By Brayon Potillo
Before his huge internet presence and his iconic NYU lecture, The Based God (Lil B) can be known as the rapper that proved the power of the internet/social media to be one of the most abundant tools in a buzzing rapper’s career. Known for many internet cult classics such as Fuck KD, Ellen Degeneres, I’m Gay (I’m Happy), and Wonton Soup which is why Lil B will forever be solidified as a rap game phenomena.
It all began in the summertime of 2006, around a time where Myspace reigned supreme over all in a still budding land of social media. It became the Internet’s A&R well before the blossoming of Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook where a rap group out of Berkeley, California by the name of The Pack got its start. Composed of four rappers (Lil B, Lil Uno, Stunnaman, and Young L), they kicked off their initial success with the song “Vans”, an ode to skate cultures popular shoe releasing songs thereafter. However, due to unsuccessful attempts to maintain popularity, the group broke up and the Based God soon began his reign amongst the internet.
Photo Left to Right: Lil B, Lil Uno, Stunnaman, and Young L image source
Retreating back to Myspace, Lil B began his rise by creating and abandoning various Myspace pages with tons of music setting traps for my 14 year old self to fall upon like undiscovered treasure. In fact, around this time it was essentially the mixtape era, where Lil B would drop a vast discography of mixtapes, eventually becoming world reknown for the “cooking dance” which became popular in the blog classic Wonton Soup
Photo: Lil B doing the cooking danceimage source
Eventually, Lil B took to the youth and solidified himself in Internetdom with the creation of his fanbase the Bitch Mob and the memetic hashtag movement #ThankYouBasedGod (#TYBG), where millions of based disciples adorn his social pages with words and photos of devotion expressing their deep appreciation for the positivity he displays. As Lil B remains as one of Hip Hop’s most questionable figures, through the internet and social media culture he has offered spiritual thoughts for the narcissism brought by the World Wide Web. Here is a tweet that shows how universal Lil B’s message of positivity has become.
Thank You Based God
Photo: Tom Brady TYBG Memeimage source
MTV. The Pack. 2007. Getty Images, n.p.
Lil B Doing the Cooking Dance. 2010. Tumblr, n.p
Tom Brady TYBG Meme. 2005. Quick Meme, n.p.
Garrett, Ural. “TYBG: Lil B’s Ascension From Internet Oddity To Rap Game Buddha.” HipHopDX. N.p., 30 June 2015. Web. 11 Feb. 2017. http://hiphopdx.com/editorials/id.2904/title.tybg-lil-bs-ascension-from-internet-oddity-to-rap-game-buddha
Marantz, Andrew. “The Dumb Brilliance of Lil B.” The New Yorker. The New Yorker, 16 July 2014. Web. 11 Feb. 2017. http://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/the-dumb-brilliance-of-lil-b
Cooper, Duncan. “A Serious Conversation With Lil B.” The FADER. The FADER, 12 Sept. 2016. Web. 11 Feb. 2017. http://www.thefader.com/2015/10/01/lil-b-interview