Brandon McCartney, aka Lil B, created quite the frenzy Wednesday night as he made his way to HUB 302 in hopes of inspiring a room full of ecstatic college students and local fans. As expected, the turnout to ASPB’s “Thank You Based God” lecture was massive and the excitement was almost tangible; you couldn’t go far without hearing a “Thank you, Based God!” from an eager fan. As we waited for Lil B to take the stage, we were greeted with a broadcast of his tweets, music and other projects he’s developed. Paying homage to the cooking dance that Lil B popularized, spatulas and other various forms of cookware were excitedly waved in the air. When Lil B arrived, the indistinct chatter roared into deafening yells and in-seat celebration, and the first thing he said ultimately ended up framing the entire event: “I love you.”
Lil B reassured the crowd that the entire night would be about love and respect. It was an interactive, stream-of-consciousness lecture varying from random anecdotes about Lil B’s cat and animal rights to his right-of-way life philosophy. “I live my life based on that type of, like, … when I’m driving, ‘Hey, you can go before me,’” he explained, stating that it is important to promote this message and lifestyle to the “me” generation, which he believes has come to define contemporary youth. To love others and to love oneself was key in his discourse. “Know that someone who doesn’t know you, loves you, to the maximum. We need each other as humans … Everyone is important,” Lil B said, and with that someone from the audience ran toward the stage to hug the rapper. Security obstructed several other fans trying to have a more personal experience with the Based God, and immediately he yelled, “You can’t just not hug somebody.” The crowd’s laughter and applause were clearly in agreement with his Based teachings.
Lil B’s take on love was not restricted to human relationships — he shares a separate passion for the animal kingdom. Conscientious about the comfort of his cat, Keke, he confided in the audience about his daily struggle to make sure that Keke is comfortable in her environment. To further this topic, Lil B expressed his deep concern of animals being treated as equals. To attest to his consideration for animals, he plans to start an organization that aims to help individuals who may not be financially able to pay for the medical expenses of their pets.
The thought of losing an animal you’ve built a relationship with due to a lack of funds is tragic, and it was obvious that people in the audience agreed with him; Lil B allowed a young man to share the deep connection he had with his longtime pet, and it was clear he would never like to see the creature suffer from any type of illness. This was met with sympathetic nods from the audience, proving that Lil B’s encouragement to love all things struck a chord with everyone in the room. His consideration for those suffering over the well-being of their pets was just one more testament to his true passion for taking care of others and spreading love to everyone he meets.
Lil B’s humility was refreshing, and ironic to anyone familiar with his music. “Live life giving people the right of way,” he explained. As Lil B continued to preach tolerance and his hope of bringing all people together, he was met with plenty of hoots and hollers because he wanted everyone to leave the event knowing that everyone and everything is of importance. Lil B’s lecture was clearly a success; he brought out people of all backgrounds to HUB 302 and showed everyone that despite outward appearances, beliefs or circumstances, we should all make it a priority to spread love to one another. During a time in which violence seems to be running rampant and many disregard the feelings of those around them, this was a very important message to be relayed to our generation. Because of Lil B’s popularity and appeal, a wide variety of students were able to relate to him and this made the message even more powerful.
Despite what one may gather of Lil B’s values from his music, he preached a message last Wednesday night that more people should follow, and it was refreshing to see students embracing his teachings of love and respect. Thank you, Based God.