I think that one of the most overlooked and underappreciated aspects of Lil B’s work is his efforts to push against the general tide of homophobia within hip-hop. It’s no secret that within the rap community the most common accusation to lob at another rapper is an accusation of homosexuality. It’s so completely pervasive that it’s hardly remarked upon (at least, not since Eminem hugged Elton John at the VMAs). This omnipresence of homophobia is what really makes what Lil B is doing admirable.
In a culture where “NO HOMO” is practically a shibboleth, Based God is writing songs about how he looks like Ellen Degeneres (or Paris Hilton, or Miley Cyrus) and using “I’m a pretty bitch” as his own catchphrase. He even ends the track “GQ Magazine” by talking about how terms like “gay” or “metrosexual” shouldn’t be an insult, and how no matter how he dresses, he’s still strong (both physically and on the mic). Through both his lyrical transvestitism and his direct challenges to homophobic, Lil B has clearly established his position against the grain of the rap world, which is definitely not something to take lightly.
And, yes, hopefully one day there will be an actual homosexual rapper to carry this flag, but maybe Lil B is the figure that the hip hop community needs right now. Maybe he will help move the culture enough that someone else can make that step. Regardless, he’s at least pushing in the right direction.
So, I think what I’m trying to say is:
(We’ll leave misogyny in hip-hop for another day.)