After making history in 2012 with his now infamous lecture at New York University, Lil B returned to academia this weekend, addressing a lucky group of students and select press in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, currently ranked as the number one university in the world. After presenting nuanced observations on workplace efficiency, human empathy, and GMOs, Lil B opened the floor to a riveting discussion on art, race, gender, and countless other free-associated topics. Below is the lecture and Q/A session, transcribed in full, along with audio from a rare, on-the-spot, Based freestyle specially dedicated to the student body. FADER gifted B a hat from iconic campus haunt Anna's Taqueria, then ran home to put the Based word to paper. Brraaang-dang.
How's everybody doing tonight? If I could get a water on stage, because this will be intense and I will be speaking from the heart. MIT, I appreciate you all coming out here tonight and us spending this time together, and me getting a chance to give you this love that I yearn for, that I live for. This is why I make music, this is why I create art. To use that media to spread love and talk to the people. It makes me so happy to see that my message is getting through.
You are the future, and it's obvious. We know it. You can't get in here, this is rare. So a big pat on the back to everybody that worked so hard to get into this school, oh excuse me, university—this is not a school. I really wanted to come and be honest, real transparent. I didn't want to do that average lecture where they come on and use those keywords, like, "We'll make it!" and you insert the applause. Or I come in and I wear glasses, or wear a suit. Which is cool, that's all good, but I want to make sure that I come here honest. Please ask me any questions. Anything. I have nothing to hide and all to share.
The main thing I want to bring tonight is positivity in the workforce. I want to start off with a quote I made especially for MIT. This is something for everyone to think about. "Less opinion, more perspective." What I mean by that is, sometimes I feel like an opinion is more ego driven. We're protecting the outer. We work hard, and it's a lot of mental things that go into working hard as well as training yourself, as all the beautiful people in here future scientists, engineers, programmers, all that. People I might be working for. The code of ethics in your job and where you work, the company you may create, or if you work for somebody, make sure you bring that love, and bring that positivity. Making sure you come and understand that we're in this together. Even if we're not, we need to learn, and learn to figure out ways to understand. Look at everybody and say "I'm the receiver." I'm here to decipher the information, and decipher what they say. Not to say, "Hey, you spelled that wrong," but maybe ask them. It's all about the way you say it. Some people, and I can speak for myself, sometimes you take things the wrong way. The wording that you say to the different people you may be teaching. But you're all smart in here. Sometimes people have preconceived notions about other people. You might be saying something real nice, and because the receiver of the information has a preconceived notion about you, they might be like "argh, what?" you might just be giving some legit direction, like "hey this is how I feel." I might be trying to give some information, but because of how I'm perceived by the receiver, they tend to have different feelings. Which makes life beautiful. That's why, us as empathetic people that are looking for that next level of understanding—everybody doesn't understand. Everybody can't spell the word correctly, but they know the word. As the receiver and as good people, give that person the right of way instead of automatically correcting them. If you want to automatically correct that's not bad, that's good too, but just make sure you're doing it out of love and out of care instead of saying "You did that wrong because I know you did it wrong," but really trying to comfort and show love.
I appreciate everybody in here, I appreciate the Black Student Union for making this happen. Everybody should be in the Black Student Union, because we're all black, remember that. I can look at everybody in here and see a piece of beauty. I see you, I see me. I can look at you and say "man you are so dope." Dope meaning cool, dope meaning respectful, meaning I appreciate you for being alive and what you bring. You just being there and being yourself. That's the number one thing. I know all you guys are about to be taking lead positions in your work force or working for the people or whoever, but making sure you bring that love and using your influence and the respect that people give you. All the people that wish they could be in the positions of the students that go here, and the staff and adults. I know plenty of people that have never made it to this building and this is my first time. It's a very big honor and a big weight, but also a positive weight.
Make sure you comfort everybody, because you have so much power. The influence you do have, make sure you use that for the right things that's going to propel you, and propel your company. It's not always about making profit. I know y'all know how to make profit, and I know that's what it's about! But I'm very happy that I can come here and tell you I'm someone that has not been driven by the profit. You can succeed with the people. All the people that you see in here, we have in common. You can make new friends. We all need each other in here. Each and every person in this building is extremely special and extremely beautiful, and is gifted. If you guys left tomorrow—which you wouldn't, and I hope you won't—you still are beautiful and amazing and very special. Everybody has to remember that. A lot of people forget that within the hard work. You might be working so hard that you forget about your family. You might be working so hard to show your family and show your friends that you're on, that you forget to love them, or you forget to call them. And forget to appreciate, and take a deep breath in and appreciate the air. And realizing that won't last forever, being able to do that. We won't be able to do that forever.
We right now are in a special generation. This is our generation, and this is our family. It's not about violence. It's not about correcting people, but you can correct out of love and positivity and protection. You can tell people "I love you, and I'm telling you this because I want you to be better, and that I care about you." It's also about knowing the receiver well enough to say, "This is the receiver, and where is this receiver at in this point in their life?" We cant judge, we can't mind-read, but like my mother said, sometimes to talk to people you have to meet them where they're at. My mom, she recently had a minor stroke, and it was a wake up call for me. I was just living life thinking things don't happen, people don't get hurt. Because stuff is so good, and you be on a roll, or stuff is bad and it's crazy. But that's life. So you're living, and things get you back in that perspective. You get humbled again when you see your mom in the hospital, and she has to get a shot in her throat to check her thyroid. That was something I couldn't see, that was a little rough for me. But you have to prepare yourself. You have to say, "This is real life," and be very happy with where we're at right now. My mother was going through that, and it really brought us closer. It made me take a step back from work and not think about anything but the care for my mother and make sure that she's okay. It brought everything back to what I means to be alive and be human and live this beautiful life that we have, this beautiful earth, and I think the word is ecosystem.
I want to give a shout out to all the engineers and scientists, and all the people in here, swag. Everybody that's dealing with math, you know what I'm saying? Salute man. This is the place that I would love to be, as I'm really into plants, animals, life. We know about that photosynthesis! I didn't forget that! It's about doing things that you really love, that's where you get the best results for your product.
What I do right now, this music, I do it all for free [applause]. You can't put a price on the love. I'm not as greedy as these greedy—I'm not! It's priceless. That's what I'm pressing, integrity, with your business, and making sure the customer comes first. They all say that, but who supports you, and appreciating that. How many people in here have more than one follower on social media? It's about that integrity, and making sure you push for the customer. What I mean by that is, going to your fans' house. If you've got someone that supports you and cares about you, feel them out. See your fan base, see the people that support you. Each of us in here have influences. Each of us has a support base that we can reach out to. Each person, one person, can push you so far, and push your dreams and what you really believe in, and push your goals and your business, the next idea that you have. Ideas are propelled by the people. If you have a lot of money that could help too, but that's not what it's about. Because as we see, you can have no money and have beautiful ideas and have morals, or have a lot of money and have beautiful ideas and have morals, and make it. The main thing I'm trying to press here with everybody is that I love you. Somebody that doesn't know you, loves you. I need you guys to take care of me. I need you to take care of my family. I need you to take care of everybody else's family, and the future.
Understand that the media has agendas. The media doesn't get everything right. You have to realize who's behind the camera. Think deeply. When you do get your information, and the perception of other people, which is beautiful, you've got to realize: what is the motivation of this director or this brand or this media company? What are their motivations? Is this person a trusted source? That's why I wanted you guys to ask me anything, because I want you to feel totally comfortable, and know that I have nothing to hide. You want to have that trusted source. A lot of people don't understand—once you become the creator, and you create the content, you have a lot of power. With me, I realized that I would use this power for the better. That's why I put indirect images of love, it's all sprouted from love, and bringing people together subconsciously. That's what a lot of these other companies are doing, but for other reasons, with other interests. It might be all about profit. They're about continuing to expand, and making sure that they stay prevalent and out here.
With that being said, I took on my first consulting job in a company that I'm going to be working with, and I'm developing an app for them. They're a vegan company, called Follow Your Heart. They deal with no GMOs, which is genetically modified organisms. They don't have any animal products. It took me a long time to align myself with another brand. There's a lot of brands that come to me, and they might offer any amount of money, but I'm not going to just conform or change the vibe of my brand or my ethics or what I stand by for money. I work too hard. When you really have pride in your brand and what you do, you have to be very careful of who you align yourself with and who you endorse. A lot of people don't get it. It takes a long time to get it. It takes a lot of love and a lot of respect. You have to meet people and realize that person may not be your friend. It's about awareness. that's something I really want to tell you about because I love you. Awareness, awareness, awareness. It's a big thing because, to the people that aren't aware, that's how the predators come in. There's many different predators of different kinds. I love you guys, I want you to be safe. That's why I came. It's a lot of different predators. It's so many that know the game, they've been in it. These companies that have been here, and they're protected by money, they're protected by power, and then there's the predators that are on different levels. The street predator, or the business predator, the lawyer predator, to the top company head predator that's making his workers feel weird and putting pressure on his staff—or her staff, excuse me, because it's not always him. I apologize for saying his staff because it's a lot of women and we don't know who is going to run what. With the predators of the workforce, you have to go through things and just learn them, also ups and downs. You have to be a victim to understand and to feel. To feel pain, to understand and to relate.
If you aren't a victim, make sure you listen and try to put yourself in that person's place. Give the person your all when you're listening. When you're talking to someone, this is their time. I'ma listen, I'ma tune out, and try to feel you. That's a huge thing, understanding empathy. I base my core foundation, anything with business that I do, I have to feel and respect a company that I work with, as well the people behind that company. You've got to have love. The money is there, we've all got money, or we might not, but y'all are struggling and hustling. We love hustling, we love working. Don't feel bad, don't beat yourself up if you have a little extra money, or you don't. Don't feel like "I have money, I can't relate to someone who doesn't." What does having money really mean? We all can relate to each other and we all are brothers and sisters, friends, family, lovers, whatever that means. We all need to respect and love each other, and each other's parents and grandparents. Look at each other like, once again, this is a baby. This is a person that's grown, but is still beautiful. We've got a lot to learn, and I know we've got a lot of teachers in here too. Like I said, I'm here to listen to everybody in here. As well as coming here and lecturing, I want to listen, and I want you guys to tell me what you feel.
"I'm very happy that I can come here and tell you I'm someone that has not been driven by the profit. You can succeed with the people."
[Audience member: "It's been a couple years since you came out with Age of Information, and we've seen a lot of stuff come out since then. Tinder, Uber, where you don't go out and hail a taxi cab, you do it from your phone."] And this is all support based. I'm so happy because this is our generation. This is the support generation.
[Audience member: "Lil B, are you on Tinder?"] [Girls in crowd erupt] Aye man, I don't know. I don't know. But, this is the support generation. Us as people, we can, you know, Uber, this is a facilitated community of people that will support each other. Google, the internet, we are propelling. We're the fans, we have a lot of power. Tinder is a new company, but you see with technology, how this is transcending. From Tinder to creating cars. Tinder might be making that next car. I'm so excited about the technology.
[Audience member asks about "No Black Person Is Ugly," and whether Lil B will address campus rape] Yup. First, going back to the song "No Black Person Is Ugly," I made that as a reflection of things that I went through. Knowing that nobody's ugly. The closed minded people might've looked at that like "Oh, no black person is ugly? Well I'm not black, so whatever." But the people that thought a little bit deeper and could relate to it no matter who you were, that was for you, that was for all of us. Because nobody is ugly. Nobody. I've never, nobody's ugly, nobody's fat, nobody's skinny. It's about where you want to be health-wise and how you want to live your life. You have a choice. As far as sexual assault, and bringing more light to that on campus I will. This is something I urge to speak about. It's a very personal subject, it hits close to home, and I really feel that the right time will be for me to speak on a national, grand scale about these things , about awareness and ways to protect victims. And may be able to give you the extra eyes, the extra sense to say, "This person? I don't know, they give me a weird vibe. I'm not too comfortable." Trying to be more aware of situations and who's watching you. I know a lot of people are like, "Why should I have to?" I hear that in the discussion too, when this very delicate, extremely delicate discussion of sexual assault comes up. It varies. It changes your life. It can change it for the better, and it can change it for the wrose, but we're always pushing for the better. We're pushing to teach and to protect. And really protect the young people. We all are very young, but the people that's younger than us. The 15s, the 16s, the 17s, the 18s. think back to when you were 14, how mature you were at that age, and how ready you were to be an adult. I was an adult. Back then, I was like "I can't wait." I looked in the mirror, I was 15, 16, I swore I thought I was an adult. This is where you're really building your character and building yourself. Going back to the question, yes, with sexual assault, I will be speaking on that more within my music as well as times like this where I can really just speak.
[Audience member: "Can you freestyle for us right now?"] I wasn't supposed to be a rapper today! But I can and I will rap for you, I will bust a freestyle.
You know I'm an MC, so it's all good, and I pride myself on that. That's not a joke, though, I'm really an MC, and I pride myself—[Audience member: "Wait a minute, you're a rapper?"] Yeah. Yeah, man. Hey man, we're breaking new ground, you feel me? And it shows you guys that everybody should try a little bit of hip hop, you know, everybody in here. Dibble and dabble. Dibble and dabble in hip hop—it promotes your brain. Cause hip hop is more welcoming than ever, and I'm on the forefront of breaking the ground—because let's think about hip hop before Lil B. And now we think about hip hop after Lil B and how accepting—there's so much love in what's going on right now. And this is just the start, you guys. This is all just the start. I'm so honored to be speaking at MIT. Like, I'm acting really cool right now, but I'm happy. And I feel an overwhelming amount of joy. And even, to like, tears and stuff. To be able to appreciated for my heart, for what I feel, my knowledge, and what I know I bring to the world—technology, earth—it's unprecedented how I feel.
[Audience member asks how Lil B stays so empathetic] I think because I know that it's all about congruency, incongrunecy, communication. And I realize that a lot of people are embarrassed sometimes. We all get embarrassed. It's about the messages. We all want to talk, we all want to be right, we all want to be heard. And it's a lot of times, sometimes people are embarrassed—just with even little things. Anything. I am here to comfort you. I chose my job to be a healer, you know what Im saying? I took that position. I said, "I want to be a healer. I want to help." And that was my big thing. We all have choices, you know what I'm saying? And just make sure, with the jobs that you guys do, take that healer approach. Cause it feels good. It feels amazing to wake up everyday and feel like, "I love my job, I love my life, I hope I don't die." You know what I'm saying? For real. Like, "I don't want to die right now!" I'm watching the news, shit's going on. You hear the statistics.
[Audience member asks if Lil B loves Kevin Durant] Thank you so much for bringing that out there. I do. I want to say, to answer your question: yes, I do love Kevin Durant, and I appreciate him, and I appreciate the NBA.
["Would you lift the curse if Kevin Durant came to D.C.?"] If Kevin Durant came to D.C., would I lift the curse? Well, does Boston love D.C.? [Awkward applause] OK, so I didn't just say something stupid. Everybody was looking at me like—I was thinking I said something wrong! But no, if he came to D.C…I would…uhhh…you know, me and Kevin—me and Kevin got a game to play. Once Kevin is off his injury from the Based God's curse. I pray for the Thunder team, I pray for them.
["What does it mean to be a man, or a woman, or an adult? What is that to you?"] That's beautiful. What does it mean to be a man? Everything? You know, what does it mean to be a man? It means being a woman. It means being a dog, it means being a cat, it means being a desk. It means understanding and loving. It means understanding the grass. It means understanding that somebody worked very hard to make this [taps podium]. From the plug into the socket—you know about that, you know what I'm saying? So to answer your question, I think what it means to be a man is whatever you make it. And don't live by the standards or conforming to that—because to be a man is to be a woman, to be a woman is to be a man. To be yourself is the main thing.
[Audience member asks about Kevin Durant again] [Laughter] Kevin Durant is lucky, man, I'm telling you—
[Audience member asks who would win in 21 between Lil B, Kevin Durant, and his friend Nathaniel] Oh, man. It would be good! It would be a good game. Ay man, if he wants to play—especially because he's here in this building, it's rare.
[Female basketball player asks to play one-on-one for ten dollars] Ay, y'all got the gym here, man. So aye, we could go. Hey, I need to learn some things from you, you know what I'm saying? Thank you.
[Audience member asks about Tim Larew] Oh, Tim Larew, man, shouts out. Tim Larew is a real positive guy. Tell him I love him, too, man, thank you.
[Audience member asks about Lil B rap beefs] You know what's funny? I think Wikipedia has a lot wrong. I'm actually working with YouTube—I signed some stuff, I'm not supposed to tell you guys. We're doing, I'm gonna be doing some cool stuff with YouTube, and they're actually helping me—I'm personally working with them. There's been a lot of companies that, you know, being an independent and being by myself, all these random companies are always trying to get—and these mid-level—"you know, we can track your views and we can do this." And I have a distinct vision for my brand and the Lil B brand and I stick by that, you know, so I waited for YouTube. YouTube hit me up, and I got my account manager for YouTube that I'm working with, and, you know, stuff is going to be cool. But what the idea of the beef, and stuff like that—like I said man, Wikipedia is crazy. I've got to go back and tell them, "Why are you giving all these people, like…what?" It's funny, Wikipedia wrote like the beef made my career. But you're right. With the feuds, it's very selective and chosen, the very few I have had. It's really hip hop, and keeping it for the love of that, keeping it for the love of the sport. Confrontational but nothing physical, nothing, you know—but I have to say what I've got to say. And most of the time I'm always playing defense, you know, rap-wise, I think a lot of the people that said things about me—the lucky hip hop artists that said my name. You know what I'm saying? I hope you don't say they name here, because that's too lucky, you know what I'm saying? Speaking about them at MIT. They lucky, you know what I'm saying? But you know with the hip hop, bro, I keep that low, but anybody can get it with the rap, though, you know what I'm saying?
[Will Lil B "Basedmoji" app come to Android?] Thank you. You know, we're dealing with this X code off that app, so—[audience laughter]—so you know what time it is. But shout out to all the programmers and the coders. Yeah, and shout out to Android. We're definitely going to be working together soon. Android is an open market, really, for everybody. Apple was really strict to get into. We were denied a lot, before my first app was approved. But I've got one of the top emoji apps in the world, it's called Basedmoji. Yeah, you know, that app was just extremely successful, it's been—Apple had to hit me up about it just because it's so crazy. So we're doing some work with Apple, too, but Android, man, I definitely want to talk to Android. They've got some viruses and stuff. You know what I'm saying? It's, like, man, that Microsoft, but I love it! I'm with Microsoft, forever, baby.
[What's Lil B's most significant connection with another artist?] The number one, I want to give a big shout out to Mack Maine, and to Lil Wayne. Mack Maine, I definitely give him a shout out because he was a big pivotal part of bringing me and Lil wayne together. Being in the studio with lil wayne and being around him for the time that I was going to dinner and stuff like that. Just being embraced by him. To hug lil wayne. In 6th grade, I had a project, an iSearch project, this was middle school, and I put lil wayne on the cover. So to work so hard to be independent, to have no corporate backing, you know, working with Wayne and going back to moms house. I worked with then went back to the hood, went back to moms house, you know what im saying, that's love that shows that you can be yourself. You can be yourself and have respect. Hold what you seeing in your mind. You don't have to share it. You don't have to take pcitures of it. This was something that was in my heart and my soul, that I kept. Multiple artists. Being embraced by Puff Daddy, you know, Diddy. I appreciate Diddy for that. He definitely embraced me, but he didn't get on no song with me. Wayne did though, shout out to Wayne for really keeping it real. Big shout out to Puff. But you know, the industry is funny. They're a bunch of followers. They follow the trends. a bunch of the rappers, they're not really pushing music and art, like what I'm doing.
[Audience member asks about I'm Gay and asks about his conscious music] It comes from being honest. Doing things like this, where you could see me, meet me, it's my personality. For me to turn up and make a song like that, I have to be in that mood, I cant lie to myself. So every piece of art that I give you is truth in what's going on, and a feeling, what I feel within that time. That's the biggest thing for me is being honest with the music, giving all different sides. These are all the different sides of me. I am smart, but I don't know how to spell words. Some words I don't know how to spell, but I know I'm smart. I know I'm a legend. And there's people that can help me spell it, and help me learn. There's a lot that I want to learn. I want to learn about what you guys care about. Thank you for understanding that tape, and knowing that it was a mixtape, because I haven't released an album yet.
["When can we expect that?"] I'm working on that. I'm getting my foundation together, I feel closer than ever. I'm working on my first debut album for the mainstream, I've been working on that for about six years, and it's about 50% done. Everything's coming together. I know tomorrow I'm going to be way better off because of what we've done here, and that's going to transcend into my music. I'm going to give you guys a very, very, very, very secret strategy. Something that I created. I'ma unveil it here first. I've never talked about it, and I wasn't going to speak about it here because it was a competitive advantage, but I want to release that with you students here. I created something called Current Strategy Marketing. This is what I do. My art with time, and what's going on currently. We're in the now. That's where my art is too. I'm always dealing with the current. I'm always working with the fan base, the support base, and making sure that it feels right for me, and the timing is right for me, and on earth. I've been key to that and it's always worked for me. Current Strategy Marketing is something I live by, it's something I created.
[Audience member asks if Lil B wishes he monetized more] Oh yeah. You know, I'm not putting ads on my videos. The only stream of income I'm making is live engagements with you guys and the companies that support me. I'm beautiful with that. It's going well. But with not conforming, you struggle. You have beautiful days, and you have struggle days too. You have to have pride in your brand as well as the supporters. I could be broke, but you see, I've got all y'all. And I'm never broke because of that. I've always got a chance.
["Do you have any mantras? Things you say every day to yourself?"] Not really. I'm waking up, I'm just extremely happy to learn. I'm really just excited to live, appreciating life for what it is. I'm so surprised about how far we've come. This building is beautiful and we're just sitting in it like "Ah, whatever." Aye man, this is so, everything that went into it, the lights, how the hell did they get up there? y'all paying a lot for this, y'all getting it.
["Can you draw something for us?"] Oh yeah, this is how I got my start, just painting for the love.
[Audience member: "Will you ever design your own mixtape covers?"] That might actually be in the works. The only album covers that I was a part of was The Based God. And The Based God has two albums. ["Rain In England"?] Rain in England, yes. ["And Choices And Flowers!"] Yeah, actually, Tears For God and Choices And Flowers. Those are two ambient albums. You know, Rain In England was actually a mixtape. That was a Lil B mixtape. Try to live as naturally as possible. Don't worry too much about drugs. Shout out to this drug free campus. I appreciate that a lot.
[Audience member: "Do you meditate?"] I try to, I definitely try to meditate. I look at meditation like different things. Like being humble. It's a meditative practice to be humble. That's a big thing, going outside, smelling earth, smelling the smells. Waking up in Boston, looking out the window, you can't beat it. At this point, I'm just so happy to be alive every single day. That's how you want to approach life. You go outside and it's very new. It could leave us at any time. I've never been in a natural disaster before. Has anyone been in a natural disaster before? [Audience member raises hand] Respect. Respect. Congratulations for making it. That wasn't a joke, congratulations for making it through sir. We live, I'm living like "hey, nothing's gonna happen!" No home insurance right now, I'm just living. You act like something can't, but you realize, anything can happen. People from New Orleans dealt with that flood and the big hurricane. That is extremely traumatic.
[Audience member corrects Lil B mistaking Tinder for Uber earlier, misses point of entire lecture] Maybe Tinder wasn't the right example. I think Uber was the better example. Like Uber might work with Tesla. With companies and brands, man, I support. Sometimes with money, things can change. If you do got a little bit of capital to play around with, it does give you more options. Don't be totally against money but it's about having core rooted love, and making sure that you're not saying, "Aw forget all these people over here, we're gonna make sure we make our quota over here." You don't want to forget anybody. Even if you don't think that person loves you, they do love you. Everybody's incongruency is the biggest thing.
["What are your thoughts on Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO?"] There's two things I feel about that, or maybe three. First, I don't really know what's going on fully, so I can't make an educated judgement on it. These situations are propelled by the media. I am smart enough to know that these media companies have agendas, like Fox or something, they want to sell news. They know that race is something, we can't just shave off the skin, so that will always get people racy. People are going to promote that, they're going to propel that. "Hey, this is a white vs black thing or a brown vs green thing." We have a lot of stuff that we're making up for. Us as brothers and sisters here tonight. We have a lot of stuff from the past, prejudgements and stuff that we're dealing with. We're making up for our grandparents, people behind us, and people now. There's a lot of people now, they don't fully understand everybody. Everybody just wants to live safely, and not feel like they're going to be attacked. We all live in the jungle, remember that, we all live in a complex jungle, a complex beehive. We need to know that working together behooves us and is way better than anything.
It's things we have to get together and work on. My mother said something to me that shocked me. I don't want you guys to think about my mother any differently, but I want you to hear this honestly. It's something I didn't agree with, and I was shocked. We're driving—this might be because she was sick, but I'm not even going to give any excuses. We're driving by a restaurant. My mom doesn't go out a lot. She was working a lot, she drove a bus, and she was finally able to medically retire. It's crazy how the job force, being able to see my moms perspective, and be me, who I am, and have this platform to speak, and be able to see how people are treated when they feel that you don't have a voice. I get a chance to see that. So my mom medically retired from this job, and I'm helping her out, and we're figuring out how she'll be able to serve and help people at this point in her life. So we're driving, and I'm like, "Mom you should go to this restaurant over there, this is a nice restaurant." And she said, "No son, it's a lot of white people there." and I was like "What?" How I live, it's love. Now I'm going to be honest. I'm not perfect. I had some insecurities at one point with race, just because I didn't understand myself. But what my mom said shocked me. I also had to forgive her, because she's older, she comes from an older generation. I told her and kept it honest with her. "Mom, that's not right, you can do whatever you want. Everybody's cool, it's not like that." I told you guys this so you could see the honesty and to know that nobody's perfect. I'm here working with my own mother.
We're trying to dig ourselves out of holes. What we thought was right, we have to reteach ourselves patterns of love, and what the truth is to you. Because my mom isn't right. She's my mom, but with that situation right there, she wasn't right. And I told her that. Because I got white brothers, and I got white sisters, and I'm white, so it doesn't matter. Embrace who you are. If you identify with white, or grey, or black, or anything, use that to your advantage. Say, "Hey, people think I look like like, these people are going to gravitate towards me," and use that for love. Use that to uplift everybody, so you uplift everybody. Use what you have to your advantage. People look at me and assume what I might identify with. And I use that for love, to get the people that already identify with me, and more. And that's a beautiful thing. There's closed minded people that are like "ok you're black, I might go with you, I might understand you more." Don't even think of it as multi-cultural, think of it as truth. You want everybody a part of it, because you want that line. You want everybody's soul, everybody's viewpoint, what everybody thinks and what everybody feels. I want that soul and that honesty. That's why I want to adopt kids, every different creed, and every different look. So they can have my soul, but look however they look, and people can judge them, but they make sure that they spread that love, and then push their own line of love. Be happy and embrace who you are—not who you are, because that's a big label. I don't have any right to say what you are. It's about what you say you want to be or what you identify with. When I check in these boxes now, when they ask me my race, I don't even know, I'ma put anything I want now. Realize that it's people that love you, real people, people with gold teeth, people that's fat, people that got dreadlocks, people that got spiky hair, somebody with leather boots, it doesn't matter. I know that there's so many people that love me. I know it's cats that love me, animals. That's why I'm behind this vegan company. I'm not vegan, but I want to bring awareness so that we do get closer and be more humble with the food. Because we have been separated from the hunting process, and everything that goes on. Sometimes I wish I wasn't born into relying on meat. Live your life. I love all y'all so much.
[Audience member asks how Lil B stays positive amidst racism] Sometimes we have to confront negativity. I want to meet the number one person that hates me for no reason, and I want to talk to them. Because I know I can speak to them and find love within them. The hate was taught. I don't know if you can be born evil and to hate, because of the skin. We're all separated because it makes sense to be, money-wise. I don't get too much into history, I don't really know, because I'm creating my own history right now. There's parts of history that sadden me because I don't understand the violence. It's hard for me to fathom that there was this much violence, this much separation at one point, this much war. Sometimes, I'm in a weird position, because things are going up so well in life that you do forget. There's somebody that might not really like you for no reason. I've dealt with that. I can say there's bad people across the board, because I've dealt with black on black crime, white on black, green on black, I've been hated on by everybody. So it's "screw you" equally to everybody, equally. That's the best way to be. You can't just say screw one person, screw everybody or love all.
[Audience member asks how MIT minority students can retain their own cultures] Realize that we all are African. We all are African. We all are African. We all are African. You know what I'm saying? We all are African, and it's love… We all are African. That's what I had to realize. Once you realize we all are African, it changes up your mind. It's a lot of propaganda that people have to deal with. You've always got to forgive anybody that didn't have love before us and put out images of hate or separation. It's about getting us closer, we're not that different. But just realize, we all are African. Everybody got a vice against them, everybody got stories untold. I know black peope that don't want to be black, I know white people that don't want to be white. It's bigger than black or white. It's a touchy subject but all you can do is love more. Use your team and your influence and all that power you guys have individually and keep pressing that love. Don't let anyone stop that. be aware of predators and key words that might trigger. I hope to talk about that more in-depth.
["What do you dream about? Do you have dreams that happen over and over?"] A reoccurring dream… recently, I've been extremely tired so I've been just sleeping. We all might've had this dream where we're going off a cliff and once we fall we wake up. Who had the bathroom stall dream where if you pee in the stall, you pee on yourself? [Applause] I ain't alone baby! That's the worst dream to have. I don't' want to sound biased or mean, but is this more engineers and science, do we have any lawyers or judges? No? Good! Good! Finally! I'ma tell you this, I feel like the president is the ultimate lawyer, so think on that. this court system is crazy to me too, hiring a lawyer, knowing how to talk and be fake, it behooves me.
["Do you identify as a feminist?"] Hell yeah. I push for the women so hard. This is some real, this is gon' make you think. I feel like black people and women deal with the same type of propaganda. You see images on TV, things being promoted. Sex sells, but that's a quick sell. What do you feel in your heart? Is that where your heart wanted to lead you? Is that where your art wanted to lead you? What propelled you to make that move? I definitely am a feminist to the maximum. I'm working to make sure that women feel protected as well as guys. For my next lecture, I really want to focus on awareness, and love, and being to yourself. I love women and I love feminists. Girls do have a legendary life. Women aren't under guys. There's a lot of propaganda that indirectly says women are down here.
["Who's voice do you think needs to be heard now that isn't?"] Hard workers. College students. You guys. The person who has that job who's really under. The janitor. The police, construction workers. The architects. These people need to be continuously brought to the mainstream and shown love. Bringing love to the animals and insects and making sure we remember them.
MIT, thank you so much. I owe y'all my life and I love y'all for life, remember that.