2011 mtvU Woodie Awards Preview: Q&A With Lil B

Over here at MTV, we’re all atwitter with excitement for the 2011 mtvU Woodie Awards, happening during Austin’s South By Southwest Music Festival on Wednesday, March 16, at midnight (ET/PT)! This year’s lineup is hotter than ever, with “Community” star and Woodies host Donald Glover and scheduled performances by Wiz Khalifa, Sleigh Bells and Two Door Cinema Club. We sat down for a little Q&A with three of the hottest 2011 Woodies nominees: Lil B, Chiddy Bang and Woodies veterans Matt & Kim. First up, Lil B talks Ellen DeGeneres, the future of hip-hop and the gospel of the Based God.

Q: You use the term swag a lot in your music, but the word is everywhere right now. Do you think it’s in danger of being overused?
Lil B: Before I brought the word swag back to cooler terms, it was about a year ago, I hated the word. Before I started saying it I was one of the people that was like, Man I hate that word. I started saying it as a joke in my music. Somehow I made it as a trend again. But I’m honored. I feel like every time someone says swag, they’re saying me, you know? It feels good.

Q: Can you explain to people what your Based philosophy is?
Lil B: Based philosophy is just being yourself, doing what you wanna do, being positive. Not really caring what other people think about you. And you just really wanna live your life the way you wanna live it. Just accepting who you are.

Q: You’ve already conquered the dance “Cooking”? What’s your next dance craze going to be?
Lil B: (Laughing) I’ve been thinking about that next dance move that’s gonna sweep the hearts of some people. I’ll keep you updated. I’ve been having some thoughts lately. Like really epic, you know? So it’s gonna be amazing.

Q: You have a track called “Ellen DeGeneres.” Has Ellen heard it?
Lil B: I guess Ellen is not one of the 1 million people who has seen the video in the last four months. I don’t know if she’s seen it. But it’s just love even if she hasn’t seen it. Shout out to Ellen DeGeneres! And if I go to that show, it’ll be fun, but I’m not really asking for nothing. Hopefully she saw it.

Q: You’re nominated for a Left Field Woodie, which is a category for artists who’ve pushed the envelope and taken things to the next level. What do you predict for the future of hip-hop? What’s going to be the next big thing?
Lil B: I think hip-hop is gonna stop being so narrow-minded. Hip-hop is gonna progress to something that is more accepting and more revolutionary for the people because everybody will be included.

Q: Who is hip-hop not including now?
Lil B: Hip-hop is discriminatory toward gays, against happy people. If you’re happy, hip-hop hates you. You could say, “Wow! These hip-hop people are really Republican, they’re really conservative!” Hip-hop has been doing the same thing for years, and a lot of people are OK with it.

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Q: Republicans have the elephant, and Democrats have the donkey. What would be the mascot for Democrats of hip-hop?
Lil B: The Democrat of hip-hop is the sunflower. And that’s what I’m gonna get tattooed: a sunflower. There’s a lot of negative [energy], but there’s a lot more positive. You just have to take it when it comes and be prepared and be honored that you have hate, because if people are hating on you, you’re on the right track. You have to take it all in and balance it. Just keep that safe and positive vibe about the earth and just keep going.

Q: Odd Future is gonna be at this year’s Woodies, and that’s got a lot of people scared for their personal safety! Are you scared?
Lil B: Nah, you know, it’s gonna be good to finally meet them. They seem like interesting people. I’m just gonna go in there with a positive attitude. I’m gonna go there happy and just watch the performances. It’s good to see how fast they came up. It’s just great to see new people. It’s gonna be exciting.

Q: Of the other performers who are you most excited to see?
Lil B: I always love Wiz Khalifa, always. That’s family. I’ll be performing “in spirit.” I’m excited to see Wiz, though.