With the words "I'm gonna do the most controversial thing in hip hop," spoken onstage at Coachella 2011, Lil B more or less summed up his musical career to date. It wasn't so much the superlative self-assurance, or provocative, sneering attitude behind it, although that's all part of it. The reason this sentence truly captures Lil B is because it's a candid, open expression of what he believes he is doing. Controversy is his game, and he's arguably played it better than any other rapper in recent years.

The Based God gave this speech at the time to announce the title of his debut album, which dropped last year, I'm Gay (later with parentheses added to stress I'm Happy). Arriving on the back of literally thousands of songs released via MySpace and Mediafire, the record had to be more than just new music. It had to be anticipated. It had to be "the most controversial thing in hip hop."

22-year-old Brandon McCartney burst out of Bay Area one-hit-wonders The Pack back in 2010 by creating over 155 MySpace pages. In an era where the maintenance of just one or two social media pages seems to take up approximately 95% of the average person's time, this seems literally crazy. As he leaked music as though it was pumping out of his arteries, B's hits kept the internet talking purely because they comprised about half of the internet itself. That's how he gets his attention; that's how he makes his name. He has to be the most at something. Releasing the most music, cramming the most amount of thoughts into a bar, doing the most controversial thing in hip hop.

For many fans, it's Lil B's dedication to saying the things that remain unsaid in hip hop which draws them to his music. Lupe Fiasco counts himself among this wave of the Based God's disciples, as he once wrote in a blog entitled 'Why I like Lil B', “The Hood Is A Lie! [referring to a lyric from the album track 'Unchain Me'] speaks louder to me than the best, most well-timed, Just Blaze produced and Hype Williams directed punchline any rapper can think of!"

Many would disagree with this approach to what could be seen as just gimmickery. A lot of what Lil B does is about creating a conversation, rather than it is about really saying something. Titling his album I'm Gay meant that the rapper remained a talking point for most of 2011; but his willingness to quell the debate with (I'm Happy) once it got a bit too heated just goes to show that his message is pretty mixed. During the Coachella tirade in which he tried to explain his reasons for the title of his debut, Lil B elaborated, "so many people worry about definitions of words and shit." Perhaps his own problem is that he doesn't worry about definition enough.

There's no question, though, that Lil B's own brand of home-cooked controversy has proved just as effective as the million-dollar equivalent shelled out by his mainstream contemporaries; where they have outrageous imagery and elaborate stunts, Lil B has his mouth, and whatever inflammatory combination of words he can make come out of it. Unlike Tyler, the Creator and the rest of OFWGKTA, whose brand of shock is more "how many times can I offend my listener in this hook?," B aims more for the kind of controversy that gets his listener on board. It's the kind of controversy that's purely controversial because no one has thought to go there before. He makes it seem like no one has to thought to claim to be gay, or to denounce the hood, in hip hop before. Lil B sees a space, and he dives into it. And then he floods it with 1500 songs.

Prolific, provocative and pretty difficult to define, the Based God is unlike any other rapper because his thoughts are not purely with his craft, but with the movement that he's creating; the movement that he is. With that in mind, it will be worth heading to XOYO to catch him live on the 5th May. It's likely to be the most controversial Lil B show you'll see in London this year.