Lil B’s Extremely Rare Berkeley

Photos by Austin Adams 

The thousands of tweets that Brandon “Lil B” McCartney has written about life, love, and creativity should have hinted that he'd give away his art in a similar fashion.  When he announced that the audience could take anything in his first art show, "Lil B: Extremely Rare Photography and Art Collection Issue #1", no one knew how to react. It’s hard to believe that his keyboard was up for grabs or that the Berkeley-based rapper loves his fans that much. But, things got real once everyone swarmed the table in front of him, trying to pick their favorites from the autographed photos (check out the last photo), magazines, and posters.  Lil B's love got real when he enthusiastically met and posed for pictures with anyone who approached him-- he even reposted most people's photos on Instagram.

Lil B is known for expressing his constant, unfiltered compassion and creativity with music.  His love for people also drives his photography practice, but translating it into a visual medium reveals a more perceptive side of the rapper.  While his music is best when played loud, his photography captures the most quiet of scenes in nature, architecture, or of people. Many the photos were taken during walks on University, Shattuck, and other streets in Berkeley.  He's always been excited about bringing more attention to his hometown, but he also seems excited about the people who live there. “I feel like anybody from Berkeley can come talk to me,” said Brandon (not Lil B or Basedgod) before offering himself and his art to the crowd.   

Kirsten Chen