The rapper Lil B is as famous for his singular social media presence as he is for his music. The artist perhaps better known as the BasedGod has been credited with revolutionizing the industry through his online persona, earning the title of “Father of Internet Rap.” According to PAPER magazine, which called Lil B one of the most influential rappers alive in 2016, “It’s easy to argue that Lil B has been at (or near) the forefront of most of the major trends in hip-hop over the last decade.”
In 2010, The New York Times spotlighted Lil B’s virtual ubiquity. “During the past year he’s been one of the most visible rappers on the Internet, and also one of the most inscrutable,” the Times reported. “His mode is flooding: he has a pair of self-released albums (‘6 Kiss’ and ‘I’m Thraxx’), more than 100 stand-alone MySpace pages with original music on them, dozens of original videos on his YouTube page, hundreds more fan-made tribute videos, a motivational book (‘Takin’ Over’), and, of course, a raucous Twitter feed.”
Anyone who hasn’t had Lil B’s stream of consciousness retweeted onto their timeline can consult with the countless listicles floating around the web: “A year in the life of Lil B’s warped Twitter” or “20 Deep Thoughts From Lil B, The World’s Most Thoughtful Rapper.” Lately, though, fans have become increasingly fed up with one of Lil B’s signature quirks—his penchant for posting photos of women with “I love Lil B” scrawled on their chests, thighs, hands and feet.
A sampling of disturbed former followers’ tweets include:
While Lil B posts a lot of sexually suggestive photos of young-looking women, the catalyst seems to have been a November 17 post. The images, of a woman with “I love Lil B” written on the soles of her feet posing sultrily for the camera, elicited thousands of responses on Twitter criticizing the post and demanding to know the subject’s age. In response, Lil B tweeted, “That’s grown woman with her own place and fam she taking care of,” and promised to send critics DM proof of her identity. A Twitter user, @makeupbyshaniah, called attention to the series, posting, “She literally looks 12 what the fuck is this.” That tweet blew up with over 18,000 retweets, and a number of women responded with their own experience of Lil B soliciting them for pictures when they were underage.
Makeupbyshaniah told The Daily Beast that, “The photo set came on my TL and I was just like… Does anyone notice how young this girl looks?”
“Then young women started coming forward that Lil B specifically DMs these girls to send him photos of themselves half naked with his name on them so he can post them on Twitter and Instagram,” she continued. “And I’m not saying he’s specifically going out to prey on underaged [sic] girls but I have yet to see one girl say he asked for their age.” A number of Twitter users posted nearly identical messages from Lil B soliciting photos, and claimed that they were underage when they received the requests. One poster, who did not respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment, shared messages from Lil B on the Twitter thread, and said that the rapper posted photos of her online when she was 15 and 16.
“It’s completely disgusting,” Makeupbyshaniah concluded. “And even more disgusting how large of a fan base he has, and he has yet delete the photos.”
Lil B has 1.44 million followers on Twitter alone.
The Daily Beast spoke with five women who say that Lil B messaged them asking for photos when they were underage. Three of these women say that they have also tweeted selfies at GirlTime, a “gallery for female selfie expression” that was co-created by Lil B. The Twitter account @GirlTimeUSA was created in 2013. An early tweet from the account reads, “THIS IS NOT A PLACE TO SEND NUDE PHOTOS OR ANYTHING TO SEXUALLY EXPLICIT, GIRLTIME HAS ALOT OF HONOR AND RESPECT.” Another proclaims, “THE THEME ‘FACEANDFEET’ IS LIL B’S #FAVORITE THEME, THIS IS ONE THEME YOU CAN ALWAYS DO AND LIL B WILL ATLEAST LOOK.”
“Other photo themes include ‘full body,’ ‘no socks,’ and ‘mirror’ pics,” a 2013 Daily Dot article explained. “There’s a degree of direction to the impromptu shoots, which highlights the performance aspect of GirlTime. There might also be a degree of fetish in Lil B’s preference for ‘no socks’ or ‘face and feet.’” In a 2018 Complex interview, Lil B explained how he “worked with GirlTime and Cash App” to send “money to different girls for selfies”.
Samia Leake would post pictures of herself with the #GirlTime in 2014 and 2015; she was underage at the time. She described #GirlTime as Lil B’s “hashtag made to ‘appreciate girls.” Leake continued, “He would often retweet [my selfies] and would direct message me his email asking for pictures of me, with ‘lil b’ written of my chest, hands, and feet. I was 15 to 17 at the time, he didn’t know I was underage per say, but he made no effort to know.”
Leake is confident that Lil B found her through the GirlTime hashtag, saying, “The pictures I would tweet would be regular pictures of myself, whereas the ones he’d ask for were clearly meant to be more suggestive.”
“I felt special,” Leake recalled. “I was a teen and a celebrity was paying attention to me, a lot [of] young girls in my position would send those pictures simply because we would feel special. He knows this and uses it to his advantage.” (Lil B did not respond to multiple requests for comment for this story.)
Bea was 16 when the rapper reached out to her via DM. In a screenshot of a message that was reviewed by The Daily Beast, he wrote, “Hey babe can u write on hand body n feet I love Lil B and send me bunch of pics to choose from…wnna post on my ig n fb.” Lil B did not ask her how old she was. “When I received that message, I was in high school still,” Bea told The Daily Beast. “It never occurred to me what was so wrong with it. I never sent in my photos because I thought it was odd.”
Darriel told The Daily Beast that she also received a message from the rapper when she was 16. “He sends the exact same message to every girl, almost as if it’s a bot running his account,” she said. “I knew not to send anything and that was a weird request, but there’s many naive young girls that send him what he asks for just because he’s ‘famous.’ He does not ask for our age at all. He posts some photos but I’m willing to bet there’s millions of children on his laptop.”
In 2014, Lil B tweeted, “Girls RT this if you would rub Lil B’s Pee pee with your feet.” In 2011, he posted, “I like girls legs and feet for some reason I feel weird.” Lil B has clearly resolved to tweet through this recent backlash, posting more pictures and personally responding to disillusioned fans. On Monday afternoon, he tweeted photos of a woman covered in marker messages, posing with her skirt pulled up and her feet in the air. The rapper also started a thread on r/hiphopheads, writing, “Since evryone is talking behind my back ask me questions and send proof who u are not just trolling.”
In response to a Reddit user who cited multiple tweets from women claiming that Lil B messaged them when they were underage, he wrote, “Those are all mass text i send to everyone…now whats the problem? - Lil B.” Another user asked, “Do you really not see an issue with you being in the DM’s of, soliciting, and posting sexualized pictures of underaged girls?” The rapper countered, “Wait you think its a sexual thing? whats on your mind??????!!”
Zoe also responded to Makeupbyshaniah’s thread, and posted a photo of the message Lil B sent her soliciting pictures in 2015. She told The Daily Beast that she was “15 going on 16” when Lil B followed her on Instagram and DM’d her. “I didn’t really understand it at the time so I never responded,” she explained.
This isn’t the first time the rapper, who’s been posting photos like this for years, has been criticized on social media. In October, the Twitter account @cruelchulita started a thread for models to share their stories “if you were scammed/lowballed/treated badly by lil b.” When contacted by The Daily Beast, Cruelchulita directed us to their Instagram, where they had posted a number of people’s testimonies, with their consent. The accusations, all from people whom Lil B contacted and offered to pay for photos, ranged from the rapper offering as little as $1 per picture to certain models to failing to send agreed-upon wages and harassing workers.
Cruelchulita told The Daily Beast that they were first approached by Lil B in late March. “It was when my ManyVids account was less than two months old. He messaged me the copy-paste message that he sends everyone.” They couldn’t believe that Lil B was soliciting “fan signs” on ManyVids, an adult entertainment video hosting and live streaming company. “My first time talking to him he paid me but he led me on for a long time and made me feel like he wasn’t going to pay because of how long from request to payment the pause was,” Cruelchulita recalled.
They explained that in his messages, Lil B had asked for photos to post on “IG & FB.” But Cruelchulita ultimately found their photos posted on a Tumblr without their consent, with the Tumblr page sharing a name with Lil B’s personal email address. “If you notice I am not credited in any way at all. My pictures were passed around FOR FREE on foot fetish blogs because of this. Not what I signed up for at all.” After several more interactions with the rapper, in which he solicited photos but ultimately was unable or unwilling to pay upfront, Cruelchulita “decided to start delving really hard into his interactions with sex workers.”
Cruelchulita found that, “He’s been doing this to various people for years...Sometimes he will only offer them $20 and say it’s standard (he paid me $80....) sometimes he will treat you like you are stupid and only pay half and blame it on ‘site fees,’ and that’s not even counting the possible pedophilia, and the unwanted or uncredited exposure to a million people who make fun of us.”
“It’s also worth noting a lot of people specifically stated being credited/tagged as a condition for fulfilling the commission. He has never EVER once tagged anyone in the posts except himself. He portrays us as thirsty fan girls.” Ever since they called him out on Twitter, and as recently as this week, Lil B has messaged Cruelchulita directly to criticize their “mean attitude.” At one point, he wrote them, “You can create ur own narrative which I see you have been doing but ultimately I pay for content and support models but I don’t support models who are negative.”
Aerie responded to Cruelchulita’s thread saying that she had had a negative experience with the rapper as well. She told The Daily Beast that when Lil B first messaged her, “I had no idea he’d post without crediting and I was excited to do something for someone with a big following.”
“Lil B came to me with his copy-and-pasted message he started sending everyone at the time,” Aerie continued. “I even initially said I would do the photos for free in return for a tag on social media when he posted them and provided my handle to tag which is pretty generic across all social media platforms. He tipped $20 to ‘show his appreciation’ and promised to credit me in the photos.”
In screenshots of ManyVids messages that were reviewed by The Daily Beast, Aerie was clear about these terms and provided her handle for Lil B to tag her with. He responded, “il knowledge you through social media!” Months went by, and Lil B never posted the photos. “Once I saw that someone was complaining about him again after months of it not even occurring to me to check, I scrolled through his Instagram and there I was, finally, but with no tags.” After Aerie called Lil B out online for failing to tag her, he DM’d her, writing, “Your attitude is wack… Glad I did not promote you.”
Lux Lives, who also responded to Cruelchulita’s thread, told The Daily Beast that, “It’s been known for quite some time within the sex-work community that lil b is a thirsty time waster, but until cruelchulita started that thread there wasn’t really a big public discourse about it.” She described the rapper’s tendency to publish these photos on social media as “definitely not typical of custom photo buyers.”
“I think most people don’t know a lot of these pics come from sex workers since he doesn’t credit us. I think he’s trying to make it seem like girls just send him these pics,” she continued.
Asked about the backlash to the Lil B’s photos of alleged minors, which appears to have gotten more amplification on social media than Cruelchulita’s thread, Lux Lives responded, “Honestly, in my opinion, most people just don’t care that much if sex workers are treated badly, they think we deserve it on some level, whereas minors are kind of on the opposite side of the spectrum of women’s ‘virtue’…Not to mention sex workers are shadow banned throughout social media so a lot of people are insulated from our voices.”
She pointed out that, “People who are generally abusive toward women often target sex workers because they can get away with it.”
A month after Cruelchulita’s thread calling for testimonies, Lil B tweeted, “I have talked to thousands of sex workers and have built some amazing relashionships [sic]! I have also seen how negative and dark the industry can be and very toxic with bad attitudes and a lot of putting men down as well as putting women down! Stay positive love you all!!”