Rapper Lil B in sunglasses wearing a silver grill

Lil B "The Based God" / Brandon McCartney

Part of a series on Rap / Hip-Hop. [View Related Entries]
[View Related Sub-entries]

PROTIP: Press 'i' to view the image gallery, 'v' to view the video gallery, or 'r' to view a random entry.


Brandon McCartney, best known by his stage name Lil B or the Based God, is an American hip hop artist from Berkeley, California, known for his off-tempo rhymes, extensive social media usage and an exceptionally devoted fanbase. He has been also described as a prolific songwriter, having released thousands of songs since 2004, including more than 600 that were released on the social networking site MySpace by 2010.

Online History

Lil B began rapping with the San Francisco-based hip hop group The Pack[1] in 2004, releasing two mixtapes that were locally successful before seeing mainstream attention with the 2006 single “Vans,” (shown below, left) which Rolling Stone ranked at #5 in its Top Tracks of 2006.[2] By April 2009, he had uploaded dozens of solo songs across at least 114 different MySpace pages[3] he called his “novelty pages,” which has been also referenced in his song “My Life’s a Dream” (shown below, right). Each account was numbered chronologically and documented the way his music changed, abandoning rhyme schemes around page 60 and rambling about eating with monkeys in space in the 100s. Many of these pages have since been deleted, but archives remain on Digital Dripped[4] and Hulkshare.[5] As of February 2013, his main MySpace page[6] is still live, where his tracks have gained more than 1.7 million plays.

In March 2008, Lil B joined YouTube[8] and uploaded his first video on April 8th, showing an instructional session of him learning how to shoot a gun (re-upload shown below, left). The channel has since expanded to include music videos and has more than 81.8 million views as of February 2013. Also in 2008, his solo work was featured on Real Talk NY[9], resulting in a handful of positive comments about the rapper. The next year, Lil B launched a homepage, BasedWorld[10], and a Twitter account[7], which has more than 620,000 followers as of February 2013. He also began selling his music on iTunes[11], opening up his music to a wider audience. In 2009, Lil B was featured on NPR[12], The Seattle Times[13] and the Fader[14], who called him "the internet's savviest" rapper.

Also in 2009, the term "based"[15] began taking off, in reference to Lil B's nickname "Based God." Lil B has defined the term as being true to onesself and not caring about other's opinions.[17] That year, a blog post explaining the various levels of based a person could attain began circulating on MySpace.[16]

Level 1 Turf Based-When you are turf BASED that means you are just really starting to find out about the BASED lifestyle, you are still doing what you want to do, maby making descions that arnt always the best and sometimes negitive, but you are working to become BASED Based You support the lifestyle plus your unique,Your Searching To learn More about the BASED lifestyle And BASED Music, You have exceeded being Turf BASED. Based Legend-when you have exceeded the based lifestyle and you have a few supporters of your own who you have converted to the BASED living and resepct the BASED energy you have brought to the table and positive light you put forth. Basedlord-When you have become a BASEDLORD you have traveled many places and have spread the based message about positive plus Living Free In Peace, You to have touched more people with your BASED knowledge then Even Water. You also surround yourself with others that are also BASEDLORDS.

On May 4th, 2010, Lil B created a Facebook page[18] to directly interact with his fans, which has gained more than 293,000 likes as of February 2013. In July, a fan-run single topic Tumblr called Thank You Based God[19] launched, featuring images, videos and quotes from the rapper. A few months later, the first definition for Lil B was added to Urban Dictionary on November 2010.[20] Throughout 2010, his music was reviewed and discussed by the New York Times[21], MTV[22], SF Weekly[23], Pitchfork[24], Fact Magazine[25] and Mostly Junk Food.[26] In December, the rapper joined Tumblr[45] and observing this, Complex[27]predicted that Lil B would blow up the following year, thanks not only to his free music but because of his deft navigation of social media.



In April 2011, Lil B announced onstage at the Coachella music festival that his next mixtape would be titled "I'm Gay."[28] Following the announcement, however, Lil B began receiving hateful messages and death threats[29] from the community, despite him claiming his heterosexuality. Additionally, many members of the LGBTQ community, as well as rapper DMX[31], saw the announcement as a publicity stunt intending to sell his project.[30] The album was released June 29th, 2011, with the amended title "I'm Gay (I'm Happy)," featuring songs discussing race relations, poverty and the justice system, never mentioning homosexuality. News of the album was shared on The Fader[32], Billboard[33] and MTV[34] before Lil B chose to make the album available for free download on July 1st.[35]



Lil B's fans in general are known as the Bitch Mob, with an elite faction known as the Task Force, who swear to protect Lil B at all costs. He has written songs dedicated to both groups, in support for his fans. The Task Force song (shown below, left) specifies that these fans should not only be based themselves, but they have to be one of the top commenters on Lil B's social media sites. In early February 2013, members of the Task Force caused Brooklyn-based rapper Joey Bada$$ to delete his Twitter account after he got into a fight with Lil B, which lasted over the course of several diss tracks and social media mentions. After Task Force members took to harassing Joey Bada$$ over Twitter, he called them "gay ass computer nerds" and deactivated his account.[46]

"Thank You Based God"

The phrase "Thank You Based God" was popularized in late 2010, reflecting the cultish nature of Lil B's fans, who attribute any positive experience to the rapper. One of the earliest known uses of the phrase appeared in a blog post on Destructural[36] explaining the allure of Lil B on July 28th, 2010. By November, a Facebook fan page[37] launched, accruing more than 7500 likes by February 2013. In May 2011, TYBG was first defined on Urban Dictionary[38], noting that the phrase can replace any congratulatory remark. After Osama Bin Laden's death in May 2011, Fox News captured someone yelling "Thank You Based God" at a college celebration. Around the same time, a Yahoo! Answers question[39] asking about the importance of the phrase was posted. The hashtag version, #thankyoubasedgod, is active on Instagram[40], Tumblr[41][42] and Twitter[43], where it has been used more than 25,000 times.[44]


Personal Life

Lil B was born on August 17th, 1989 and grew up in Berkeley, California. He began rapping at the age of 16 and has since released seven full-length solo albums, two albums with The Pack and 43 solo mixtapes, one of which contained over 800 freestyles, as of February 2013.

Search Interest

External References

[1] Wikipedia – The Pack (group)

[2] Vinyl Surrender (via Wayback Machine) – The Rolling Stone Magazine Top 100 Tracks / Songs of 2006

[3] Cocaine Blunts (via Wayback Machine) – 100 MySpaces : That's a Dream

[4] Digital Dripped – Lil B Music

[5] Hulkshare – lilbthebasedgod

[6] MySpace – BasedGod Official (page unavailable)


[8] YouTube – BasedGod TV

[9] Real Talk NY (via Wayback Machine) – Poppin Or Floppin: Lil B – A Zilli

[10] BasedWorld – Home

[11] iTunes (via Wayback Machine) – Lil B.

[12] NPR – all songs considered: Built to Spill, The Mountain Goats, Lil B, More

[13] The Seattle Times – Cough syrup, homophobia, the Internet, and Lil B

[14] The Fader – Interview With Lil B

[15] Urban Dictionary – Definition for "based"

[16] MySpace (via Wayback Machine) – The Levels Of Based Written By Lil B Himself Important Please Read

[17] This Is 50 (via Wayback Machine) – Lil B Speaks About Getting Punched During Interview, If He's A Homosexual, Drug Use And Jealousy Of Drake

[18] Facebook – Lil B "THE BASEDGOD"

[19] Tumblr – Thank You Based God

[20] Urban Dictionary – Definition for Lil B

[21] New York Times – A Pied Piper of Rap, Followed on Twitter

[22] MTV – Lil B Is Taking The Net By Storm, One Freestyle At A Time

[23] SF Weekly – Lil B is a crass but honest rapper

[24] Pitchfork – Lil B Drops DOOM-Inspired Mixtape


[26] Mostly Junk Food – The Marketing Genius of Lil B The Based God

[27] Complex – 10 Reasons Lil B Will Blow Up In 2011

[28] Wikipedia – I'm Gay (I'm Happy)

[29] Huffington Post – Lil B's 'I'm Gay' Album Title Results In Death Threats

[30] CNN – Rapper Lil B on 'I'm Gay': 'We're all one people'

[31] East Bay Express – Watch: DMX on Lil B's "I'm Gay"

[32] The Fader – Lil B’s I’m Gay Is A Real Album, Out Now

[33] Billboard – Lil B Releases 'I'm Gay' Album Without Warning, Lupe Fiasco Says Title Is 'Genius'

[34] MTV – Lil B Drops I'm Gay

[35] Hip Hop DX – Lil B Gives Away "I'm Gay (I'm Happy)" For Free

[36] destructural – “Thank You Based God”: On The Importance of Lil B

[37] Facebook – Thank You Based God

[38] Urban Dictionary – Definition for TYBG

[39] Yahoo! Answers – RHH: Why do people keep saying "Thank You Based god" so much?

[40] Statigram – Posts Tagged #thankyoubasedgod

[41] Tumblr – Posts Tagged #thankyoubasedgod

[42] Tumblr – Posts Tagged "thank you based god"

[43] Twitter – Tweet Results for #thankyoubasedgod

[44] Topsy – Tweet Statistics for #thankyoubasedgod

[45] Tumblr – Dior Paint

[46] Hip Hop Wired – Lil B's Task Force Pushes Joey Bada$$ To Deactivate Twitter Account

Recent Videos 8 total

Recent Images 23 total

Top Comments

Ernest Is dead
Ernest Is dead

Once upon a time i was playing bf3 on tehran (or however the fuck its spelled) highway. I tried to fit a tank through these stairs by the gas station, but alas my tank somehow did a back flip and actually landed upside down. My friends laughed at me but underneath my poor tank, the other teams top player…i promptly shouted thank you based god!


+ Add a Comment

Comments (10)

Display Comments

Add a Comment

Hi! You must login or signup first!