
In 2013, Lil B trained his sights on his next target: Joey Bada$$… But not without reason, of course. In January 2013, Joey Bada$$ sent out a tweet that quoted a bar off of Capital Steez’s verse on Joey’s track “Survival Tactics”. Although the track was originally released in June 2012, Lil B didn’t retaliate until Joey brought it to his doorstep.
It didn’t take long, either. Shortly after Joey sent out his fateful tweet, Lil B dropped his Joey Bada$$ diss, titled “I’m the Bada$$”, as a single off of his then-upcoming mixtape, Pink Flame. The two went back and forth over Twitter after Lil B dropped his diss track, which prompted Joey to return fire the next day with his own diss track: “DON’T QUIT YOUR DAY JOB!”. Lil B would later give a backhanded compliment to Joey over Twitter, which would essentially be the last move made in the beef. Around that time, Joey deactivated his Twitter, which many believed to be because of harassment from Lil B’s legion of diehard fans, though Joey would later deny this. Nearly a year and a half later, Joey Bada$$ would claim that his beef with Lil B was staged in a VladTV interview. Check out the clip below.
Kevin Durant Beef
In 2011, Lil B proved that anyone hating could get the smoke, even if they weren’t a rapper. In late January of 2011, Kevin Durant sent out a fateful tweet that would have dire consequences down the road. See the tweet below.
I tried to listen to Lil B and my mind wouldn't let me do it….can't believe this guy is relevant
— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) January 29, 2011
Lil B was silent on the issue for an extended period of time, but after a four-month grace period, Lil B invoked his wrath in the form of a curse, which prevented Durant from winning an NBA championship title. Lil B spoke with SB Nation about the curse in an interview he did in 2016:
[Durant] was saying my music’s trash. I decided to message Kevin Durant, and I said, well, if you feel my music’s trash, I challenge you to a game of one-on-one, 21. I’ll retire if I lose. And he agreed, he agreed to play me, and he followed me, we talked on (direct messages) for a little bit — it was five years ago so I don’t remember extreme, particular details. So we’re talking, it’s the regular season, he’s coming to Oakland and I said, “Let’s play.” I guess he had some staff, some people that were really close to him, they told me to leave Kevin alone, that he needs to focus on his season right now, and let him be. And that’s when the Based God told me he had enough and he was cursed.
KEVIN DURANT WILL NEVER WIN THE TITLE AFTER HE SAID "LIL B" IS A WACK RAPPER,
"THE BASEDGODS CURSE"#THEBASEDGODSCURSE ON DURANT – Lil B
— Lil B THE BASEDGOD (@LILBTHEBASEDGOD) May 26, 2011
— Lil B THE BASEDGOD (@LILBTHEBASEDGOD) May 26, 2011
Lil B would go on to have a plethora of tweets directed at Kevin Durant during the early stages of their conflict, even going as far as rescinding KD’s curse then reinstating it. On top of the tweets, Lil B dropped a track called “F**k KD” in the midst of their feud. Lil B ultimately lifted the curse for good once Durant was traded to the Golden State Warriors in 2016, but Durant’s performance on the court during the time he was cursed has led many to believe in the power of The BasedGod and his curse.
"The BasedGod" wants to speak,As life unravels and superstars make decisions that change lifes, welcome home KD the curse is lifted – Lil B
— Lil B THE BASEDGOD (@LILBTHEBASEDGOD) July 4, 2016
James Harden Beef
Kevin Durant was the only pro baller to be the target of The BasedGod’s curse. During the Western Conference Finals of the 2015 NBA Playoffs, Lil B publicly requested that James Harden acknowledge that a celebration dance he had been doing at the time was Lil B’s “cooking” dance.
Go warriors @warriors and let James harden no he doing the Lil B cooking dance if he doing that flickin wrist or whipping he mark – Lil B
— Lil B THE BASEDGOD (@LILBTHEBASEDGOD) May 21, 2015
After giving Harden ample time to respond, Lil B threw his curse on the NBA superstar, with the announcement coming through TMZ rather than Twitter. “He’s cursed for the rest of the playoffs and further notice until he speaks on what dance celebration he’s doing and where it comes from,” Lil B said. With the curse officially cast, the Houston Rockets lost the Western Conference Finals. During the last game with the Warriors, Harden set an NBA Playoff record for most turnovers in a game: 13. Even Lil B felt a little bad about that stat, which prompted him to consider lifting the curse.
I'm going to ask " The BasedGod " to lift the curse off James harden i think he gets it, world record for turnovers ?Leave him alone – Lil B
— Lil B THE BASEDGOD (@LILBTHEBASEDGOD) May 28, 2015
Two years later, Lil B officially lifted the curse on James Harden, which he announced during a visit to ESPN’s First Take.
"The James Harden curse is lifted."
— First Take (@FirstTake) June 4, 2017
All these beefs, and they only scratch the surface of all the controversy Lil B has experienced in the past. Regardless if you like him or not, it doesn’t seem like Lil B or his legion of fans are going anywhere soon. Congratulations on getting to the bottom of the article! Here is the very rare song by Lil B:
Lil B’s Platinum Flame tape is out now!