Reviewed on Saturday June 15

Lil B, Based God, 23-year-old Californian rapper, self-anointed internet guru with 700k Twitter followers who is 100% Gandhi, 100% Ellen DeGeneres and looks like Usher’s ‘swagged out’ younger brother. Oh, and according to him, he’s definitely had sex with your girlfriend. That’s the Based God legend and though The Standard was half-full, the crowd was all #based devotees waiting to catch Lil B on his first, long-awaited Australian tour.

 

With the crowd chanting “Based God”, Lil B swaggered on stage, opening up with  ‘Ellen DeGeneres’. What followed was an experience like no other. The best way to describe the one and a half hour show would be half motivational speech and half music concert, as Lil B recurrently asked, “Do we have any positive people tonight?”

 

Things got awkward, though, when having invited fans onstage – naturally, it involved being swamped by 30 odd girls – one girl nabbed his sunnies and made off with them. Admonishing the security for failing to protect him, Lil B lost his trademark positivity and went on a five-minute rant. After calming down, he reverted back to his positive vibe, urging the crowd to protect him and protect each other.

 

Despite the hiccup, Lil B performed a stellar set featuring the majority of his better-known tracks. Highlights included the prison-ghetto anthem‘ Connected to Jail’, where Lil B showed his raw side with the constant refrain of “let the bodies hit floor.” ‘Wonton Soup’ had the crowd getting their ‘Cook Dance’ on while Lil B spat out “Swag” with the regularity of a machine gun. He showed his meditative side on the Clams Casino-produced track ‘I’m God,’ a dreamily euphoric number which had the crowd swaying, while ‘Pretty Boy’ possessed the next-level sexual bragging you’ve come to expect from any half-famous rapper.

 

That’s not to take away from Lil B’s central message of love and respect, which was encapsulated on the more recent ‘I Love You,’ back-ended by a heartfelt impromptu rap. Closing with ‘Total Recall’, Lil B showed his gratitude by sticking around for his fans, who crowded around him, waiting expectantly to take a selfie with the Based God.  Watching the genuine devotion on display, the night was, as Lil B would say, rare and based.

 

BY LARRY LAI

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