Lil B sat down with CNN to talk about the inspiration for the title of his album, the death threats that have followed and why he’s the rap version of Lady Gaga. Hit the jump to read the rest of the story
Brandon “Lil B” McCartney is no stranger to making bold statements.
In front of thousands of concert-goers at April’s Coachella Music and Arts Festival, the 21-year-old rap artist announced that he would name one of his future albums “I’m Gay.”
So, what’s the big deal? Well, for starters, Lil B is not gay. And although it’d be easy to write him off as another performer trying to stir up controversy and gain popularity, he’s already got the latter covered.
Like Soulja Boy and Justin Bieber, Lil B has almost single-handedly used the internet to put himself into the spotlight.
In a few short years as a solo artist without a major-label deal, Lil B has recorded almost 4,000 songs, gained over 200,000 Twitter followers and signed a touring deal with LiveNation. His YouTube videos have been viewed 28.7 million times and counting.
Lil B’s supporters and fans laud him for his gender-defying self-proclamations that he’s “pretty b—-” and a “princess” while producing songs inspired by untraditional hip-hop topics like Miley Cyrus and Ellen DeGeneres. At the same time, a growing skepticism follows the artist, who some critics argue is full of himself and is more concerned with selling an image through hyperbolic claims than any music of substance.
Lil B says he saw the Coachella moment as a chance to bridge the differences between communities and spread his message of “loving.”
CNN: What were you thinking when you named the album “I’m Gay?”
Lil B: It was something that was going through my mind for a while. I feel like I’m man of the people: meeting people, respecting people and accepting people. I hope that I can turn some of my fans that might be homophobic or supporters that might be homophobic and say, “You know what, we’re all one people. This is love.” It’s just respect, and I did that to bring people together and bring more love and to spark the minds of people and not let words and judgments and stereotypes stop you from loving.
CNN: I read that you’ve gotten some death threats.
Lil B: Mainly, a lot of them are on Twitter, saying that they’re going to kill me for being gay, and they’re going to kill me for being homosexual even though I’m not homosexual. I don’t like men. They’re saying they’re going to bash my head in. They’re calling me f—–. That’s all right, because I did this with the pure intention in my heart to help people, and I didn’t do this for promotional reasons. I did because there needs to be someone brave enough to do it, brave enough to speak up and have the right reasonings of doing it.
CNN: What’s your response to people who say this is all a gimmick?
Lil B: I’m not here just doing stuff just trying to do it or outsmart somebody and try to do something witty. I call myself the human sacrifice, because I look at it like, no one else is going to do it and push that line for the people, and I’m going to do it, and they’re going to look at me and say, “Well, you know what? If that guy can do it, I can be myself too, and if that rapper can be himself and be free and be happy and still hold masculinity and love people and love flowers and just be happy being alive, well then, I can do that too…..”
© 2011, Brandon Wyche. All rights reserved.