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Very rare interview with digital age rap star Lil B

lil bThe Based God plays his first D.C. shows this weekend. (Courtesy of the artist)

By Chris Richards

Few rappers have harnessed the wild-wild weirdness of the internet as effectively as Lil B. Over the past year, the 21-year-old Berkeley rap phenom has doused the web with hundreds of songs, gobs of videos, over 150 MySpace pages dedicated to his work and a Twitter feed that never sleeps. He's even launched a mini-meme with "cooking" -- a dance craze that involves repeatedly shrugging your shoulders while you pretend to beat eggs with a whisk. (Let the man show you how to do it.)

Yet despite his undeniable gift for hyper-sharing, Lil B still manages to imbue his music with a sense of intimacy, tempering oddball boasts with warmth and enthusiasm. And like any great rapper, he's creating his own lexicon. He often refers to himself as "Based God" -- a title that suggests there are no boundaries to ambition or his imagination -- and frequently describes his songs and concert appearances as "very rare."

For Washington fans who have been following the man's every couplet online, only the latter can be taken literally. But they'll finally have the chance to see the Based God when he makes his area premiere at Fur Nightclub on Friday and the CFE with local go-go band XIB in Forestville on Saturday. Click Track spoke with Lil B over the phone last night as he packed his bags for Washington.


You just released another new mixtape, "Gold Dust," earlier this week. What's the response been like ?

Man, I appreciate it. Yeah, the "Gold Dust" mixtape has been getting a nice, warm response from my core base -- the people that respect me and that have been with me. That's definitely a real special thing to them. It's honesty on my part. And there's some classics on there that I love -- "Straight Westside," "My History" and, you know, some others on there. It's a classic mixtape. Just something to ride to. Or upload to your Xbox and play "Grand Theft Auto" to.

Are you ever worried about putting out too much music?

Naw. There are so many different parts to me. It just gives the people that like my music different instances to listen to my music. I will remain here, even when I'm passed away because there's so much music. And I'm proud of that.

You recently told MTV News that you maintain over 150 MySpace pages. You're a constant presence on Twitter. Is it hard to balance the time you spend making music and the time you spend promoting it online?

I'm working and definitely working hard... Everything is revolved around music. I wake up, I'm listening to music, watching something to get motivated and inspired to make music. Just waiting for it to come to me.

(What Lil B means when he says "rare," after the jump.)

I wonder when you find time to sleep. I know on Twitter, you often encourage your fans to eat healthy. Are you getting enough sleep?

I'm one of those overboard workers that even thinks about art before eating. It's not always the best choice... But I love it.

When you say something is "rare," what do you mean?

I'm all together rare. I'm like a one-of-a-kind artist. Everything is like real, real, REAL to me. There's a very close and rare emotional quality in, like, how I try to convey the messages to the people... Really, that's how I came up with "rare."

You've had a tremendous response online. How is the response different when you're onstage and finally seeing all these fans in person?

It's great to see the reactions in person. People love it and people are just having a lot of fun. And it's amazing. People have just given me an amazing response and they're showing me a lot of love... There's a lot of girls.

On Saturday, you'll be playing with the local go-go band XIB. Are you familiar with go-go music?

No, but I'm about to be learning more about go-go more as I come down there... I really respect go-go because go-go is a one-of-a-kind music. The feeling is really amazing.

By Chris Richards  | October 22, 2010; 2:22 PM ET
Categories:  Be specific  | Tags:  Lil B, XIB  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Live last night: Nine innings with Guided By Voices
Next: Coda: Lil B brings #based to D.C.; Buddy Guy talks future of blues; It ain't easy being Kings of Leon


Dude come on, Lil B is terrible. Hipster rap at its worst.

Posted by: agl132 | October 25, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Don't let the audience define the artist. I think it's hard to argue with the artistry and voice of a mixtape like "6 Kiss."

Posted by: ChrisRichards | October 25, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

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