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Hip Hop’s Top Innovators: Lil B – The Marketing Genius

Some people hate Lil B and some people love him. I respect him. I don’t think the self-proclaimed Based God is a great rapper by any means. Why would? He’s not lyrical. His flow is awful.. There’s no concept or structure in his music. The sound quality is terrible. I  wouldn’t be surprised if he recorded in GarbageBand in his room.

I could go on forever about how bad his music is. However his music isn’t what makes him special. Its his innovation. I consider him to be one of hip hop’s top innovators. The Based God is a marketing genius.

Despite having a poor music product, the 22-year-old has one of the strongest movements in the music industry, no matter the genre. Through the utilization of free social media tools and the digital world as a whole, he has been able to capture the minds of a young and digitally driven generation and create the cult known as the Based World. In a time, where society stresses quality over quantity, Lil B is on the opposite end of the spectrum. He has released over 1,500 tracks (including a 676 song mixtape), created  a whooping 155 MySpace accounts and shot over 300 viral videos, gaining an amazing 62 million views. Not bad for a terrible rapper huh?

Besides flooding the internet, Lil B realized that in our generation, if you do something that is unconventional, different, weird or anything along those lines, people will take notice. From the way he dresses to the unexplainable stuff he does to the outrageous things he says, it’s completely different from anyone else. He is original.

Originality is what separates the successful from the unsuccessful. Just as major companies such as Apple and Nike have branded themselves since their existence, he has done the same. He has branded himself in a way that differentiates himself from everyone in the hip-hop community; to the point that people are forced to pay him attention. Who else can name their album, I’m Gay, in a homophobic dominate industry such as hip-hop and get away with it? Only Lil B.

In a sense, Lil B has rewritten hip-hop’s book of rules. He has shown that you don’t need great music to have success, but what you really need is a strong marketing plan and he has that. His plan of choice involves flooding the internet, doing the unexpected and not caring what anyone thinks. In doing so, he comes off as being dumb and crazy, but I believe he knows exactly what he is doing. Alot of his peers seem to think so too. Diddy, J.Cole, Wiz Khalifa, Lupe Fiasco, and 9th Wonder are just a few  household names that agree and praise him for his genius movement.

You don’t have to like him or his music, but you do have to respect him. With no label, he took his career into his own hands and created a lane, resulting in an unbelievable movement that consists of 420,000 twitter followers, sold out shows across the country and a net worth of $650,000. Although I think the movement will eventually die out,  Lil B is definitely one of hip-hop’s elite when it comes to innovation.



Lindsey Gamble

Lindsey Gamble is the Founder/Editor of Hard In The Paint.