I was fortunate enough to see Lil’B the Based God’s #rare speaking engagement tonight at the NYU Kimmel Center. The experience was an unique one : part interactive fan meet & greet, part motivational speech and part based TED talk on humanity. There was minimal cooking (the million dollar dance) but Lil’B touched on a breadth of topics in a manner that was humble, supportive and unscripted.
Lil’B reinforced his core ‘based’ message which is positivity and really being comfortable in your own skin. It’s a common theme in his music , videos and online persona so it was no surprise that it took center stage at NYU. Lil’B shared his own experience becoming the person and artist he is today. He stressed that it was important to live not for perceived success but for your personal sense of fulfillment. As he mimicked falling asleep on the table on stage he explained that he slept wonderfully every night because he was true to himself and his values namely “Honesty, integrity, friendship, passion…”
Much of the lecture was spent on sharing his idea that the barriers between human beings need to be broken down so that judgement, stereotypes and outdated definitions did not cloud interactions between individuals. Additionally he touched on the idea of forgiveness and it’s importance to society. We live in a “Hit me, I’ll hit you back” world and he stressed the importance of forgiveness replacing this mentality.
He shared one of his secrets to life.
“Every single person you meet, look at them like a golden million dollar baby.”
Issues and Life Lessons
Lil’B spoke on some issues near and dear to his heart.
“It’s funny, you feel me, this is how I really feel. I’m glad I can come tell you guys and you can see my personality and see this is really Lil B. This is what he wants. Regardless of what anybody says, I want all of you to live as long as possible, have a great, healthy life, fun, full of adventure, full of mystery, full of trials and tribulations. Just going through and seeing things, being able to forgive.
Test your friends. See who really loves you. Remember that. See who will be with you forever. Just see. Take some time out for yourself.”
Read more: http://www.thefader.com/2012/04/12/based-scripture-the-full-transcript-of-lil-bs-lecture-at-nyu/#ixzz1rpyQGcEJ
Some of the things I think about on the daily: I just want my people to be safe. [Audience member: "What you think about, bro?!"] Safety, man. And real talk, everybody make sure you wear seat belts, for real.
“Let’s stop fracking. Who knows about hydraulic fracking?”
“I’m like whodie, get that oil out the ocean!”
“I’m the first rapper to adopt a tabby cat. I adopted it straight from the ASPCA, you feel me?”
After a member of the crowd suggested Lil’B run for president, he touched briefly on politics.
“I may run for president because when you run for president everything comes out and I have nothing to hide or be ashamed of.”
“I’m out here trying to get my Mitt Romney on.”
Lil’B announced that he would be working with Lil’Wayne again in the very near future as well as a yet unnamed artist who in his words was one of the biggest artists in the world. He also announced that he was branching out of the hip-hop genre.
“You guys are the first to hear it: I’m actually releasing my rock album. This is gonna be some garage punk. This one’s for the rebels. Look out for the Lil’B rock record, California Boy.”
He also stated that he is 100% still with The Pack and that new Pack music is in the works.
Sidebar: Lil’B also paints and he prefers watercolor (though his clothing is strictly in dior paint) . Can we expected to see based art soon?
There was a feeling in the room that the lecture hall had been transformed into a real life @lilbthebasedgod twitter feed. Retweets and mentions had been replaced by audible woops, swags, thank you Based Gods and honest dialogue between between fans and Lil’B.Being someone who has supported Lil’B as an artist for quite some time I came away from the lecture feeling I had a better understanding of the ‘Basedworld’ that Brandon seeks to create.
Everything about Lil’B does pretty much defies classification or convention and this was no exception. It was really refreshing to see a musician enthusiastically embrace their role as a social activist. So often that attempt can seem forced or deliberate but Lil’B has captured the hearts and minds of a young generation who grew up with a steady dose of social media, free music and political/religious apathy. Through his celebrity, intelligence , charisma, and fearlessness Lil’B has been able to entertain without compromises and teach without pretension.
From my observance of the NYU students that filled the auditorium, those who attended TRULY did enjoy the hour-plus long lecture. Lil’B stuck around afterwards to sign autographs for and take photos with as many fans as the time-slot admitted. Indeed tonight’s lecture at NYU convinced me that Lil’B has transcended his self-appointed title of historic online figure and become a historic real-life figure. I can only sum up the experience with one word.
Thanks to Peter from NYU for helping me with a ticket.
And Thank you Based God.
Photos and words by Rocky Li