BY: NIK BATES
RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- Students in pink bandanas filled an auditorium at UC Riverside last Wednesday to listen in on Lil B's second university lecture, Thank You Based God. These "Task Force" members--Lil b's fans--were lucky, beating out dozens of others who were turned away to hear "The Based God" talk about human interaction and more. The character of “The Based God” is grounded in freethinking. Regardless of how people view Lil B's music, his words echo individualism and being based--ideologically and physically. Being the proprietor of this mindset is what makes him “The Based God.”
“Eventually, we are going to be in more power, and we have to make sure our hearts are in the right place,” Lil B declared.
The Bay Area rapper is not restrained by artistic authenticity, a debate concerned with “real” for “fake” hip-hop. Rather, his stream of consciousness raps and “based freestyles” look to smash the principles of music open, leaving them exposed for everyone to observe and critique.
In trying to understand himself, Lil B explained that critical thinking is what leads him to feel compelled to speak about positivity and understanding.
“Everybody has different sources of knowledge and different ways they learn things,” he said, encouraging students and non-students alike to make sure that their future interactions were meaningful.
His overall message also touched on themes of positivity, acceptance, independence and psychological lines of thinking.
"I feel like I’m a meta-metathinker. I’m thinking. I’m thinking,” he said.
Metathinking—or metacognition—is an attempt to master one’s self-awareness by thinking about thinking. This is how you determine why you believe in whatever you believe. According to Alex Lickerman, M.D., in Psychology Today, it is also an attempt at understanding your nature of consciousness. What does that mean? At a deeper level, your own nature of consciousness is the “subjective experience you have of being you,” according to Marcelo Gleiser in his NPR blog The Nature of Consciousness. It is not being aware of what you do, but instead how your past experiences shape your understanding of the future events in your life.
“All I can tell you is what has worked for me, out of me caring and trying to learn,” he said.
Lil B discussed what he felt divide people and create conflicts--snap judgements, which could turn into prejudices that we act upon. To further explain this, he acted out an example of what he was trying to portray by hilariously pantomiming an imagined moment--a stranger decided to slap him in the face. Instead of retaliating by delivering his own karate chop, he makes an attempt at understanding the other person’s actions.
“I would say: ‘Sir are you angry?’ because if he’s slapping me, there must be anger!” he exclaimed.
While comical, his anecdotes outlined a greater idea.
“How can we better each other as people?” he asked the audience. “Some people really feel like they’re different.”
This opened up a dialogue where he urged people to be confident about their sexuality, race, ideas and other differences. It may seem small or obvious, but think about the last time you went out of your way to understand someone from different. Trying to understand someone from their point of view changes the way you think about a person when you find a contradicting idea.
“Listening…could make someone feel so special. It can save crying at night… Save depression.” Lil B said. Essentially, the act of listening gives a voice to the voiceless, those who feel they aren’t being heard or don’t matter.
Here at CSULB, people from a number of different backgrounds and experiences surround us, giving us the opportunity to learn from others. Not only could that experience make a huge difference to you, but it can also change the person you gave your time to.
Lastly, Lil B reminds us: “Shake somebody’s hand that you might not. Say, ‘Hey, how are you doing?’ Those things really mean a lot."