Talk to me about Thugged Out Pissed Off, what was the recording process like for this tape? What is the meaning behind the name of the mixtape?
The recording process was definitely different, I went through a fire and a couple of other things that changed up things at my studio, Based World Studios. The fire happened earlier in the year around January or February, so I kind of had to go through some things to figure out how I was going to handle that. I was pretty disturbed by the fire, I mean it was a natural disaster but it kind of threw me off guard and also a bunch of other weird things happened like The Jacka passing away and stuff like that so all of that affected me during this process. But I just wrote a lot during the year, consistently writing that was the biggest thing for me with this project.
For me, Thugged Out Pissed Off was my way of getting some topics out, it was like a more of a fed up feeling about some things that I may not touch on so freely on other tapes. So for me this was the tape I was able to vent and have a lot of fun creating scenarios.
How do you continue to influence culture? Through your personal style and messages of love and positivity – what would you say is your goal as someone who is so influential?
I really just want to spread positivity and love. I want to make people feel more comfortable and confident with themselves. It’s all about bringing people together. As well as my personal goals of growing the Lil B business and brand while learning how to do all of this, you know? I’m unsigned, so no management, no label, no booking none of that, just me. So, there’s a lot of things you have to learn and go through but yeah my main core value is just getting people together. I really like seeing people get together, making friends and having discussions about the music.
Talk to me about ChanceTheRapper and the Based Freestyles Mixtape, how did that come about? The chemistry seemed effortless.
I was in Chicago for a Boiler Room event with Wolfpack Keith and I had a show with iLoveMakonnen and DJ Green lantern. I just reached out to Chance’s people and I was just like hey, let’s get some work in. It’s funny because Nardwuar put that together, he linked us up, that’s a fact nobody knows. But yeah, I just talked to his manager and I had some records for him, then he was like man, let’s just do a tape. So we knocked out the tape before I got back on the plane.
Speaking of collaborations, you worked on the song Champion for the Warriors playoff run with IAMSU, P-Lo, G-Eazy & Kehlani, that was a big deal. It was dope to see so many young Bay Area artists linking up. What was that like working with them? Could we maybe look forward to more music between all of you?
Yeah definitely, I think it was long overdue. Shoutout to Kehlani’s manager, David Ali, he kind of put that together. I was super happy to do it, I think it was perfect timing. I loved the beat, so I got in did my verse and sent it back. IAMSU killed it, so did G-Eazy and Kehlani. We all got on a group text and were freaking out showing each other love, the track was crazy, it was a really special time so I’m glad we did that.
If you could work with anyone in the rap game who would it be?
There’s a lot of people but probably getting a collab with Lil Wayne, I mean obviouslyJay-Z too, that would be cool but definitely getting in the studio with Lil Wayne.
Yeah, with Lil Wayne that’d be crazy! Another freestyle mixtape?
Yeah, I really want to work with him give him some beats or something.
What is one of your recent favorite albums?
I would have to say The Jacka’s full album, What Happened to the World.
RIP The Jacka.
Yeah, RIP The Jacka, that album really just stuck with me. I still play that whole album, I think The Jacka only got better with time.
Will the The Pack ever release another album together?
Yeah we’ve been working together, Keith, UNO, Young L. We just released a mixtape, but definitely more music coming, go get that mixtape off of illroots, The Pack been based!
A lot of the new dances right now all have roots from the "cookin" dance, what are your thoughts on people actually trying to take from you? I know you’re so positive but does it ever anger you when people blatantly bite or try to steal from you?
Sometimes when things get so big I can understand how people may not know where it originates from but yeah the people that do know, it’s just not right. But also for me I may feel a certain way because I’m unsigned and I’ve been doing this all by myself so I may take things more personal but at the end of the day when you see people, you know where it comes from, I know where it comes from.
I’m happy people are still rocking with the movement. Like Bun B with the whole James Harden situation saying the dance came from PIMP C, which it really didn’t. I’ve never seen PIMP C do the dance but if PIMP C were to have done it or I saw him do it and I was inspired I definitely would have said something because that’s what it’s all about.
In an interview last year with Chart Attack Vince Staples named you the most important person in his life. How do you handle your influence over so many people?
I really just appreciate it all, like the people that keep it real and show love like Vince Staples. It means a lot to me, it motivates me and shows me that I’m going in the right direction and that I should continue what I do in making this art and music. So when people acknowledge or tell me from Vince Staples, to A$AP Rocky to Mac Miller or Wiz Khalifa they’ve all put it out there and have shown love so that means a lot to me.
You've recently started speaking at prestigious university’s all across the nation. (NYU, MIT, UCLA) Tickets for your lectures have sold out within 10 minutes at these institutions. What has that experience been like for you? What is one of the main messages that you want to spread through speaking to students?
Yeah, it's been amazing. I really just want to show them my viewpoint on life and how I think. I want them to know the ethics of business, how you don’t have to be a cut throat business person in order to be successful. I want them to know the importance of positivity, as well as different topics, including current event topics, different ones that matter to me that I want to talk to the students about.
Shoutout to everyone that’s in school because it’s not easy to get in there, not everyone can go on to achieve a higher education, it’s not easy. So you’re very special if you’re in school.
“Only the negative people are not welcomed, and even then, you’re still welcomed.” That's a direct quote from your book, Takin Over. How would you encourage others to practice genuine positivity and love?
I think the big thing is giving people respect, trying to listen more and giving people your attention. Always pushing love, allowing people to be accepted, not ragging on people about their clothes or how they look.
Lastly, what advice would you give to a kid who doesn’t believe he has swag?
Keep having fun. Keep falling and making mistakes, have friends who are nice to you, not ones that pick on you. Don’t be too hard on yourself and just always try to be you, wear what you want to wear and do what you want to do, just keep learning.