Words by Magnus Gillberg. This cult figure is a rapper, with an online presence that stretches across almost every social media platform imaginable. He started on Myspace, where he had to create multiple pages to upload all of his content. From those now-ancient days he and his disciples have spread across the internet. The disciples of The Based God inundate his pages with photos of devotion and messages expressing their deep appreciation for the positivity he continuously espouses.
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Equally inspired by Prince and 2Pac, Lil B Brandon McCartney is an eccentric, ambitious rapper who utilized social media to its fullest and became an Internet age celebrity, cultivating a fiercely loyal following and inspiring a generation of rappers and hipsters without ever signing to a major label. Lil B is known for his optimistic outlook, which he refers to as his "Based" philosophy, and preaches positivity and tolerance through his music. He also uses the term "Based" to signify his brand of freestyle rapping, and while much of his vast body of work sounds off-the-cuff, his more considered efforts take on serious subjects, particularly related to society and the age of information. While the majority of his output is overwhelmingly positive and encouraging, his dark side has emerged through releases like Thugged Out Pissed Off, as well as his occasional feuds with fellow rappers or basketball players. He has branched far outside the realm of hip-hop with the release of spoken word and new age material, and has dabbled with indie rock, claiming an affinity for the genre.
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The hyper-prolific rapper with an endless number of YouTube freestyles finds a new focus and crafts his most accessible album. It's possible not even Lil B knows how much music he's released in the past four years. Spend 15 minutes trying to sort out how much he's made in the past four months and you'll feel in your stomach just how deep the Internet goes.
On Tuesday, we witnessed a glitch in the Matrix. Before launching into the day's topic — his Twitter endorsement of Bernie Sanders in July — Baldwin took two minutes of a seven-minute segment to explain who Lil B is and why he matters. Lil B has mastered the art of curating a hip-hop cult persona.