They're not all good. Most of them aren't good. But as The New York Times wrote this week in a review of the still-unsigned rapper, he "would be more easily dismissible except that he alternates between the most base banality and thoughtful lucidity." And, well, if you get a write-up in the Times, you're doing something right.
As Lil B (real name Brendan McCartney) continues to come-of-age online, he's showing hints of crossing over into the mainstream. For the Weekend Questionnaire, we caught up with him while he was shooting a music video at the home of Brett Ratner (director of the "Rush Hour" series) to talk about his "Based" philosophy, his disturbing Alien nightmares, and how he's a 10.
Where are you right now?
I'm in Beverly Hills at a dope director's spot, chilling, shooting a music video.
What is your idea of a perfect weekend?
A lot of time to chill out, sleep, drinking a lot of water, on the Interent countless hours checking blogs, checking numerous sites. And writing music. That's the perfect weekend for me.
If I could grant you one superpower for this weekend, which would you choose?
It would be the invisible man so I can go talk to ladies and see what's up.
If you could take a road trip with any three people, living or dead, who would you take, where would you go, and what car would you drive?
I would take Prince. I would take Michael Jackson. And I would honestly have to take Tupac. We would drive, honestly, we would drive a Subaru Tribeca and we would drive to Mexico. It would be drinks with Michael Jackson; Prince would teach me how to talk to women; and Tupac would teach me how to write good poetry.
You realize you just wasted a bunch of time. What were you doing?
This is for AOL so I can't be that honest. So I would say on the computer, wasting my time on Twitter.
You describe your philosophy as "Based." What does that mean?
Based is being positive, being yourself. It doesn't really matter what people say about you. Based is living life, loving life, and being a free artist, putting your art out there and still having love and being positive.
What's the best thing about the Internet?
The best thing about the Internet is the connections you can make with the people. It's amazing being able to share your music that fast, get it out at such a quick rate, and promote and make your own channels.
On Facebook, where do you draw the line on who gets to be your friend and who gets ignored?
For the longest time, I wasn't really drawing a line. And I maxed out my friends, and I didn't know I could max out. So I started my own Facebook fan page and now it's just really girls and guys I've known for awhile, or just my deep hardcore supporters.
Name the one thing you must do before you die.
Got to Brazil, and really just walk around.
What makes something worth posting on Twitter?
It has to be really honest, true art. You gotta be just something that is "base," that's real, so that other people that respect me will see.
Brag about yourself.
I wrote as book at 19. I have over 1,500 songs right now. I'm 20. I have over 155 music MySpace pages with five to ten songs on each page. I have the world record for support signs from women. I don't know if I was the first unsigned artist to be on MTV, but I just recently did MTV and I'm not signed. I'm working with AOL right now. I'm not signed. I'm a legend. Please make me stop, brother.
If you had to enter a competitive eating competition, what would you want the food to be?
Maybe In-N-Out burgers.
Which fictional character do you most identify with?
The Tasmanian Devil, just because I was crazy.
What's your most embarrassing moment from your youth?
I remember when I was in high school and I almost pooed on myself, and no one knows. I was having stomach troubles, and I almost pooed on my self and I ran to the bathroom and a whole bunch of girls were near. Nobody knew anything.
If you could pick one age to be for the rest of your life what would it be?
Probably 17 or 18.
Do you have a recurring dream?
I used to. I love the "Aliens" movies, and I love Sigourney Weaver, and I used to have this weird dream where the Aliens would come to my mom's house. She'd always be frying chicken. This was when I was way younger. And the alien would come and kill her. It hurts my feelings just to think about. I would have to run around and steal minivans and save all the people because the aliens were killing everyone. It was a horrible dream, definitely disturbing.
What song captures your mood right now?
It might to be Mika, "Relax, Take It Easy." [Sings] Take it easy... take it easy...
What's one thing about you people would be surprised to hear about you?
That I'm just one of the most positive happy people, I feel ever. And I love, love animals a lot. And I love just being laid back.
If you could live in some time other than your own, what would you choose?
Maybe the 80s. Or the 70s. But I like now. Now is the most freedom.
How many true friends do you have?
Not many. Five.
What movie have you seen the most times?
"Alien 3." Or "Terminator 2."
If you could be buried with one memento from your life, what would you choose?
A notepad and a pen.
What would I be surprised to find on your iPod?
Antony and the Johnsons.
Who would you like to play you in the movie of your life?
Nobody. Yeah, it's gonna take a lot of study to reenact, a lot of time to look through my art and craft to catch my feelings. So no one right now.
What would you title your autobiography?
"My Life, My Rules."
If you had to lose one of your five senses, what would you choose?
If you were teaching an English class, what books would be required reading?
Definitely books on science. And "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens."
You find a bag of money on the street. What do you do?
Hmmm... Keep it!
If you could punch one famous person, who would it be?
I really don't have anybody.
What movies have made you cry?
"Hunchback of Notre Dame," because they kept making fun of him, and it was just really mean how they were treating him.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how attractive are you?
What's the first website you visit every morning?
Google. I Google myself and any blog I've been on. Or I ask Google any question that I need because I don't play anymore, I just ask Google. But I believe in God though; don't take it literally.
Do you believe in an afterlife, and if so what would you like it to be?
Yes. I just hope it could be peaceful and hopefully you could come back as anyone you want to, be reincarnated as a whole 'nother person and start over.
You're in the express lane at the grocery store. Do you secretly count the number of items people in front of you have?
Hmmm. No, I just look at if they have a lot or a little.