Many of the artists out now owe their successes and acceptances into the elusive Tabernacle of Hip-Hop to The Based God. But, the best thing about it is this: unlike many rappers, Lil B doesn’t lord this fact over artists. Instead, he sits back, basks in positivity, and acknowledges that he’s the proverbial father, in some ways, of folks from Chance to Lil’ Dicky to Cardi B to XXXTentacion–for better and/or for worse.
Even down to the surprise, independent album aspect of albums like I’m Gay and Black Ken, we have seen artists mimicking the approach to similar results. Now, I’m not saying Beyoncé or Jay-Z, for instance, looked at B and said “hey lemme do this same thing for my shit.” However, other artists of this new wave have embraced Lil B’s independence and DIY approach and have turned it into profit and fame for themselves.
Look at someone like Lil Yachty, for example. It’s almost like he read directly from The Book of The Based God and followed the rules to a T. Even down to the positivity Lil Boat exudes. That’s not to say that Lil Yachty is the second coming of Lil B. Never that. There will only be one Lil B. However, Yachty owes a lot to Lil B.
As you can tell, I’m a fan of Lil B. However, I became one over the years. It wasn’t a love his music at first sight sort of thing. I laughed at stuff like “Wonton Soup” and kind of felt weird listening to an artist who called themselves a “God.” It’s probably the Southern Baptist and Catholic in me.
But, then I started working with True God and I was like “fuck hypocrisy.”
However, what really drew me in was his IDGAF attitude and massive amounts of positivity. In every song I heard from Lil B, there was a real lack of respect for the then-current hierarchy. There was a positive rebellion against hip-hop being absolutely rappity-rap. Artists have tried it before, but B mixed in lyricism as well as having his positive turn-up. Yes, Based God fucked a bevy of other people’s bitches. However, that wasn’t all that we got from his music.
Because of that, people latched on–me being one of them–and anticipated where Brandon McCartney would take us next. And where he took us, for better or worse, is where hip-hop stands now. We have rappity-rap artists collaborating with turn-up artists, we have positivity being accepted right along with the real and the gritty. We have rappers releasing GOOD surprise albums left and right with their fans eating them up appropriately..
As much of a fan I am, it’s crazy to think that Lil B is the first to do it. But he’s the first in YEARS to do it and have his blueprint placed into so many artists and sounds.