Lil B: The Interview
An interview with Lil B is pretty damn rare, both in the conventional sense of the word and the Lil B sense. The guy doesn't seem to find much time to talk to journalists due to his neverending recording schedule, and when interviews do happen he tends to drop a metric ton of knowledge on whoever he happens to be speaking to, leaving you with the sense that you just had a conversation with a spiritual advisor and not the rapper who's playing our Village Voice 4Knots Music Festival After Party at the Music Hall of Williamsburg this Saturday. Last week, Lil B and I linked up for a very Based, legendary, and positive Skype conversation while he was in Japan. We discussed his upcoming rock album, animal rights, and his philosophy on life.
What are you doing in Japan?
Right now I'm just chilling. Getting some rest. After this I'm headed to Germany. There's been great food, I'm seeing the nightlife. Getting a chance to breathe the air. I've been enjoying the city, seeing a whole different way of life. It's just a great time to vacate.
Have you met any fans out there?
Definitely have. I've seen some people at the hotel. One of my biggest supporters is from Japan. Osaka. It was great to see her. It was beautiful.
What does it mean to you to have fans all over the world?
It's great. It's hard work, and it's just amazing. I feel like I can go anywhere around the world, people will know. And it's actually true, you know, there will be a Based Supporter wherever, and that's positive. It's just great to have people around who are on the same vibe. Peace, positivity, loved, Based, having a good time, just being theirselves.
When was the last time you played New York?
Maybe last year. I did a rare performance at a museum. That was cool. Very modern. This is gonna be crazy. Gonna be a whole 'nother vibe with you guys, gonna be historical. What I got in store for my career is crazy. A lot of twists and turns.
Where do you see your career going from here?
A lot of great plans. A lot of surprises, really. A lot of things I can't tell right now. Something I'm really excited for is my rock album. I don't force anything, so that's why it has been taking a while. And plus, the instrumentation will be live. I gotta get a chance to get back in the studio with my dude Drew Campbell. I think the world's gonna be tripping out on that.
One of my favorite songs of yours is "California Boy."
Thank you so much. What's crazy to me is, like, that's one of my favorite songs ever. It's a legendary song, and, like, the whole album is just gonna be legendary. As a real supporter of indie rock and rock in general, I'm definitely trying to pay my homage and just have fun. I know people are gonna look at me crazy or might not take me as seriously as possible with rock music, and it's cool. Just listen to the song and close your eyes. Go to another dimension. Go to another realm.
What albums were you listening to at an early age?
Man. Devo. Brandy. Stuff like that, that really hits close to home. Bone Thugz. Stuff that you hear and just want to cry. That's what made me, that's what molded me, stuff that's really important. Sometimes you're bred to do stuff. I was bred to do this.
What made you decide to do the "I Love You" video where you cried at the end?
That pet store was a special place to me. That was a part of my childhood; that's where I spent a lot of my time. The people there were people who I'd known for years, people who'd known me since I was a little kid walking around the community. They always showed me love, let me hang out at the back counters, hold the reptiles, when they'd do Fourth of July parties they'd let me hang out, hold the reptiles, hold the snakes, give me a place to be safe at. They're just really nice people. And that gave me the love in my heart that I have today for people who might not look exactly like me. But they implanted so much love in my heart. That's why I am today. That's why I don't judge anyone today and why I've got love.
Tell me about the philosophy behind, "Protect Lil B at all costs."
I'm a real positive person. Non-violent. Love everybody. I'm definitely an asset to the world. I see you and me. I, me and you. I see something in your family. I can see love. But does the world see it? I feel like I need to be protected. I have to be here to spread this love. The love that I have is one of a kind. I need to survive so the next generation of people can live with so much love and be that much better. Life is so great. Life is so fun. Life is so great in my head because I see the love. I see what life could be. As long as I can fulfill it and fulfill my days, it will be fruitful and come about.
What's your vision of a perfect human society?
One based solely off of love. That's all you need. Giving the right of way. That will heal a lot. That's something I'm actually talking about in my next book. I've started writing little bitty concepts, but I haven't gotten too deep in it. Love and giving the right of way. That's the tone of my world.
How do you feel about being alive?
Life's hard. Super hard, man. I just dropped a video called "Life's Hard." Opening verse I say, "Respect. I got a lot of problems/ But okay, it takes a lot to solve 'em/ Don't rush/ Don't fuss/ Keep your hands together/ and just trust/ A sucka said I'd never make it major/ Homie, you sound like a hater/ I'm trying to build a couple schools, teach what you love and do what you do." It's a lot of love. That's how I feel. Life is hard. It makes you frustrated. People gotta be able to admit, "I'm not right about this. I don't understand this." It's hard for people to not be right. But people just gotta be able to be themselves and be taught something from the person who they disagree with to the person that's cooking for you to the person that's garbage to the lawyer to the top. Everybody should be able to get something from somebody.