Move over, Blue Ivy: there’s a new ingénue on the music scene and she’s not even human. Keke, the pet cat of Berkeley rapper Lil B, made her debut in a track dropped on YouTube yesterday, sensationally billed as “Keke The Adopted Tabby Cat MAKES HISTORY! FIRST ANIMAL IN HIP HOP! FEAT LIL B !!!”
Yes, you read that correctly–kitty Keke is listed as the song’s primary artist, and her rapping owner, who has recorded solo and with Bay Area group The Pack, is merely a guest vocalist.
Indeed, Keke’s purring is certainly audible in the groundbreaking record, which is complete with clanging percussions and electronic buzzing. Lil B, also known by his alias “The Based God,” steps in on the track mostly to offer encouraging words to his feline friend.
“Keke, say something,” Lil B urges, before being greeted with a melodic purr. “Good kitty.”
Lil B does, however, go so far as to add his own “meows” to the song. In the description accompanying the YouTube video, which had over 55,000 views as of Tuesday morning, 23-year-old Lil B explains KeKe’s new single thusly:
“PRODUCED BY LIL B! THIS IS AMAZIING!!! HOW WAS THIS DONE? KEKE THE ADOPTED TABBY CAT, SOME CALL HER KEKE THE BASED CAT HAS MADE HISTORY! WITH HER PROUD FRIEND LIL B, THEY BOTH ARE EXTREMLY HAPPY TO SPREAD LOVE WITH HUMANS AND ANIMALS TOGETHER, KEKE HAS WAITED A LONG TIME AND SAID THERE IS MORE COMING SOON MABY, LETS TAKE OUR TIME, TODAY ITS THANK YOU BASEDGOD FIRST, THEN THANK YOU LIL B… NOW THANK YOU KEKE – Lil B”
For those who follow Lil B’s oft-bizarre antics, KeKe’s track probably does not come as much of a surprise. Last April, the rapper delivered an unscripted lecture at NYU in which he discussed his appreciation for his furry pal.
“You know I’m the first rapper to adopt a tabby cat,” Lil B reportedly said. “You know I adopted straight from the ASPCA, you feel me? Just breaking the boundaries, man, showing everybody it’s okay to be yourself.”
Lil B, née Brandon McCartney, announced Keke’s musical unveiling on Twitter to his nearly 580,000 followers.
(MORE: Hip-hop’s Down Beat)
Notably, the Golden State artist has been seen as a counter figure to Odd Future’s Tyler, the Creator and likeminded rappers known for their frequent, unapologetic use of homophobic slurs. Although his underlying message is up for debate, self-identified heterosexual Lil B released an album controversially titled “I’m Gay” and announced his outright support for GLAAD, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
“I am an ally,” Lil B told Vulture last year. “I’m a supporter of GLAAD and the gay community. It’s major love. I have love for the community and I have love for people in general.”
The Based God indisputably has love for beings of the four-legged variety.
“At the end of the day, we can’t judge anybody,” Lil B said in his NYU speech. “From the richest to the homeless, from the dog to the cat.”
He said the decision to adopt his tabby was a way to “embrace” himself, and he advised the audience to “continue to love yourself and accept.”
Still, it remains unclear whether hip-hop heads will learn to love and accept Keke’s musical endeavors.