When Lil B walked into the Reitz Union Grand Ballroom on Thursday night, he took the microphone and yelled “Florida” to a crowd of about 600.
UF students listened to Lil B, the rapper known as “The Based God,” as part of the Reitz Union Grand Reopening Celebration Week.
About 100 people stood in a standby line to see the rapper. During his talk, he encouraged students to set goals for themselves and be happy with who they are.
“There is a lot of things on my mind,” he said. “There are a lot of things I do want to speak about.”
He told the audience he prepared a quote especially for UF students.
“We deserve the right to live,” Lil B said. “We deserve the right to love.”
During his speech, Lil B responded to students as the cheered and shouted.
“I’m listening to you guys,” he said. “I care about you.”
Lil B also motivated students when he spoke about how he has set goals for himself.
He said he is independent and has no corporate backing.
He isn’t signed with a label.
“There is nothing wrong with small steps and setting goals,” Lil B said.
He also said students should continue working hard.
“I respect you guys because you are learning daily, pushing your minds,” Lil B said. “You are pushing yourselves to the maximum, and I really respect that.”
UF zoology freshman Xavier Edwards has followed the rapper for nine years. He said his license plate is “BASED21.”
“He always brings a positive mentality, and he stays based,” the 18-year-old said. “Based is keeping the positive attitude and not caring what other people do to deter you from your goals.”
Austin Brown, Reitz Union Board Entertainment co-director of the bands committee, said he’s wanted to bring Lil B to campus since August and had planned Thursday’s talk since December.
“Lil B is just going to be the first of many hallmark events at the expanded Reitz,” the 20-year-old UF statistics junior said. “He is a very well-known celebrity. His fan base is very large and very devoted.”
UF soil and water science sophomore Chris Miglioranzi wore a shirt that said “F--- Kevin Durant,” referencing a song Lil B released in 2014.
Miglioranzi has followed the rapper for five years. He said he didn’t know what to expect Lil B to talk about.
“I saw that he gave a speech at MIT, but I never thought he would come to UF,” the 20-year-old said.