Home Opinion Lil B The BasedGod: Revisiting a High School AP Essay From 2014

Lil B The BasedGod: Revisiting a High School AP Essay From 2014

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We’ve been keeping up with Lil B for awhile. We were onto his mixtapes since 2012 and he’s been hugely influential to me personally since then. Back in 2014 while in the 7th grade, our AP class was tasked with writing a satirical essay and I knew exactly who my topic would be. While most students wrote a satire on their topic directly, I took the opportunity to go meta-satire and present a satirical look at the greater world around us under the disguise of being a satire on, at the time a recently new phenomenon in Lil B. So here, I present this essay in near original form. (The paper was graded a 7, an 8 being the only higher possible score for above and beyond work.)

Lil B: The BasedGod

“Have a nice day, I Love you!” – Lil B

In a world surrounded by people with bad intentions, certain men rise to the occasion to overcome the hate. Lil B is one of those men. Lil B, also known as Brandon McCartney, is the brave soul that will act as a savior, not only to our era, but his legend will live on to serve many eras to come. Lil B, is sometimes referred to as a mortal god… A based god. To understand the description that Brandon McCartney has earned, we need to know that the word “based” means. When Lil B was asked in an interview what “based” means, he replied with this: “Based means being yourself. Not being scared of what people think about you. Not being afraid to do what you wanna do. Being positive.” Lil B goes on to explain that in his childhood, the word “based” would come with negative connotations, such as dopehead, loser, etc., and then he chose to embrace it, and turn it into something positive. Now when ‘based’ and ‘god’ are fused, we get BasedGod, which simply means a mortal god.

Brandon McCartney, born in Berkely, California in the year 1989. He adopted the name ‘Lil B’ and began his rap career at the early age of 16. Lil B joined into a San Francisco hip hop group, and released two mixtapes. One of these mixtapes included a song name “Vans”. “Vans” became a huge hit and was ranked the fifth best song of 2006 by Rolling Stones Magazine. Brandon had began his legacy here, at the young age of 17, where he had already released powerful music. The next year, his hip hop group released their very first album: Based Boys.

Lil B, while remaining dedicated with his hip hop group, also experimented with solo work. Around the year 2010, Brandon had created about 155 MySpace pages in order to upload all fifteen-hundred of his songs, which included hit tracks such as “Wonton Soup”, “Like a Martian”, and “I’m God”. Remaining an unsigned artist, Lil B continued to release mixtapes, published under “BasedWorld Records”. In the November of 2010, his popularity landed him on the 71st issue of FADER Magazine.

In his 44 mixtapes and seven albums since 2007, Lil B has of course encountered controversy. In the general population, people tend to praise Lil B, but there is always somebody that defies his benevolent nature. Lil B’s fifth album titled I’m Gay got him death threats. In his defense, he stated that the album was in support of the LGBT community, and that the album name was referring to the original definition of gay; happy. In this lifetime, and for lifetimes to come, there are people who will stand jealous of Brandon’s progress and success. One of those people was fellow rap artist, Joe Budden (here the teacher notes “hey he’s in my ipod!”), who mocked Lil B. Lil B at first responded with kindness, but then resorted to a rarely seen mean side. He insulted Joe Budden, and then continued to make a song about him. Lil B then apoligized aboutg the incident that he did not even start. Another opposer of Lil B, also rap artist, goes by the alias “Game”. Game and Brandon feuded by dissing each other on their own songs, and afterwards settled their differences through Twitter. Despite Game’s harmful attacks on Lil B, he urged his fans to buy Game’s new album. In a more recent mishap, fellow rapper Joey Bada$$ attacked Lil B through song. Lil B’s fanbase attacked Joey Bada$$ over Twitter, forcing him to close his account.

Brandon McCartney is a man of many talents, and in 2009 he shows he also desrerves to be an esteemed author. He released the book Takin’ Over by Imposing the Positive!, and in this book he gives advice on living a Based lifestyle. He exemplifies positivity, optimism, and benevolence. This book was given away at NYU while Lil B gave an unscripted lecture. Lil B let it be known that he is now working on his highly anticipated second book.

A musical critic once claimed Lil B’s music to be “half new age hip hop, and half spoken word.” I find this to be an accurate description, for Lil B sees the world in all it’s beauty, and acquired the wisdom that comes with it. He then emulates this wisdom into harmonious song. In order to more fully understand his teachings, I downloaded the God’s Father Mixtape. Within are to be classic songs, such as “I Own Swag”, “Deep Ass Thoughts”, and “I’m Just Livin”. In the song “Deep Ass Thoughts”, Lil B introduces his knack to show beauty in music. Subtle background music accommodates the wisdom that he exerts, such as; “I feel like we a part of on big organism… (teacher note: “so transcendental”) Just stay positive, it’s bigger than what we really think.” Some people cannot even comprehend this level of deep. Lil B also keeps it simple for his less deep listeners with the still positive line: “I think, I think I will succeed if I try my best. I think I won’t do well, if I put my brain to rest” Lines like these are what make Lil B the unanimous and unquestioned number one unsigned artist in the world.

Further into my listening of Brandon’s pure greatness that is definbed by his musical talents, I took a listen to the song “I Own Swag”. This song begins with a beat that resembles the anthem of success. In this masterpiece he takes a break from wisdom spreading and takes a route that puts the listener in their place. As the chorus states “You know I’m more famous than you, than you. And I can do everything that you can’t do, or try to.” This chorus serves as a necessary evil for anyone that even dreams to oppose Lil B. His faithful followers see this as a powerful imposing of his will.

The thought of Lil B melting hearts with kindness is not uncommon. In the song “Life’s Hard”. Lil B uses Based Knowledge to explain that it’s not hard to just take a break in life, and to be nice to one another. This is what seperates Brandon’s work from the common rap artists work. He actually cares about his fans and he preaches kindness, whereas famous hip hop artists such as Lil Wayne, Eminem, and Lil Jon enforce violence into their lyrics. “My mom feels like I should go to college, but I feel I got street knowledge.” This line right here perfectly describes Lil B’s place on Earth. He rightfully claims college is unnecessary, and that he has talents that can be put to use elsewhere. (Teacher underline + note: Agreed, college is for squares!)

In my studies of The BasedGod, I stumbled upon his presence on social media, be it Twitter, Facebook, or his own personal website. With these forms of communication, he takes time out of his own day to reach out and preach joy to his fans. Is he respecting fellow people really that hard? Lil B thinks not, and it shows. Using my Facebook account to see his pages posts, I am enlightened every single day, as well as his near 400k followers. Posts like “love you!!!! always never changing – Lil B” are an outreach to his friends, family, and fans. An outreach to show his pure rawness in wisdom and knowledge.

One post in particular stood out to me. “A lot of people claim to like Lil B just so they can prosper. That stuff isn’t coll guise real based stand up – Lil B” In this tweet, Lil B acknowledges the posers in the world, and deep down is pondering why people would stand up for something they don’t actually believe in.

As a note to the reader, I would like to include that some things in this paper are truly deserving of this “ironic” criticism. Kindness and respect towards other are not one of those things.

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Joe Reitan
Born in Portland Oregon, Joe Reitan was raised to fulfill his sense of freedom and ambition. He moved to Eastern Washington as a teen, going down several paths such as computer engineering, competitive football and baseball, and was successful in his local FBLA and DECA clubs on a state level. At 18, Joe took steps towards his real passion, music. Creating his own website to post his content as he dove ever deeper into the world of music, he looked to bypass the traditional ways of life that he felt were so unfit for him.

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