The Thought Process: Lil B “I Got AIDS”

lil b The Thought Process: Lil B I Got AIDS

So, Lil B made a song called “I Got AIDS.” He even made “GOT AIDS” a trending topic on Twitter. I don’t even know how to react. On one hand, there’s the carefree “Bitch Suck Dick” Lil B, and on the other is the super positive “Gon Be Okay” Lil B. He swerves recklessly between personas with an almost innocent, charming naivety, as if it’s the most natural thing in the world. Okay, the world is complex. Having conflicting ideologies in music isn’t anything new, so while Lil B may be an extreme case, we can deal.

When Lil B announced that he was naming his album I’m Gay, I seemed to be one of the few who supported the idea. In hip-hop, rebellion is hard to pull off, since most rappers are rebels in one way or another, and rebelling against being a rebel will get you stuck with that “conscious rapper” label with the quickness. Nobody wants that. Despite Fat Joe’s open-mindedness, homosexuality is still one of the most untouchable taboos in hip-hop. I’m Gay was a direct challenge to that–a move right out of the punk rock handbook, in a weird way.

But Lil B backed down from that direct challenge by annotating the album title, making it I’m Gay (I’m Happy). Now it just seemed childish. So how are we supposed to interpret this “I Got AIDS” song? Here’s my thought process:

1) On first seeing the title, I figured, “Here we go again.” Lil B probably says, “I Have AIDS”  for the attention, but we’ll probably find out that AIDS now means “An Immaculate Diverse Style.” Gotcha! It’s the whole “I’m gay! Gay as in HAPPY!!” thing all over again.

2) After listening to the song, I realized it was much more literal–it was, in fact, a song about having AIDS. Maybe this was Lil B attacking another taboo, challenging the norms and going against the grain.

3) The message under Lil B’s YouTube upload reads:

PLEASE EVERYONE I MADE THIS TO INFORM EVERYONE THAT I LOVE AND RESPECT AND EVERYONE THAT LISTENS TO MY MUSIC AND LOVES BASED TO PLEASE GET TESTED AND PROTECT YOURSELF AND PARTNERS AND BE SAFE,
I WANT YOU TO NO IF YOU HAVE SEX YOU ARE AT RISK
PLEASE USE CONDOMS AND HAVE SAFE SEX,
PLEASE I LOVE YOU,
IF YOU CARE ABOUT ME UPLOAD A VIDEO OF YOU GOING TO GET TESTED AND SEND TO ME I WILL ALSO UPLOAD A VIDEO OF ME GETTING TESTED,
I LOVE YOU AND IF YOU ARE POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE NO YOU HAVE SUPPORT – Lil B

“If you care about me upload a video of you going to get tested”? I don’t see the connection between caring about Lil B and getting tested for AIDS, and assuming that people care more about Lil B than, say, their own health, is a little egotistical. But hey, it will probably work–I mean, this is a guy referred to as Based God. If that’s what it takes to make something positive happen, why not? No harm, no foul, right?

4) But what about intentions? Doesn’t that matter? Lil B’s manager probably thought of this whole AIDS thing. Just another way to get attention and get people talking. And the whole “upload a video and send them to me” just seems like bonus social media attention points. And I guess it’s working, because shit, here I am, overthinking a Lil B song that sounds like it took him 20 minutes to execute from concept to final product.

5) Then again, that’s Lil B’s style–the “based” rapper who says whatever comes to his mind, without giving it much thought. If AIDS awareness is on his mind and it gets people talking and persuades them to take action, it’s a good thing, right? Plus, what do you expect from a guy that is more meme than he is rapper?

6) No, no, if he really cared about AIDS awareness, he could try to actually do something about it–he could connect with a charity or at least put a little effort into the song. I mean, just listen to these lyrics: “Now I’m fucked, ’cause I had unprotected sex / Take it from me, go get tested, that’s your best bet / On top of that, I got herpes.”

Really?

7) An incredibly stupid song, a seemingly good cause, a possible scheme for attention, a lack of real effort, and an overall weird way to approach it that only makes a little bit of sense because it’s from Lil B. But the outcome will probably be positive. I don’t know what to think about “I GOT AIDS.” Thanks Based God, I guess.

What’s your take?

  • Brian

    Thank you Based God. Had I not heard this song yesterday I would be dying of AIDS right now.

  • Word

    Like Fantano said, dissecting the Based God ruins the experience. Just ride the flow and give thanks.

  • weepwap
  • Confusion

    Not a fan of blindly following movements based on memes. If there is value to something, I think it’s worth thinking about, at least a little, and trying to understand. And Fantano said that WHILE dissecting the Based God. That’s like me telling you, “Don’t write comments on blogs, it ruins the blog post.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/ayouandmething Noah Vinson

    lmfao @ “An Immaculate Diverse Style.”

  • CaptainObvious

    After going through all (maybe half actually. I don’t have a lifetime to go through all of it) of this guys ‘material’ and reading countless opinions on him and his music I’ve deduced this:

    1. He is a supremely under-educated individual
    2. The kind of individual that shouldn’t be given a platform to be heard
    3. Him being as popular as he is is an indictment on society
    4. He’s talentless
    5. He’s exploiting the splendor of our connected world (social media) to propagate absolute trash

    To those who say that he is talented or can at least spit: Rap is a tricky genre. I feel as though anyone with a functional brain and decent grasp of vocabulary (I’m a huge rap fan by the way) can be good at putting together lines. At least good enough to not be labeled as “bad”. Take, for instance, someone who writes short stories every day for a year or two. Eventually, they are going to write some decent stories. The same can be said for rap. Unlike other genres, the structure of a rap verse doesn’t change much except for it’s length. With such a constant structure, almost like a video game, practice will eventually make you better. I’m not trying to compare rap to video games or writing short stories. I’m merely trying to provide an outside examples.

    I’ll admire the guy for his work ethic. It’s too bad that other more talented artists can’t get the breaks he did.

  • CK

    Not dissecting a piece of art is a good way to not understand it. If you don’t want to understand the importance of songs or movies or TV shows, then just watch them passively and never think about them again. This seems like another Lil B attempt to get publicity but, hey, at least he didn’t make a song called “I Beat Women Up” and then encourage straight men to beat their significant others. I have to say, this Lil B song doesn’t really interest me. I agree with CaptainObvious too, the majority of people can physically rap. Rapping isn’t that difficult. It’s the rapping WELL part that is difficult. Lil B’s done some cool stuff in the past, but I don’t think he’s a rapper that is worth my time listening to every song he puts out. Just cause he gets people who don’t think too much to randomly comment on sites stuff like “LIL B BASED GOD FO LIFE!!!!11!!” doesn’t mean he’s a good rapper. Oh, and before anyone says it, Lil B can fuck my sex doll all he wants, it’s pretty icky anyways.

  • Confusion

    To be fair, comparing Lil B to other rappers is like comparing Hipster Runoff to Ernest Hemingway.

  • mac

    i kinda feel bad ppl cant just take it as it is, lil b discussing aids ,w/o the whole marketing ploy idea.I mean c’mon…its lil b not mr.burns

  • Confusion

    Lil B’s manager is smart. If you look at Lil B before he linked up with Sebastian and then look at him now, there’s been an obvious change in his whole approach. The whole meme that Lil B has become, I attribute a lot of that to his manager. http://blogs.laweekly.com/westcoastsound/2011/09/lil_bs_manager_sebastian_demia.php

    So I think that yes, this is basically a way to get attention, and that it’s pretty well thought out, right down to the “upload a video and send it to me” thing.