Lil B is super pumped to be giving a speech at NYU this week. To lots of celebrities a university speech is something they agree to grudgingly, occasionally finding a way to make it memorable, as Steve Jobs did with his commencement speech in 2005. Lil B, however is psyched. He’s promised that his speech will be one for the ages, saying recently, “It’s gonna be a real progressive talk and when everybody leaves, their lives will be changed,” and he’s even released “The Basedprint 2″ today, a mixtape to commemorate the upcoming speech. One way or another, Lil B does seem to be making history: this is probably the first hip-hop mixtape ever released to help promote a university address.
Naming his debut “I’m Gay,” Lil B has always challenged hip-hop’s dominant cultural mores. Though this mixtape’s title and its cover art is an obvious homage to Jay-Z’s “The Blueprint 2,” it represents another break with another pillar of hip-hop: contempt for college. The mixtape’s lead-off track “NYU,” with its line “expanding my knowledge like going to college at Princeton/ NYU I got love for you too,” is a far cry from Kanye West’s albums “College Dropout” and “Late Registration.” Jay-Z’s story of succeeding outside the parameters of the education system helped crystalize the notion that hip-hop and higher education don’t mix. Here Lil B seems to be doing what he does best: challenging conventions.
The tracks themselves are impressive, too: this is a far more nuanced and intricate Lil B than the one who released early tracks like “Ellen Degeneres.” Take a listen below.