Brandon McCartney is a living legend. He is the rarest and most influential artist to grace the decade. Words can’t express the that Lil B has had on the new generation of rap artists. You can’t dispute the fact that Lil B started the underground scene we know and love today. His ambiguous ‘Based’ movement has transcended music, culture and art. It has become a religion, a way of life for those who have been inspired by Lil B The Based God. No artist in history has had the holistic impact on one’s lifestyle and persona than Lil B has. His penchant for positivity impacted several lives. From his early days in The Pack to the current day Lil B, Brandon McCartney has forged his own path in a music industry which did everything to keep him out. Over the span of his career, Lil B fought through negativity to bring his positivity driven movement to life. For this edition of LO-FI: The Magazine, we will attempt to bring credence to the Based movement. By analysing the tapes: ‘I’m Thraxx’ and ‘6 Kiss’, we will discuss and explain how Lil B changed the music world forever. As previously mentioned, words can’t quantify the impact Lil B has had on the rap game. We will try our best to portray his impact throughout the article. Based World log in.
Lil B was born Brandon Christopher McCartney on August 17, 1989. The product of Berkley, California emerged on the scene at age 16 as a member of the Bay Area rap group ‘The Pack’. Their hit single ‘Vans’ brought the group national acclaim. ‘The Pack’ played an instrumental role in the Bay Area’s Hyphy movement of the mid 2000’s. Whilst with ‘The Pack’ Lil B was a part of the projects: ‘Skateboard 2 Scrapers EP’ and the album ‘Based Boys’ (released through Jive/ Zomba Records). Lackluster sales saw the group dropped from Jive Records. ‘The Pack’ found a new home on SMC Recordings. This new label connection led to the release of a mixtape and an album. The mixtape ‘The Pack is Back’ was released in 2009 and the album ‘Wolfpack Party’ was released in 2010. ‘The Pack ‘ was Lil B’s introduction into the rap game, what he would do next is history. In late 2009, Lil B began releasing his first solo projects. The projects ‘I’m Thraxx’ (September 24, 2009) and ‘6 Kiss’ (December 22, 2009) were his first official releases. The personal metamorphosis of Lil B was happening. The age of ‘Based’ was being ushered in. An age that would change the world forever.
The question is often posed: What is Based? Or What does Based mean? To spare the semantics and the very technical definitions you may get from Based World, Based is everything yet nothing at the same time. It’s a way of life, a music genre and spiritual movement all wrapped into one. The number one principle of the Based movement is to purvey positivity. Regardless of your personal situation. In a musical sense, Based is a term used to describe the stream-of-consciousness style of recording that Lil B invented. He would often term his freestyles as ‘Based Freestyles’. Based is saying whatever you feel, however you feel. Whether you are on beat or off beat. All of Lil B’s music is Based, whether it’s a heartfelt soul-searching ballad or a straight up dose of ignorance. For those unfamiliar with what Based music is, check out the viral hits: ‘Paris Hilton’, ‘Suck My Dick Hoe‘, ‘Ellen Degeneres‘ and ‘Bill Bellamy’. For those looking for rare Based tracks, check Lil B’s ‘Based Freestyles’ over various wrestling themes: ‘No Chains’ (Razor Ramon), ‘No Your Role’ (The Rock), and ‘Hustle In Da Scraper’ (The Undertaker). Based music is a revolutionary phenomenon in it’s own right. The music is only one aspect to the Based universe. The Based movement overwhelmed a whole generation because it was a way of life.
As a way of life, Based impacted lives in an unprecedented way. The Based philosophy falls in line with Lil B’s persona and music. The main aspect of the Based way of life is staying positive. Being Based means you are staying positive no matter what struggles you are encountering. The origins of the Based term come from turning a negative into a positive. A ‘basehead’ is slang for a crack head. The Pack and Lil B flipped this negative connotation into a positive. Based became the term which personified their positive energy movement. Different segments of Lil B’s fanbase tend to have different parameters for what Based means. Whether they are Based to justify their incessant trolling of Lil B’s enemies (curse victims), if they use Based to aid them musically, if they define being Based by commitment to Lil B fandom or if they use Based to embrace expressing themselves. Outside of Lil B’s book ‘Takin’ Over’, there’s no doctrine of the Based movement, the only gospel is Lil B’s music. Based will forever live on as one of the most unexplained phenomenons of the 2010’s. For those needing a vague definition of what ‘Based’ is here’s an unofficial attempt: “Based is an all-encompassing music genre, lifestyle and spiritual movement which was pioneered by Lil B. The Based movement champions positive thinking, self expression and being yourself above everything else. The Based movement is one of the biggest culture-shifters of the 2010’s.” As we continue to celebrate Lil B and his world-changing art we will analyse his 2009 projects: ‘I’m Thraxx’ and ‘6 Kiss’ to illustrate just how far ahead he was musically. Lil B invented the new age underground. We are all members of Based World, whether we acknowledge it or not.
THE BASED REVOLUTION: ‘I’M THRAXX’
‘I’m Thraxx’ was released on September 24, 2009. It can be considered the first mixtape in Lil B’s solo arc. This is the project that gave life to the ‘Based’ wave. ‘I’m Thraxx’ is a 21 track navigation through the several dimensions of Lil B’s creative universe. A journey through stream-of-consciousness ignorance, heartfelt introspective ballads, hyphy anthems and cloud-rap euphoria. ‘I’m Thraxx’ is an all-encompassing Lil B experience. The all-encompassing nature of ‘I’m Thraxx’ makes it a perfect introduction to Based World.
After a 30 second Witch House intro we are blessed with the track ‘D.O.R’ (Death Of Rap). Lil B bars up like mixtape Weezy over a horn fuelled beat. Those that say Lil B can’t rap ought to listen to Brandon’s tracks where he exhibits his proficiency as an MC. ‘D.O.R’ is one of these tracks. His punch in flow is calculated and he spits lyrics that would have the rap game wylin’ if any other rapper spit them. Lil B often shouts out New Orleans music, most notably Mack Maine and Lil Wayne. Their influence on Lil B’s craft is evident on songs such as ‘D.O.R’. The beat may be uninspiring, but it is vital to remember that ‘I’m Thraxx’ was Lil B’s first foray into solo work. In ‘09 the majority of artists were ‘rippity-rappers’. The Based wave was in its infancy.
As we depart ‘D.O.R’ we are greeted with the groovy bassline of ‘The Bible’. Lil B continues to bring the bars. ‘D.O.R’ was more of a ‘mixtape rapper’ bars-fest in the vein of Dipset and Lil Wayne, whereas ‘The Bible’ is full of thought provoking content. ‘The Bible’ shows the making of Lil B’s special ability to unequivocally express himself and his inner pain. The groovy bassline, resonating keys and hallowing atmosphere help create the introspective vibe. “Based starts from a zen as I’m touching my pen.” Raps Lil B, revealing the first step to becoming a member of the Based family. Lil B ‘got off’ on his verses, spitting some rare vegan bars back in ‘09: “Plant based is when you don’t eat no meat, I’m plant based with the rap, you don’t want no beef.” Tracks like ‘The Bible’ make ‘I’m Thraxx’ a must listen. As each song progresses, Lil B offers a glimpse into the talent which made him a culture-shifting artist.
Lil B combats Jay-Z’s ‘Girls Girls’ instrumental for the ‘The Old Dayz’. Lil Boss takes us on a beautiful journey through his past. “If you was solid when you was young, you as real as they come” raps Lil B as he recounts his old-school dreams. ‘The Old Dayz’ is Lil B’s ode to the yesteryear. The ad-hoc nature of the song structure is a precursor to the all out stream-of-consciousness the based wave would become. ‘I’m Thraxx’ is Lil B sharpening his tools in preparation for the Based God’s takeover.
Brandon continues to bring the nostalgia with the next track ‘Secrets Pt.1’. The song, which samples ‘Tevin Campbell- Shhh (Break It Down)’ could fit in on any Dipset mixtape from the early 2000’s. The chipmunk Soul sampling beat allows Lil B to flex his ability as an off-kilter MC. The coarse nature of his delivery and his Bay Area twang may be off-putting to the average listener. Those willing to embrace his differences get blessed with the wisdom and gems that are stored within Lil B’s lyrics. The rare sports references add another layer of charm to Lil B’s lyrical experience. “Like the cornerback I Quentin fuckin’ Jammer (jam-her)”. The third verse is where things get real for Lil B. He paints the picture of him getting caught in the act of being romantically involved with another man’s girlfriend. The repercussions of getting caught were deadly. “What I seen next… cuz… he shot her in the face and two times in the neck, he cocked back his gun and aimed it my way, he said you finna fuck my bitch and I’m finna shoot you in the face.” B’s storytelling is fairly unrealistic, straight-forward and gaudy. However, the storytelling here shows that his raps have always taken things to the extreme. The avant-garde nature of his raps have been present since day one.
We teleport to the clouds for ‘She Don’t Love Me’. The beat used for this song is also used for the Soulja Boy and Lil B classic entitled ‘World So Cold’. The Based legend keeps up his deep train of thought. The beat, which samples Band of Horses- The Funeral, is the perfect soundscape for Lil B’s emotional outcry. One of the early adaptations of the now-famed ‘cloud rap’. The beat is nothing short of heavenly. The fifth song is all about how women are out to get you. They don’t love you, they’re with you for the wrong reasons. ‘She Don’t Love Me’ is worth a listen because it is one of the inaugural ‘cloud rap’ songs.
Legendary Based producer Keyboard Kid connects with Lil B for ‘Chasing The Rain’. Keyboard Kid’s beat still knocks in 2019. The Based God’s bravery to tackle different sonics back in 2009 has paid off in the present day. ‘Chasing The Rain’, with its Dexter Wansell sample, is a timeless classic. No other artist was willing to tackle these ‘cloud’-esque beats ten years ago. Lil B catches the pocket of the Keyboard Kid beat and doesn’t let up for the whole 3 minutes and 30 seconds. ‘Chasing The Rain’ is one of those rare moments where Lil B snaps for the entire track. “I’m in the transplant car, call it miracle whip”, “I guess you really listen to these rappers, they all apart of SAAG cause they really good actors”. B drops bar-after-bar on this rare cut. The Based beauty of Keyboard Kid’s beat is the perfect partner for Lil B’s raucous rhymes. Lil B and Keyboard Kid are an historic artist/producer combo. ‘Chasing The Rain’ is the genesis of the legendary duo.
Another dose of motivation is served on ‘Sky’s The Limit’. The beat is an obscure, sparse composition. Something only Lil B could flex on. ‘Sky’s The Limit’ continues the consistency of ‘I’m Thraxx’ by delivering another dose of wisdom-fuelled rhymes. The first half of ‘I’m Thraxx’ demonstrates the holistic, motivating ethos of early Based World. “I can’t be passive, I gotta go get it, I got one chance and I really can’t miss it.” The themes explored are reminiscent of Young Jeezy’s early work. ‘Sky’s The Limit’ is your get up and go get it soundtrack. Delivered in a way only Lil B ‘The Based God’ could.
‘August 17th’ revisits the classic soul-fuelled sound of early 2000’s rap. Sampling ‘Rick James- Hollywood’, ‘August 17th’ is a 1 minute 7 second flow fest. With its extremely short runtime, this song can be considered more of an interlude. By exploring these classic rap sounds, Lil B continues to pay homage to the music that inspired him. In 2009, the rap game was exiting the ringtone rap era and entering a brand new generation. These soul-fuelled tracks were becoming a thing of the past. Lil B proved he was an ‘old-soul’ by revisiting one of the golden sounds in hip-hop history. Revisiting old-sounds is a part of the beauty in Lil B’s artistry. He was never scared to innovate and he was never scared to revisit the sounds of a bygone era. ‘I’m Thraxx’ is one of the most pure projects in Lil B’s discography.
‘Victory 2010’ represents the halfway point of ‘I’m Thraxx’. ‘Victory 2010’ continues the classic rap feel present on the majority of ‘I’m Thraxx’. Another Wayne-esque bar fest is executed by Lil B on ‘Victory 2010’. The Based God spits for the entire track. No hook for the rawest rapper alive. The first 10 tracks of ‘I’m Thraxx’ are a focused effort from Lil B. Throughout these 10 songs, Lil B was dropping fierce bars like prime mixtape Lil Wayne. Some of the soundscapes, such as ‘Chasing The Rain’ illustrate Lil B’s experimental genius. Whilst other soundscapes show Lil B paying homage to golden-era Hip Hop. The heavy Based, stream-of-consciousness style becomes more prevalent in the second half of ‘I’m Thraxx’.
Lil B’s ‘mixtape-Weezy’ style was growing a little long in the tooth. He completely switches it up for ‘Rawest Rapper Alive (Remix)’. The first display of his signature stream-of-consciousness style happens on ‘Rawest Rapper Alive (Remix). The Alice DJ sample adds to the quirkiness of the track. ‘Rawest Rapper Alive (Remix)’ will have you Based out of your mind. A teaser of what awaits Lil B listeners who want to explore his heavy Based anthems. Quirky beats, obscene lyrics and very rare swag are the qualities present in the majority of his Based classics. The Sandstorm that is known as ‘Rawest Rapper Alive (Remix)’ is an introduction to the real Based World.
We get thrown into another dimension of Based World with ‘Respect My Mind’. Lil B is thugged out and pissed off on this bonafide banger. Pure lick music. The booming nature of the beat will have listeners willing to catch a case for Based World. ‘Respect My Mind’ is a Waka Flocka feature away from being a smash hit. The embodiment of a late 00’s/ early 10’s trunk-rattler. The Based God excels on these Lex Luger type soundscapes. ‘Respect My Mind’ is an all-time Lil B banger. Thugged out pissed off is the only way to personify the Based banger. An essential listen for any Lil B fan, ‘Respect My Mind’ is a classic.
Experimentation is rife throughout the second half of ‘I’m Thraxx’. ‘I’m On My Grind’ follows the experimental theme. The spaced out 8 bit sounding beat allows Lil B to drop his classic Based flow. The coarse, abrasive and slowed up flow would gain notoriety on songs such as ‘Wonton Soup’. The drawn-out Based flow is the flow which defined Lil B’s rise to fame. The Based flow spawned a whole generation of artists. Essentially, ‘I’m Thraxx’ is the birthplace of elements (both minor and major) that catapulted Lil B to stardom. The cloud rap ambience, Based bravado, gems of wisdom and the off-kilter flow were all born on ‘I’m Thraxx’. These elements would continue to be fleshed out throughout Lil B’s career.
The ‘thugged out pissed off’ energy returns on ‘Robbin For Xrack’. The hook is infectious. The repetition of cadence, adlibs and lyrics became commonplace on Lil B’s cooking anthems. ‘Robbin For Xrack’ is an early example of his ‘cooking music’ style. The simplistic yet bass-booming beat creates the ideal atmosphere for Lil B to drop his crime-laden and vice fuelled rhymes. Lil B pushes the boundary of what is on or off-beat. His abrasive cadence and Oakland drawl fuse to create the beauty of the Based flow. To the trained ear, ‘Robbin For Xrack’ is audio crack for Lil B fans.
The pseudo-cloud and classic break-beats combine on the emotional track ‘My Last Call’. “Things really change when change is the change”, “Loyalty and friendships was in my first book”. B shows wisdom beyond his years. ‘My Last Call’ is an introspective goldmine. One of many that are scattered throughout Lil B’s discography. ‘My Last Call’ reminds us to stay 10 toes down in Based World. A return to reality after the Based barrage of the prior tracks.
‘RIP Swag’ is another example of The Based God’s will to rap on anything. The beat for ‘RIP Swag’ is a hybrid of EDM and traditional Hip Hop percussion patterns. A combination which would dominate the mainstream in the years that followed. ‘RIP Swag’ and ‘My Last Call’ serve as a ‘chill-out’ after the Based onslaught of the prior songs. ‘RIP Swag’ is one of the most underrated songs off the ‘I’m Thraxx’ project. A welcome break from the chaotic genre and style change-ups that Based music brings. With ‘I’m Thraxx’ featuring over 20 songs, songs such as ‘RIP Swag’ are needed to provide a reprieve from the fluid experimentation of Lil B’s music.
Lil B channels his inner T-Pain on ‘We Can Go Down’, a club hit waiting to happen. One of Lil B’s most polished tracks, ‘We Can Go Down’ seems like an anomaly from Lil B’s discography. The song and its accompanying music video is potentially the closest we’ll come to witnessing Lil B make a mainstream type song. The Based God is an all-encompassing being, it’s only fitting he made an auto-tune classic. Prime T-Pain fused with Lil B’s stream-of-consciousness results in the artistic masterpiece that is ‘We Can Go Down’.
Based God transforms from T-Pain imitator to a full blown deity on ‘I’m Heem’. ‘I’m Heem’ is a song which defines the Based era. An undisputed classic, ‘Im Heem’ will have you in a melancholic, introspective state of mind. The cloudy beat intertwined with Lil B’s signature slurry flow creates the melancholic vibe. He flipped ‘Heem’ from being a term for Hennessy into a term which galvanized Based World. If you are in tune with Based World, ‘I’m Heem’ is a track that will touch your soul. ‘I’m Heem’ is a rare journey into the triumphs and struggles of Lil B. A journey inside the soul of Based World. One of Lil B’s greatest songs, ‘I’m Heem’ is an essential listen for residents of Based World.
‘I Am The Ocean’ is time to ease your mind and reside in the purity of Based World. ‘Im Heem’ was the ascension into Based World and ‘I Am The Ocean’ is the soundtrack to embracing the based. Lil B’s abrasive flow collides with the flute heavy sample. ‘I Am The Ocean’ is an exploration of the angelic side of the Based God’s music. ‘I Am The Ocean’ is Based meditation.
‘Get Racks’ is a return to the Based bravado. Listeners come crashing down from the angelic heights of ‘I Am The Ocean’ to the Techno frenzy of ‘Get Racks’. ‘Get Racks’ adds another ingredient to the melting pot of sounds that is ‘I’m Thraxx’. ‘Get Racks’ will have you Based with the martians.
Homage is paid to the 90’s on ‘Go To Dumb’. Lil B evocates his Based rhymes in a way which can only be compared to Slick Rick and Grandmaster Flash. The Based God spits these old-school flows over a beat which sounds part New Orleans bounce and parts Hyphy. ‘Go To Dumb’ is the Based God showing his Oakland roots. He closes off ‘I’m Thraxx’ with a hyphy anthem for his Based brigade. If it dropped in the 90’s Lil B would of had the streets on blast. The fusion of different rap styles is a staple of the Lil B experience. On ‘Go To Dumb’ he effortlessly fused New Orleans Bounce with Slick Rick style rhymes and his Based vernacular to create a unique track. Tracks such as ‘Go To Dumb’ illustrate that B is more than a novelty meme rapper. He is a true student of the rap game.
In conclusion, ‘I’m Thraxx’ may not be the best, or most polished Lil B project. It is, however, an essential Lil B project. ‘I’m Thraxx’ illustrates how Based World developed into the behemoth it is today. The varying sounds, flows and styles that have become synonymous with the Lil B experience were established on this project. Released in 2009, ‘I’m Thraxx’ should be regarded as the mixtape which gave birth to the ‘internet’ era of rap. An era which revolutionised the rap game. Tracks such as: ‘I’m Heem’, ‘Chasing The Rain’, ‘Respect My Mind’ and ‘My Last Call’ are must listens. ‘I’m Thraxx’ is a display of the diverse music Lil B is capable of creating. ‘I’m Thraxx’ and it’s experimental triumphs should be etched in rap history. The swag for the whole 2010 was born on Lil B’s debut mixtape. Despite its ups and downs, ‘I’m Thraxx’ is the starting point for the Based movement. Cloud Rap, Cooking Music, Based World and Lil B’s infamy all spawned from his first solo effort. In the months that followed the release of ‘I’m Thraxx’, Lil B would change the rap game forever.
THE CLOUD TAKES OVER: ‘6 KISS’
‘6 Kiss’, which was released on December 22 2009, is the project which catapulted Based World into a full blown phenomenon. ‘I’m Thraxx’ was the calm before the ‘6 Kiss’ storm. ‘6 Kiss’ should be considered Lil B’s awakening. The tracks on ‘6 Kiss’ have become apart of rap history. After the ‘6 Kiss’ storm was initiated, Lil B’s Based movement had hypnotised a sect of the internet. His second full length mixtape changed the rap game forever. ‘6 Kiss’ is a project which defines the modern rap world. With the release of ‘6 Kiss’, Lil B fucked the rap games bitch.
‘6 Kiss’ flies out the gate with the all-time classic ‘B.O.R’ (Birth Of Rap). Clams Casino’s classic eerie beats coupled with Lil B’s raspy delivery created ‘cloud rap’. ‘Birth Of Rap’ brought us the birth of a whole new sub-genre. ‘B.O.R’ is a rare breakthrough moment in Hip Hop history. The Based God ascended to another dimension on the Clams Casino produced track. Without ‘B.O.R’ the rap game would not have been reborn under the Based umbrella. The most prevalent of Lil B’s haters, or his ironic listeners were converted by the wizardry of ‘B.O.R’. Brandon cemented himself in rap history with ‘B.O.R’. Lil B still utilises the punchline-laden style heard on ‘I’m Thraxx’. His signature raspy delivery still resonates throughout ‘B.O.R’. The major difference between ‘B.O.R’ and his previous release, ‘I’m Thraxx’, was the beat selection. Lil B has teased the potential of ‘cloud rap’ on ‘I’m Thraxx’. With Clams Casino in tow, the potential of ‘cloud rap’ was realised on ‘B.O.R’ and furthermore the ‘6 Kiss’ project. The chemistry between Clams and Lil B would continue to shine throughout ‘6 Kiss’. The Based vision was manifesting in late 2009.
‘I’m God’ continues the classic start to ‘6 Kiss’. Another defining song of Lil B’s career, ‘I’m God’ is another hit which catapulted the Based God to infamy. Another classic Clams and Lil B collaboration. It asserted ‘cloud-rap’ as one of the decades dominant sub-genres. ‘I’m God’ is one of the best rap songs of the past decade. The first two tracks of ‘6 Kiss’ are flawless. ‘I’m God’ expounds upon the Based universe. ‘I’m God’ played a pivotal role in establishing Lil B and his Based movement. As the ‘cloud rap’ classics multiplied, so did the reach of Based World. ‘I’m God’ is a prime example of an artist being ahead of their time. ‘I’m God’ and ‘B.O.R’ are songs that inspired a whole generation of artists. Tiny pants thuggin’ was about to take over the world.
We transition from one legendary Based producer (Clams Casino) to another legendary Based producer (Keyboard Kid) for ‘Walk the World’. ‘Walk the World’ brings a classic Hip-Hop feel to ‘6 Kiss’. The high pitched soul sample and Heatmakerz drum patterns set the platform for Lil B to flex his Wayne-esque flow yet again. Lil B flexes his skills as an MC. His delivery and vernacular may be too abrasive for Hip-Hop purists but there is no denying his proficiency behind the mic. Lil B’s grandiose and abstract subject matter is ever-present on ‘Walk The World’. Reading between the avant garde-ism’s, ‘Walk The World’ is about being yourself throughout your journey. When your down with Based World you can walk the world without fear.
‘Beat The Odds’ continues the stellar opening of ‘6 Kiss’. A cloudy ambiance reigns over the Based soliliquoy. Lil B lyrically assaults the cloudy beat with his unique bars: “I’m online just to watch the news, and when I upload I appreciate the views”. ‘Beat The Odds’ is 3 minutes of pure Based bars. The sonics of ‘6 Kiss’ elevate Lil B’s music to new heights. The ‘cloud’ sound that resonates throughout ‘6 Kiss’ was vital in making it a culture shifting classic. The success of ‘6 Kiss’ fully established the Based wave. The first four tracks off of ‘6 Kiss’ are bonafide classics. They are the tracks which catapulted the Based movement into relevance.
The fifth track of ‘6 Kiss’ is the first misstep of the project. ‘Based’ is a remix of the Drake and Trey Songz cut ‘Successful’. B spits some killer verses and does a humorous interpolation of the original ‘Successful’ hook. The recipe for a Based classic was concocted. The recipe fell apart with the beat. A dog whistle echoes throughout the duration of the song. The high frequency jolt is piercing to the ears and ruins the replay value of ‘Based’. ‘Based’ is a rare misstep on ‘6 Kiss’, it spoils the flawless start to the project. Experimental songs such as ‘Based’ are commonplace throughout Lil B’s projects. Each project will contain songs that challenge your sanity. The majority of the project however, will be unearthed gems which can become the soundtrack to your life. It’s all apart of the Based experience.
‘Real Plexx’ is a return to form. Going in over Jay-Z and Beanie Siegel’s ‘Ignorant Shit’, Brandon McCartney unleashes Based venom over the classic instrumental. After the annoyance of ‘Based’, ‘Real Plexx’ restores the classic feeling to ‘6 Kiss’. ‘Real Plexx’ is not a genre-shifting masterpiece in the vein of ‘I’m God’ and ‘B.O.R’ but it is a solid addition to the ‘6 Kiss’ project. “Real Plexx is when you’re not a coward, when you live your own life and your dreams are power”, “You thought if you lie, you would win like Madden, then run like Darren McFadden”. The Based God was snapping on ‘Real Plexx’.
To recover from the lyrical onslaught of ‘Real Plexx’, Lil B blesses us with a Based anthem entitled ‘Rolls Royce’. ‘Rolls Royce’ is a classic Based track. The bouncy repetitive hoo, abrasive flow, sports references and off-the-cuff philosophy are all present on ‘Rolls Royce’. Couple these Based elements with the off-kilter beat and you have the elements for a stream-of-consciousnesses classic. ‘Rolls Royce’ may not follow the ‘cloudy’ theme portrayed on the majority of ‘6 Kiss’ but it is an essential listen for fans of Lil B’s carefree Based music.
Lil B channels his stoner vibe for the haunting sounds of ‘Let The Eagles Go’. The synth driven beat is the ideal match for Lil B’s avant-garde stoner raps. “Get bush from the Saints like im Reggie Bushin”. The wavy hook, avant-garde verses and his signature raspy delivery combine to create the ‘smoke break’ for ‘6 Kiss’. Similar to ‘I’m Thraxx’, ‘6 Kiss’ may be Lil B’s purest efforts as an MC. These projects give us a Lil B that existed before he fully delved into the experimental extremes of his later career. On his later mixtapes, Lil B would take his ignorance to the extreme with his ‘cooking anthems’ and his ‘lyrical-miracle’, avant-garde style would be exaggerated on projects such as ‘Illusions of Grandeur’. ‘6 Kiss’ and ‘I’m Thraxx’ show us Lil B finding his feet and exploring his artistic capabilities. His transition from a member of ‘The Pack’ to the internet’s renaissance man was just beginning on ‘6 Kiss’ and ‘I’m Thraxx’.
Based God takes us back to the pseudo-cloud on ‘Ridin’ 4 My N*ggaz’. The beat, which was produced by NICSWAGGER, uses a duo of samples (Imogen Heap & Telepopmusic) to direct ‘6 Kiss’ back to the ‘cloud’. Back to where the project excels. Back to the revolutionary ‘cloud’ sound. ‘Ridin 4 My N*ggaz’ adds another layer to the ‘cloud’ wave present on ‘6 Kiss’.
‘Myspace’ is another lyrical onslaught from the Based God, 3 minutes of lyrical finesse. When Lil B channels mixtape Lil Wayne, the results are always classic. B attacks the beat with his Oakland rasp. His rasp adds extra passion to his lyrical raps. The biggest drawback from the majority of his music (his delivery) becomes his biggest asset on his ‘lyrical’ tracks. His relentless, traditional flow is one of Lil B’s biggest strengths in his early work. ‘Myspace’ is more evidence that Lil B can rap with illest of MCs.
Lil B’s iconic “yesss” adlib brings us back to the ‘cloud’ on ‘What I Mean’. The angelic sample of ‘Sid Sriram- ‘Naked Innocence’ creates a heavenly atmosphere for the Based deity. ‘What I Mean’ will have you in tranquil state of mind. B’s whispery delivery adds to the ethereal atmosphere of the song. It fits seamlessly alongside the other ‘cloud rap’ offerings on ‘6 Kiss’. The collection of ‘cloud rap’ songs on ‘6 Kiss’ are arguably the high points of the project. Lil B’s relenting use of these ethereal beats gave the subgenre life. ‘What I Mean’ is another track which can be credited with birthing the ‘cloud rap’ wave.
‘What I Mean’ was tranquility in .mp3 form. The next track ‘I Want Your Bitch’ might be the complete opposite. The slimy house/techno beat is the perfect companion for Brandon’s creeper anthem. Despite the questionable title of the song (and it’s content), ‘I Want Your Bitch’ is an example of why Based music will always catch the listener off guard. Lil B starts off the track with a plethora of wrestling references. “I’m gonna Rowdy Roddy Pipe-her”, “Stone Cold Stunner, piledrive the bitch”. The off-the-cuff nature of these references are either going to have you in fits of laughter or they were going to have you questioning what the fuck you are listening to. When you’re listening to Based music, you’re either all-in or all-out. You can’t sit on the fence. ‘I Want Your Bitch’ is a Based creeper anthem. It’s one of the polarising Lil B songs that will have you Based with the martians. Or it will have your ‘Hip-Hop head’ friend screaming for four minutes of their life back. Based music will always polarise. ‘I Want Your Bitch’ is no exception.
‘All Alone’ keeps the streak of Based songs alive. Another track which Lil B rambles about fucking other peoples bitches. The Based rambling and rather understated soundscape makes ‘All Alone’ skip-worthy. Especially for listeners who aren’t used to the abrasiveness of Based music.
Following the skip-worthy nature of ‘All Alone’, Lil B resuscitates the ‘6 Kiss’ project with one of his all-time classics. ‘Pretty Bitch’ is a legendary ‘cooking dance’ anthem. The Lex Luger ‘Rubba Band Business’ type beat will have your speakers cranking harder than Soulja Boy. B’s authoritative delivery floats over the limit-breaking sounds. The hard beat and flawless delivery will have you doing the ‘cooking dance’ within seconds. ‘Pretty Bitch’ is another Lil B classic which birthed the swag of a generation. After the release of ‘Pretty Bitch’ and it’s equally historic music video, rappers began referring to themselves as the prettiest. ‘Pretty Bitch’ was a viral hit and it helped pioneer the Based movement. Like ‘I’m God’ and ‘B.O.R’, ‘Pretty Bitch’ established Lil B’s various waves. These three songs make ‘6 Kiss’ one of the most impactful projects in the modern rap world. It is the project which established the swag for the next generation of underground artists.
The Based bangers keep rolling, as we transition to ‘Finna Hit A Lick’. Lil B snaps. The bouncy beat and thugged out delivery is reminiscent of Mannie Fresh and BG’s work in the 90’s. ‘Finna Hit A Lick’ is thugged out to the max. ‘Finna Hit A Lick’, the soundtrack to your weekly lick, is another underrated gem from Lil B’s discography. Finding gems such as ‘Finna Hit A Lick’ makes exploring the broader Based discography well worth your time.
‘I’m The Devil’ is the antithesis to ‘I’m God’. A darker take on the ‘cloud’ sound that Lil B was experimenting with on ‘6 Kiss’. ‘I’m The Devil’ is another Clams and Lil B classic. The song is everything the title suggests. The Based God portrays himself as a supreme soul reaver. Lil B’s drawn-out delivery adds to the darkness of the track. His lyrics on ‘I’m The Devil’ range from stealing souls to killing himself. Holistically, ‘I’m The Devil’ is an introspective journey which forces you to reflect and think about what you have become. Have you stayed true? Or have you sold out and become the devil? ‘I’m The Devil’ shows that the cloud sound can be used to portray darkness. ‘Cloud rap’ can show us the ‘light’ and the ‘dark’.
‘What You Doin’ rises us from the doldrums of ‘I’m The Devil’ to the purity of Based World. Another underrated gem, ‘What You Doin’ is something only Lil B could cook up. The 3 minute sojourn embodies the feel-good positivity that is associated with the Based movement. This track is a summer essential for Lil B enthusiasts. There’s nothing more Based than riding in a scraper to the waviness of ‘What You Doin’ during summertime.
Based braggadocio continues with ‘O My God 66’. ‘O My God 66’ is another pseudo- techno/house track on which Lil B flexes his Based stream-of-consciousness. Another polarising Based barrage. You’re either willing to vibe out with the Based God or you’re hitting skip after the first ten seconds. The polarising trait has defined Lil B’s career. Masses flocked to his Based music to either dismiss it or to embrace it. The quality of Based music can be debated. However, It can’t be denied that Lil B’s stream-of-consciousness style changed the music world. Tracks such as ‘O My God 66’, ‘Pretty Bitch’ and ‘Finna Hitta Lick’ provoked and challenged listeners. The majority hated, whilst those that embraced the Based wave sparked the biggest artistic movement of the 2010’s.
‘I Got Bitches’ and ‘We Ridin Scraper’ continue the Based takeover of ‘6 Kiss’. The sheer length of these songs makes them an instant skip for anyone not willing to listen to the stream-of-consciousness style for an extended amount of time. The three track run of: ‘O My God 66’, ‘I Got Bitches’ and ‘We Ridin Scraper’ is one of the few low points of ‘6 Kiss’. Lil B attempts to display his various styles on his projects. This leads to bloated tracklists and three-track black holes such as the aforementioned run of ‘O My God 66’, ‘I Got Bitches’ and ‘We Ridin Scraper’. To fans it’s all apart of the Based experience. When analysing his projects it’s hard not to view these tracks as anything but mere filler. Even with its flaws ‘6 Kiss’ is a historic project.
“Addiction was in my veins”. Lil B spits dope boy facts on ‘X-Men’. A true man of the struggle, Lil B drops knowledge of his drug-infested upbringing. ‘X-Men’ is another gem of the ‘6 Kiss’ experience. Lil B revives the project on its penultimate track.
‘Smoke Trees Fxxk Hoes’ is the finale of ‘6 Kiss’. In signature Lil B fashion, he ends the project with a Based freestyle. The Memphis rap sampling beat used was a few years ahead of its time. The beat on ‘Smoke Trees Fxxk Hoes’ is DJ Smokey/ Raider Klan 2 years before their wave took off. Lil B was bringing the phonk in 2009. Lil B ends ‘6 Kiss’ in a rather nondescript manner. The classic was already secured with the game-changing trifecta of ‘I’m God’, ‘B.O.R’ and ‘Pretty Bitch’.
In closing, ‘6 Kiss’ is a revolutionary project. It was the album which fully established B’s culture-shifting Based movement. ‘6 Kiss’ was a coming of age for Lil B the solo artist. The inception of ‘cloud rap’ on this project changed the rap world forever. ‘I’m God’ and ‘B.O.R’ pioneered a subgenre that would inspire the next generation of artists. Lil B’s and Clams Casino’s classics should forever be credited with starting the ‘cloud’ trend in rap music. ‘Pretty Bitch’ gave his Based and ‘cooking’ music a strong sense of identity. The viral success of ‘Pretty Bitch’ showed that his stream-of-consciousness style had potential to ‘blow up’. ‘Cloud rap’ or ‘cooking music’, this album started it all. ‘6 Kiss’ may contain some filler and have a rather long run-time but it should be regarded as a modern day rap classic. Cutting the filler tracks out of ‘6 Kiss’ would make it an all time classic. In terms of its legacy, ‘6 Kiss’ should be viewed as the project that founded the new age underground. The concepts, styles, swag, sounds and flows illustrated throughout ‘6 Kiss’ inspired the future legends of the rap world. ‘6 Kiss’ was the awakening the rap world needed. For those unfamiliar with Lil B’s work, ‘6 Kiss’ is the perfect entry point. ‘6 Kiss’ is a glimpse into the many dimensions of the Based God and the Based movement. ‘6 Kiss’, its highs and lows, will have you entrenched in Based-nam. Lil B’s second full length project is a certified classic.
BEYOND THE MUSIC: HOW LIL B TRANSCENDED TRADITION
It was Lil B’s presence outside of his music that made him the revered figure he is in the present day. His outlandish online persona, otherworldly swag and esoterism separated Lil B from his counterparts. To quantify Lil B’s online persona would be a herculean effort. To explain his impact in a haphazard manner, Lil B was one of the first rappers to use the internet to its maximum potential. Whether it was flooding MySpace/Datpiff with mixtapes, bombarding YouTube with music videos, using Twitter to assert his Based wave or constantly posting ‘Thank You Based God’ memes on Instagram/Facebook. B used the internet to catapult his movement to infamy. In the face of constant hate and criticism, Lil B kept posting relentlessly on all his social media platforms. Eventually, Lil B fans would rally together to defend Lil B and his outrageous persona. Forming the Task Force. The complexity and commitment of the Task Force deserves its own in-depth analysis. In layman’s terms, the Task Force are Lil B fans who will vigorously defend Lil B and attack Lil B’s considerable amount of haters. The Task Force is an illustration of the influence Lil B’s music and online persona has on his fans. Lil B was one of the first artists to use the internet to make his artistry larger than life. The Based movement was one of the first internet movements in the rap game. Lil B used the internet to portray himself as a deity. Outside of his culture-shifting music, Lil B’s online presence is another reason why he is one of the most influential artists of this decade. With each viral tweet, music video or meme, Lil B was blazing a trail for the next generation of artists. He single handedly created his own movement through the use of the internet. Something that was unheard of in 2009/2010.
Another aspect of the Based phenomenon that changed the rap game were Lil B’s music videos. The one-take, out-of-focus, raw and unedited music videos that are littered throughout his videography set a trend for the 2010’s. Lil B made it cool to be blatantly D.I.Y. The amateurish style of Lil B’s music videos gave Brandon the ideal platform to flex his esoteric swag. The tiny pants, tiny shirts, thrift store scarves, outlandish jewellery and fitted caps were staples of Lil B’s crazy fits. He was androgynous long before Young Thug. These D.I.Y videos pushed the Based God to viral stardom. ‘Suck My Dick Hoe’ and ‘Wonton Soup’ propelled Lil B and Based World to infamy. Both of these videos would obtain millions of views. Lil B’s unique all-around style was on display to the internet masses. All through his D.I.Y lens. The D.I.Y nature of his work, made Based World a relatable place. Anyone could be Based, and anyone could pursue rapping if Brandon was pulling in millions of views on D.I.Y videos. Lil B’s incessant work ethic and constant release of D.I.Y music videos, inspired other artists to do the same. Lil B’s music videos played a large role in spreading the Based movement.
When looking through the lens of ‘I’m Thraxx’ and ‘6 Kiss’ its evident that Lil B ‘The Based God’ is one of the most influential artists of the 2010’s. Released in 2009, both these projects established the sounds and styles that would inspire the next decade of rap. These two projects are examples of an artist being ahead of their time. Lil B’s willingness to experiment with different sounds, styles and flows cemented himself as a modern rap legend. Factors outside of his music contributed to his meteoric rise but without the foundation that ‘I’m Thraxx’ and ‘6 Kiss’ established, the Based movement would have stuttered out the gate. Critics tend to dismiss Lil B as a flash-in-the-pan meme, or someone who is loved in an ironic way. His lasting legacy and his bodies of work (especially 6 Kiss) will forever prove his critics and their narratives wrong. His influence outweighs any negativity that has surrounded his career. Lil B’s artistry will live forever through the Based movement and the immense amount of artists he inspired. The modern rap game was founded by Lil B and Soulja Boy. Without these two artists we would not have experienced the underground’s internet renaissance of the 2010’s. Lil B is an anomaly in the rap world. His constant grind, genre-shifting music and his esoterism took him from the depths of the underground to ESPN’s Sportscenter. Lil B has done it all. He has performed across the globe and immortalized himself in music history. He is one of the few artists to conquer the music world independently. Lil B is the definition of what internet artistry is about. He is a new age deity. 10 years after his inception as the Based God his influence lives on. His legacy will forever be etched in rap history. Lil B formed this modern era of rap single handedly. It’s a Based World for eternity. Lil B is indeed very rare. Salute to the original Pretty Bitch.