The Big Q&A: Lil' B Talks Collaborating With Jay Electronica, Kanye West Apology, And His Similarities to Nicki Minaj
With little more than a high-speed Internet connection and digital camera, Lil' B spent the last year releasing stark, homemade music videos coupled with atypical rhymes, amassing a dedicated online following in the process.
Getting his start at the age of 14 with the juvenile West Coast rap group,The Pack, Brandon “Lil B” McCartney eventually saw a wide open lane for his solo career. By mid 2010, B—who also deemed himself as Based God—had released over 1,000 songs online and hundreds of self-produced music videos that showcased his hypnotic flow and off-kilter subject matter. Creating his own subgenre of “Based” rap music, B aligned himself with fellow online mogul Soulja Boy.
On Thanksgiving eve, VIBE received a rare phone call from Based God as he was putting the finishing touches on his latest digital release, Evil Red Flame, which he released the following day. Read on for what turned into what LIl B dubs a “historical conversation." —Mikey Fresh
VIBE: B, what’s going on?
Lil' B: I just recorded about 30 songs in like 4 hours. I’m about to release this Evil Red Flame Mixtape.
Lord, when do you think you’ll release that one?
I’d say it will probably be to the people by Saturday (Ed note: Evil Red Flame was released on Thanksgiving Day). I’ll knock out about 5-7 songs an hour. But I practice them a lot, so when it comes to recording, it becomes subconscious. It’s like a blessing because I can mess up, and it still sounds good.
So you don’t write any of your lyrics down?
I actually used a pen and pad for this one. This one is better than Red Flame and Blue Flame. It’s real lyrical, something amazing. I feel like this music is more mature then Red Flame. There really aren’t too many joke songs, where I’m playing around. I’m really spitting all the way through on this one. I got some Capone-N-Noreaga beats on there. You’re going to be surprised. Especially for the East Coast, they’re really going to understand this one.
Speaking of East Coast beats, you recently collaborated with Cormega, which really caught people off guard. How did you link with him?
Shouts to Tony Yayo, he really helped me out with that one. Mega was one of those artists that I was heavily influenced by. And I was just talking to Yayo one day, telling him how much of an influence Cormega was on me along with Kool G Rap, Nas, Jay-Z, MF Doom and so many others. Yayo called me with Mega on the line, and we chopped it up for while and exchanged contacts. But before I even sent over the track, we had a couple long phone conversations. I think he was really trying to feel me out. I don’t think Mega works with just anyone. I got a lot more secrets up my sleeve, though.
Fill us in, Based God.