Most Influential Artists of 2017: Lil B


It seems redundant at this point to say Lil B is not a joke. Lil B is not a joke. In 2017 he re-up’d on his already staggering influence and dropped one of the most entertaining, cohesive projects to date with the long awaited Black Ken. For some though, some Hip Hop fans can only understand Lil B’s humor on a surface level, and still dare refute what he’s done for the progression of Hip Hop.


Musically there’s little argument against Lil B’s impact. He revolutionized how rappers used ad-libs, shooting hundreds of low budget videos,opened minds with his unending positivity, and took command of his entire sound and artistry by making the large majority of his beats over his career. That said positivism greatly influenced the younger generation to be more positive. There is a fearlessness in his rapping over any type of beats he feels like, veering from hardcore rap to bouncy Bay Area anthems to New Age think pieces and even dabbling in some Rock here and there. Lest we forget about Lil B’s social media presence, the platform in which his auteur has developed and pushed his message. Don’t forget about his 150 plus MySpace pages he created so he could drop every song he had available. He is dedicated to spreading his message. On his Twitter he follows nearly all who follow him first (myself included), tweeting and retweeting his mentions fervently, good or bad, rather he has said something offensive and ignorant or something kind and supportive. He engages with his audience and the general public, on one hand setting himself up for attacks but on the other putting himself in the position to learn and apologize and be as empathetic as possible. Check the threads on his transphobic tweets and you’ll understand how he engages. He’s humble and people respect him and love him for this. His following is solid, he doesn’t even need to drop mixtapes as he did earlier in his solo career.


Black Ken is one of the most impressive projects he’s done. After taking some time from dropping music consistently and after the resurgence of the project that’s been bubbling since 2010, he finally dropped it. More surprisingly, he had no visual elements. It’s been over a year since he dropped a music video in fact. This strategic move was used to guide your concentration towards the music and away from The Based God himself, stripping you of the opportunity to critique his on-camera presence or his video stylings. You had to take what you were given, you had to sit through 27 all Based God-produced tracks. Over the scope of Black Ken he expressesall the styles he’s been familiar with and that I’ve mentioned in a cohesive unit. This surprised the world at large, shutting down critics and making his fans happier than ever.


Think what you want of Lil B, but I dare you to find a rapper going in 2018 that who isn’t directly influenced by him in some way. Be it artistry, beatmaking, meme-making, the over the top ad-libs he pioneered, or et cetera. Even Know hater Joe Budden had to give Lil B props on his rapping. That says enough. Thank You Based God.







Credit: Marcus Scott Williams

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