A Lesson In Ancestral Cooking #BASEDGOD

Clearly, I have a weakness for inventive humor. I’ve been drafting (read: procrastinating publishing) an in-depth analysis on the phenomenon that is Lil B and the entire “based god” movement…but for now, let’s take a moment to enjoy the above “Pretty Boy” Soul Train edit. The timing is perfectly synchronized and the classic archival “Soul Train” footage brilliantly traces the so-called “ancestry” of  Lil B’s cooking dance. In my opinion, there’s significantly more critical analytic work evidenced in this one juxtaposition than a predictable (and boring) article commenting on the sexist language and behavior of “based god” (no shit, sherlock…and I’d argue that it’s far more nuanced than that).  If you want to excavate the complexity of black masculinity and it’s performativity in the public domain, look no further than right here. We spend way too much time debating artist intent, when we could be discussing the implications and often accidental outcomes of widespread social/cultural phenomena. There’s something quite remarkable about how Lil B’s online presence has incited international response and recognition. In a certain sense, it’s provoked a discourse expressed predominantly through the exchange of homemade YouTube videos. Indeed, fans feel notable ownership of the “cooking” movement and go above and beyond to contribute to it’s evolution. Oftentimes, so-called “ignorant” rap invites the kinds of participation associated with “conscious” rap  (any categorization of genre serves as a definitional trap in that it’s an inherently limiting exercise in language). By no means do I wish to idealize Lil B or the accidental momentum he may or may not harness; however, his presence is undeniable. While it’s unwise to overstate Lil B’s impact, it’s similarly silly to dismiss him as some sad social experiment. The main reason I try to ground and contextualize these seemingly mindless movements in matrices of power is because we must move past compulsively “liking” media before engaging it. Even if “liking” links on facebook is participatory, it can limit the level of engagement we expect from one another. I prefer to use these clever animated gifs and viral videos as prompts for further dialogue and multimedia exchange. Shout out to Nicky Free and See Plus for first exposing me to Lil B and his cooking shenanigans. Check back for an even longer post (yeah, I know…I talk a lot). And for those of you who need to re-up:

It’s only right to end on this note (via b.soogood.org)

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One Response to “A Lesson In Ancestral Cooking #BASEDGOD”
  1. Conscious says:

    You’ve made my day.

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