In Defense of Lil B

Despite his dwindling buzz, Lil B still continues to release project after project after project. His latest mixtape, Green Flame surfaced last Friday, adding another color to his ongoing Flame mixtape series. The 19-trak ‘tape has B donning his usual, offbeat and nonsensical approach to music. While many rap fans are genuinely weirded by B’s actions, his Based God viral movement proved the young Cali rapper’s undeniably strong fan base. XXL‘s contributor Martin Spasov is a self-proclaimed Lil B fan, who has for the longest time expressed his adulation for the Based God. Here, in an open letter to Lil B, his supporters, and those that aren’t his fans, Mr. Spasov discusses the importance of Lil B and his continuously evolving movement.

Remember when most people used to hate Lil B passionately? Back in 2010, when he was first emerging as a solo artist and most reactions went like, “Lil B is a terrible rapper, he can’t even stay on beat?” I remember, because that was my first reaction as well. Who is this tiny-shirt-wearing man and why does he refuse to flow like normal rappers do? Nowadays this argument has become a dead horse. It’s common knowledge that Lil B can rap normally whenever he wants to—check out his XXL freestyle cipher and look at Yelawolf’s expression when Lil B murders that beat with a perfectly in-sync flow—and most people who used to ridicule him have jumped on the Lil B bandwagon. I like to think that it’s because, like me, most people have realized that Lil B’s genius lies in his non sequitur lifestyle. My own personal revelation came in December of 2010, during a two-week period when my best friends refused to play anything but Lil B while I grumbled my displeasure. Fast forward 10 or so listens to “Robberversary” or “Cold War” and the genius—yes, I said genius—of lines like:

“The world’s all perfect: let me fantasize.
What we fighting for? We dying to live.
Going up, now we living to die.
Put my hands in the sky, looking up man, asking for guidance.
It’s not the world’s fault, it’s the people inside it.”

began to emerge non-ironically. Like it or not, Lil B is probably the most honest rapper out there. And that’s refreshing, and why I believe he has as many fans as he does.

But the problem with Lil B’s rise to fame is that it’s based on a constant outpour of music. How many of your favorite rappers drop 30-plus-song mixtapes twice a month? Not every song that Lil B releases is great, nor is every mixtape. I have to admit, I often find myself thinking, “Man, Lil B has fallen off,” like I did after he released I Forgive You only to have him drop God’s Father and drag me back into worshipping the Based God. If there’s one thing I’ve learned listening to Lil B over the past few years, it’s that you can never ever count him out and say that he’s beginning to become irrelevant. Just as you do, Lil B will do something historic (remember the NYU lecture?).

If there’s another thing that I’ve learned, is that there are plenty of rap music armchair quarterbacks. Writing this letter, I was tempted to say, “Lil B should go back to doing this-and-that,” or provide some other kind of advice from a longtime fan. But the truth is that Lil B would be nonexistent if he had listened to anybody but himself. I imagine plenty of people would’ve told him to abandon Based Freestyling, stick to traditional rapping, don’t name your album I’m Gay, don’t release a song titled “Ima Eat Her A$$” etc. But isn’t that part of his charm and his aura? Lil B is wholly original and idiosyncratic. And that’s how you get 65 million YouTube views without a single advertisement on any of his videos. Who else has done that? Who else can do that?

Sincerely,

A Lil B Fan

  • TruthBeTold

    if there is any amount of genius in his lyrics , their deffinately not on purpose. hes brutal .. plain and simple. There is one thing lil b does do tho, he inspires everyday artists and dreamers to chase their dreams.. because if you can spit pointless shit , sound terrible and off beat, and still manage to be an xxl freshman and make SOME money.. than truly anybody can do what these rappers do. lil b to me represents inspiration, ambition, and the talentless stupidity of this wack ass industry.

    • F lil b

      Lil b hasn’t made some money, he’s made TONS of money doin this crazy shit he does,

  • reese

    haha why did i fuckin click on this lil bs about as good as ass hole at rapping. an i the cypher yelawolfs face was more like …wtf..? this dude aint makin any sense

  • ALDERMAN J

    I respect anybody getting money, i respect hustlers, so if you can pour syrup on shit and make people think its pancakes i got mad respect for you as a person, BUT AS A RAPPER A LYRICIST, NIGGA PLEASE!!! this nigga is not the ying yang twins or odb, he is a terrible rapper, but with that said, he got followers and people that pay to see his shows, so he is a hustler….BUT THE NIGGA ISNT GOOD AT RAPPING!!!

  • naw dog

    this has got to be the worst article ever. XXL wants people to think it’s a “REAL” hip hop magazine but then it has articles about “In Defense of Lil B” get the fuck out of here this guy is a joke and you are supporting him WHYYY?

  • BIGED

    I JUST LOST WHAT LITTLE RESPECT I HAD LEFT FOR THIS RAG OF A MAGAZINE.. THIS LETTER ABOUT THIS FAGGOT THAT COULDNT RAP A CHRISTMAS GIFT BUT NO CROOKED I REVIEW……RAP IS SLAUGHTERHOUSE, TECH N9NE, EM, CURREN$Y, KENDRICK, NAS, SCARFACE, BIG KRIT, PAC, DITC, ..FUCK XXL IM GONNA FUCK WITH HIPHOPDX, THEY STILL KEEP IT REAL!!

  • YouDontGetIt

    Lil B haters don’t get it. Have you ever heard of the “spoken word” genre? That’s what based freestyling is.

  • KD

    lil b doesnt need to be defended. to many fake lil b fans tho

  • Ivan corleo

    dis article is gay ass fuck, if Lil B based music is to much 4 you there are other artist out there, go listen to them

  • LetoEl

    Part of the genius of Lil B is that no matter what kind of rap you like, he has multiple songs like that.

    You like swag, bitches? listen to ”Wonton Soup” and other such track

    You like real, positive, smart lyrics? listen to ”The Age of Information”, ”My Arms Are The Brooklyn Bridge”, ”Illusions of Grandeur” and other such track.

  • DOTTA

    I’m pretty sure SOME of his videos got advertising/promo tho. Regardless I respect anybody coming from where I came from making it big.

  • Hube

    lil b is a moron and an affront to real music. unoriginal, poor beats, stupid flow even if he is evidently capable of rhythm, and all around a fake non rap attitude.

  • Drew

    If you don’t like the BasedGod, you don’t understand the BasedGod. It’s deeper than the music.

    • Hube

      the man calls himself the based god. that is a clear indication that he has a very skewed perception of reality. there is no need to go further than that

    • B4 The Money

      Joey Bada$$ ETHERED the based god. “TELL THE BASED GOD DON’T QUIT HIS DAY JOB!” -Capital STEEZ

      • Joey Bada$$

        ^ Yes I Did.

  • PaulDarwin

    fucd you say about I Forgive You? Its actually a classic when it sinks in. Nice letter though 4eel

  • chiefgreen

    i have a saying. if you play smash it for free radio on shuffle. out of a billion times you might get the correct order. now who knows what a quintillion is? thats a million and a billion added together. thats what lil b has done. DONE.

    • mathwizchecker

      no its not actually lol, its 10^30 or quint(five) powers of a million (10^6) = 10^30 nice try though, but not 1,001,000,000 like you said.

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  • Si_A_2001

    I love everything about Lil B, he spreads a great positive message to today’s youth. Even though he gets a lot of hate from people who don’t understand him, it’s clear that he makes songs to have a good time and to make people smile and laugh. On numerous occasions my friends and I have gotten together to dance like crazy to Lil B and have a great time. He speaks directly with his fans over twitter. He’s trying out for the Golden State Warriors because he believes that he can do it and he knows that his positive attitude and effort will bring him success in the end. Although he comes off as stupid and ignorant to some, he is really quite the opposite. And he doesn’t do it for the money – He does it all because at the end of the day it doesn’t matter what you have. What really matters is that you made another person’s day better.
    PROTECT LIL B AT ALL COST

  • http://twitter.com/ericcheramy eric.cheramy

    ok super bella bianca miranda

  • doombadasslibkeith

    lol that quote you use is pretty shit. xxl dont know real hip hop