An Outsider’s Guide to the Lil B–Kevin Durant Beef

It’s a universal truth. Like oil and vinegar, or Puffy and Steve Stoute, or rock, paper, and scissors — some forces in this world are just destined to collide. For years now, the fire has simmered between two generation-defining icons. Then this weekend, rapper Lil B set the Internet ablaze all over again when he released a song titled “Fuck Kevin Durant.”

Listen to it for the full three minutes. How does it make you feel?

Angry? Rare? Based? Horribly confused as to what’s happening here?

We’re here to help. We’re going to learn about this together. What follows is a 10-point guide to the on-again-off-again Based God beef that’s now on all over again.

Let’s begin.

1. Who is Lil B? This is a great question with no easy answers. Lil B has been a rapper, a motivational speaker, a potential D-League basketball player, a hero, a revolutionary, possibly even a religion.

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He is all of those things, he is none of those things. He is the man who inspired the Based Movement, which inspired Based Grantland Intern Danny Chau to write, “We often use truth to delineate right and wrong, real and fake. But in Based World, truth is all of it, everything all at once.”

Honestly, it’s hard to tell whether everyone’s joking or completely serious when we talk about Lil B. When I told this to Danny Chau, he said, “That’s what you learn about Lil B. It’s not this or that. It’s both. You don’t have to break things into a dichotomy.”

So there you go.

All I know is that every few months Lil B pops up and does something that brightens my whole week, so I will always love him. Example: His lecture at NYU in 2012, or that time he sampled the Titanic song and just rambled for a solid four minutes.

The world is a better place with Lil B around.

2. When did this beef start? 2011.

3. And why? Because Kevin Durant took to Twitter to blaspheme against the Based God.

That was it. That was Germany invading Poland, the British taxing our tea, and the Gulf of Tonkin all rolled into 98 characters. Everything could’ve been avoided if KD had just saved that to drafts.

4. Then Lil B dropped the bomb. #Based. #Gods. #Curse.

5. Somewhere along the way, there was talk of a 1-on-1 game to settle all this.×400/DurantLilB.jpg

Lil B was game. From the video for “Warm Ups”:


Chatter continued on Twitter:

6. But there was confusion about where this showdown would take place.

So it looked like we were getting somewhere.

Then … nothing. No game. No scores. Nothing settled.

7. Is Lil B even good at basketball? Great question, Lil B has your answer.

As Rembert noted last year, Lil B, a.k.a. Brandon McCartney, tried out for the D-League, so at least we know he’s capable of moving his limbs in basketball-like fashion if a 1-on-1 game ever happens.

8. Note: Somewhere in the middle of this, there was a cease-fire.

But those days are over. This came during the All-Star Game a few weeks ago.

Now we’re not even spelling his name right anymore.

And it’s all about fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck Kevin Duraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaant.

9. This is so great, but so horrible.


(Based collector’s item via @phillip_nguyen)

10. What happens next? I have no idea. Lil B, a.k.a. Brandon McCartney, a.k.a. Based God, is a shining beacon of wisdom and truth and hope, here to brighten the days for us all. He’s like the Dalai Lama of rap Internet.

He’s writing his own version of Eat, Pray, Love one tweet at a time.

Meanwhile, Kevin Durant is like the Mother Teresa of the NBA. Nobody can possibly hate KD. You would think by now people would’ve started hating KD just because he’s so unhateable, but nope. It hasn’t happened. Until now. #FuckKD is its own Based movement now. It’s another important moment in the intertwined journeys of two legends.

The Dalai Lama has cursed Mother Teresa (again). The Based God is wreaking havoc on the Slim Reaper. I don’t know what the hell is happening, I just know I love them both and this is tearing my heart in half.

But right now, there’s only one thing that everyone must know. Since Lil B tweeted #TheBasedGodsCurse, Kevin Durant has lost in the NBA Finals, seen his ownership break up a dynasty, and then watched his second-best player get hurt, ruining last year’s playoffs.

This year, he was having the greatest season of his life, and now he and the Thunder are coming back to earth. I used to think this was because they were having trouble integrating Russ Westbrook back into the lineup, but that’s before I found out Lil B tweeted “Fuck Kevin Durant” during the All-Star Game. The formerly first place Thunder are 3-5 since, and after the “Fuck Kevin Durant” song dropped this weekend, the Thunder fell apart on national television and endured the most embarrassing loss of their season.

Maybe this is all gibberish. It’s definitely all gibberish.

But the curse is real, isn’t it?

Filed Under: NBA

Andrew Sharp is a staff editor at Grantland.

Archive @ andrewsharp