Besides "is it supposed to rain?" the biggest question in Atlanta this past Friday was "are you going to the Lil B show." When some people asked it, they had intentions on going and just wanted to know if they'd run into you there. When others asked it, it came off as if they were asking you "are you sure you want to eat that?"
I didn't go get "based" last Friday. Not a fan or follower of dude, so I wasn't really pressed on going. Wasn't going to be covering it for any outlet in particular, so wouldn't be "working." I "get" what's going on and what he's doing, so I really didn't need any baffling questions to get answered. Plus I had some personal obligations that night and it started raining...so yeah, didn't bend over backwards for it.
But a couple of folks did, so figured I let ya'll see what they had to say. The video above was shot by the homie Jeron Ward. The accompanying reviews were done by Nadine Graham and Shannon Barbour. Read after the jump...
On Friday, August 20th, Lil’ B of the California rap group, The Pack (“Vans”), performed a live concert at the Loft in Atlanta. For weeks, the show, which was opened by anti-hipster, Gripplyaz and FKi Music, had been tirelessly promoted and the Internet was flooded with the news of the upcoming arrival of the “Based God.”
For Lil’ B to be such an online phenom (he’s already garnered attention from Rolling Stone, The New York Times and The Village Voice) you would think that his more of his fans would’ve braved the rainy elements to attend the show; however, the crowd was underwhelming. Still, the skinny jean wearing, colored Vans sporting, “cookin” dancing teenagers made up in enthusiasm what they lacked in numbers. And Lil’ B didn’t disappoint, immediately adding to the weirded-out vibe of the evening with his zany antics.
Case in point: when the 21 year-old sauntered onto the small stage donning a cream t-shirt and dark glasses, he had a silk scarf veiling his face and cryptically announced, “Ya’ll know I don’t show my face.” Then he laughed, and the crowd laughed too.
Thankfully, after a few songs, he withdrew his announcement and went ahead and discarded the scarf. As he rolled through his “catalogue” (which basically consists of viral videos and song leaks) the crowd’s excitement reached a fever pitch.
He breathlessly sped through the almost comical “Pretty B-tch,” “Suck My D-ck Ho” and “Violate That B-tch,” showcasing that there are apparently an infinite number of ways to rap about receiving oral sex.
Regardless, he was able to strike an honest rapport with his fans, thanking one for the snapback hat he was rocking, before fittingly asking, “Who all in here be Tweeting me?”
He also took the time between songs to vehemently deny the online whispers of him being “a Down South music biter,” stating that he was merely influenced by the South. The audience gave hoots of approval. He went on to deny the gay rumors as well—which were initially sparked by his constant references to himself as a being a “princess” and a “pretty b-tch.”
Then he performed his most outrageous track, “Look Like Jesus.” Of course, this song came after he’d already again referred to himself as a “pretty bitch” and strangely declared that he looked like 80’s TV icon, Matlock. The crowd, however, ate it up, singing along with unbridled enthusiasm as he bounced across the stage like he was on a sugar rush. Panting every few bars, he wore himself out by the song’s end.
No doubt, the internet-bred celebrity of Lil’ B, is extreme, even a sign of the times—an era when kids looking to declare themselves as “different” latch onto anything that seems weird, even if it makes no sense, and journalist clamor to be the first to find the next Internet phenom, no matter how bizarre the act is.
But, even with that said, Lil’ B has definitely created a movement. He has stage presence and is obviously smarter than his outlandish lyrics suggests. Like it or not, Lil’ B has made the machine work for him, and you can’t help but respect that.
Show Grade: C
From Creative Loafing:
The young crowd waiting to get into the Loft for Friday’s Lil’ B Live in Atlanta presented by Fadia Kader/Broke & Boujee show were a part of Atlanta’s rising hood-hipster hybrid. The Internet-fed fans of Berkeley, Calif.-based Pack member, Lil’ B, exemplified the power of social media to advance the careers of rising rappers and wannabes — who become virtually indistinguishable with each new YouTube video.
Like the explicit content advisory stickers of the past, an endorsement from the infamous Soulja Boy should also serve as a warning. It’s like saying, “this motherfucker is a gimmick.” Lil’ B’s loyal followers, however, remained undeterred. It may be the sense of belonging he gives them through shout outs via Twitter and Facebook. Or maybe it’s his uncanny ability to sound sincere with every profane utterance, such as “Y’all inspire the fuck outta me.”
Regardless, some couldn’t wait to see him.
As a result, the opening acts got lukewarm love. Especially Grip Plyaz, who was practically booed, as if his biggest song, “Fuck Dat Hipster Shit,” was a personal attack against those in attendance. Retro Sushi got some bounce from a version of “Black Boy, White Boy Swag,” built on the sound of Soulja's “Pretty Boy Swag.” Honestly, FKI was the highlight of the evening with their rendition of Gucci Mane’s “I Think I Love Her,” where their guitarist, Ricky, strummed on the strings behind his head.
Fortunately, the show moved quickly, so by the time Lil’ B came onstage, his face covered with a T-shirt, the excitement level was still high. He finally revealed himself and launched into “Pretty Bitch” and several other mindless tirades that make up the most recent of his approximately 1,500 songs on the web.
By the time he got to his “hit,” “Look like Jesus,” the scene was sick, but not in the good way. The “BasedGod” is baseless. Some left the show early, but a scant few stayed, hanging on his every word.
At that point, I wondered if the force of social media was really enough to propel his career into legitimacy. Who knows. I, like many others at the show, had enough.
A friend and I joked that if we took a shot every time he Lil B said the word "dick," we would have had alcohol poisoning.
Here are some other choice quotes:
"I was in church, but I don't give a fuck about shit."
"I look fruity, but I like girls."
"Suck my dick ho" — this was just shouted randomly throughout the performance, not necessarily as part of a song.
"If you can't fit Magnums, that's o.k., just wear Trojans."
So, there you have it. Did any of you go to the show? Feel free to leave your thoughts. I've heard everything from "he has great personality" to "he is the Black Male version of Lady Gaga."