Oyster Interview: Lil B
We interview the man in the age of information for Oyster #101.
For issue #101: Let's Get Digital (on sale now!) we interviewed one of our favourite rappers and online personas, Lil B. We decided to post the interview online today because he has just released his latest mixtape, 'Illusions of Grandeur 2'. Stream it below and read our interview from the magazine afterwards:
Who is Lil B? In his own words — via his Twitter feed — Lil B is a rapper ("Nobody has done what I've done in history: being the first artist ever to release an ambient album with no cursing, Rain in England"), self-help author ("Buy Lil B first book he authored!! Very positive"), social media guru ("Did I tell you I'm glad you're alive and reading this? I love you"), and one-time NYU lecturer ("How lucky we are to have this structure. Who built this? Tell me who built this building, please.") He is also a 23-year-old philosopher redefining the term 'childlike wonder' one tweet at a time.
Ariane Halls: What does a typical day for you involve? How much time do you actually spend online?
Lil B: Not as much as people think. A lot of people are imagining me to always be on TV and radio and stuff, but I'm just keeping up with the audience demand — the younger people, the middle-aged people… Wow, that's scary!
Do you get exhausted? Do you ever feel drained by it all?
You know, I'm always consistently exhausted from the positivity and the love that I'm spreading and just caring. Caring about people.
Would you also say that caring about people can give you more energy?
It definitely does. It's a great motivation; a super motivation. It's also very — you have to watch yourself, because when you care it's very easy to get tired and slip up.
In your song 'The Age Of Information' you said that the internet was destroying the human race. Is that something you think could actually happen?
You know, it's double sided. It depends on how you are as a person, and also your personality. The internet can keep you inside or the internet can motivate you to go out, you know? Things are definitely very different. The internet is a big booster of love and peace and bringing people together, and it can also keep you away from other people, and keep you judgmental and not really knowing who is who.
What's the best thing that's happened to you as a result of the internet?
Just everything — everything that's going on with me. Having total control; bringing my talents to the internet. I could've gone anywhere — right now I still have a high demand from TV, a high demand from radio, to bring my talents there. Right now I'm just doing what I want to do. It's great. The people are what makes you, and the people have made me. There's a lot of people on the internet, a lot of people on the computer; people just are really pushing for me. It's a good — a real good — feeling.
Your manager was telling me about some of your superfans — there's one guy that has all of your tattoos, and at your shows people throw their credit cards and car keys on the stage. How does that make you feel?
It's an honour for people to respect me that much, to always give me gifts and do other things that are showing respect in the best way that they can. It's definitely love, because you don't see any other artist that people are really going out on this limb for. It's a positive thing.
Why do you think you've connected with them in that way? What's different about you?
I just think it's about me being honest, and how I chose to do what I do, and bringing people together. I think people know I really care.
Photography: Guy Lowndes