The Based God shares bugged-out life lessons with campus crowd.
Lil B was once a member of the Bay Area rap group The Pack. Now he’s The Based God, an infamous Internet sensation, marketing and branding expert, painter, film score composer, producer, director, and published author who also raps. Last night at N.Y.U.’s Kimmel Center, the 22-year-old Berkeley native added university lecturer to his resume. His latest mixtape, The Basedprint II, was released this Monday afternoon (April 9). It was required listening for the New York University students attending The Based God’s first lecture at the esteemed institution.
The audience had done their homework, listening to tracks like “NYU” and “Lil B is a Legend” in preparation. Some stood in line over an hour before the big event. Shortly after 8 p.m., chants of “Based God” and “Based God, you can fuck my bitch” filled the sold-out auditorium.
As his ambient music played in the background, the young Twitter phenom took the stage in a dirty pair of white tennis shoes, sagging jeans falling off his burgundy boxer-briefs, a bindi, and a neon green tee. A few students said he looked like J.K. Rowling - a "Wonton Soup" reference and because of his accompanying floral neon green scarf.
Look at me like a baby, like a little alien,” Lil B whispered to the crowd. “Hold me, hold me.
Teetering between an awards-show acceptance speech and a life coach seminar, Lil B spoke on love, life, positivity, and understanding humans by studying insect behavior. “Look at me like a baby, like a little alien. Hold me, hold me,” Lil B whispered to the crowd. “Know that everybody is your friend in here... The people that love LiL B music and respect LiL B from the core know that we’re about positivity."
He doesn’t even litter. And until further notice, he’s paying taxes and loving it. He’s so honest he says he may even run for president. The potential candidate took a strong position on the issue of fracking. "Let's stop fracking,” he said. “Who knows about hydraulic fracking? I'm like, whodie, get that oil out the ocean!"
Lil B loves to spread love—that’s what he does. “People call me the Based God out of respect, and people aren’t stupid,” he said, adding that “everybody at this lecture has a high class of honor.” His secret to understanding human beings is look at them as infants. “Nobody in this building asked to be born,” The Based God said. "Don’t let people’s stereotypes or stigmas or words—don’t let that put you in a box. Don’t let that ruin your day.”
The term ‘Based’ represents positivity, for those who don’t follow Lil B’s mile-a-minute tweets. Based means that “you have somebody that you can trust and you don’t have to know them because you know we all have a common courtesy. It’s about having empathy now... Really caring and paying attention to someone else’s feelings.” ”Life is kinda hard,” the Based God observed, urging the crowd to be less judgmental and more accepting, in much the same way NYU’s Based community welcomed him. He went on to put forward a revolutionary new theory, questioning whether humans are in fact mammals. Which of course begs the question that if we aren’t—what are we, really? He says he arrived at this theory while pondering an ant infestation.
People call me the Based God out of respect, and people aren’t stupid,” he said. “Everybody at this lecture has a high class of honor.
“I was having these ant problems in my house,” Lil B explained. “With the bugs, you just be looking at them... These are people in their own way too. As I was studying these ant colonies, it's like, man—they have their own communities too."
As he studied the insects, Lil B said he realized the ants were just trying to survive. “They love, they fight,” he said. “They’re telling each other something and we can’t understand, but someday we will. I’m trying my hardest to figure out. I’m there with them.”
Lil B’s ideas were greeted with screams of approval. Occasionally someone in the crowd would shout a question, or yell one of his catchphrases—“whodie” especially.
“Experience your life and read the books and read everybody’s theories and experience your own,” he advised the students. “It’s crazy, some of the things I think about on the daily. Man, I really just be wanting my people to be safe.”
From there the “pro-caring” rapper’s advice turned to safety, seat belts, and an almost touching concern for the well-being of his audience. “Salute to our brains and our cells just fighting for us!” Lil B exclaimed. “Salute to all the beautiful doctors that are researching and are helping us find new things, finding cures.” He got the audience to cheer with him: “You’re alive! You’re alive!”
At one point, Lil B might seemed ready to join the crowd for a post-lecture after-party. “You guys are very brave and historical and legendary being here with me,” Lil B said. “Everybody is on a wavelength. I could come hang out and come chill.”
I already made history in rap," The Based God declared. "I’m not just some joke. No, this is going to be real respect. This is going to be garage punk. This is going to be for the rebels.
Lil B may not be on television every day, but he says he’s about to be. We’re all about to “freak out, because he has a song coming with one of the largest artists on Earth.” He also says he’s nice with watercolors and had some rare paintings available for sale. He also spoke of releasing a rock album, to be titled California Boi.
“I already made history in rap," The Based God declared. "I’m not just some joke. No, this is going to be real respect. This is going to be garage punk, this is going to be for the rebels.”
Lil B will be performing at the New Museum tonight at 6:30 as part of the Get Weird monthly music series. Tickets are sold out.