Lil B’s extremely rare lecture caused quite the stir on campus last week. The Based God entertained a packed Kimmel auditorium while tweets from around the world poured in. So who thought of the idea that created all of this madness? Max Mellman, the lectures chair of NYU’s Program Board, was the man responsible for booking Lil B at our university. He’s originally from Cleveland, Ohio and he’s part of the class of 2013.
NYU Local spoke with Max about getting Lil B to come to NYU and who his dream speaker at NYU would be.
How did you think of the idea of booking Lil B for a talk vs. a concert?
Well since I’m the Lectures Chair, I could book him only for a talk. I know last year we looked into booking him, but it was going to be out of our budget for that show.
Did you reach out to them?
Yeah, we made a list of people to reach out to and he was on the list, even though we never thought in a million years that it would actually be a thing that could happen. When his agent emailed me back saying it sounded like a really good idea, I was shocked.
How hard was it to put this event together?
Actually, it wasn’t too difficult. I had a lot of really amazing people helping along the way, from our faculty advisor to the Kimmel staff to the Program Board members who worked the show. The hardest part for me was just balancing the planning of the Lil B event with the planning for my movie that I’m shooting this weekend (two days after Lil B).
Are you a fan of Lil B?
I am a fan of Lil B; it took me a little bit, but I really enjoy some of his music. There are some things that I don’t really love, but things like Red Flame and God’s Father are great. I’m an even bigger fan of waking up every morning, going on Facebook and seeing something like “GOOD MORNING WORLD YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL AND I LOVE YOU – LIL B” because that always makes me so happy. He’s just the most genuinely loving person I think I’ve ever met.
What do you think of the response to the event?
I was so happy to see so many kids so happy about an event! I was a little bit bummed to see that there were a few people who were there just to yell memes at him while he was talking or people who were there to just laugh at him rather than listen to what he had to say. But overall, I felt like there were a lot of people who were there to hear what he had to say and really listened to it. I think those people are the ones who left having actually benefited from the experience. I was really happy to see so much positivity in that room.
Will PB do more speaking events like this in the future? Any ideas yet, who’s your dream person to book?
I mean, every year we do a couple of speaking events, we have a Lectures committee. But as far as having a hip-hop artist like Lil B speak, I’m not sure. It was a great event and I was really happy with it; I don’t know what we can do to top that! As for my dream person, I’m a film student, so Werner Herzog is my all-time #1 hero, so having him speak would be an absolute miracle. We reached out to him, but unfortunately it couldn’t work out, which was a shame, since he is an absolutely incredible speaker!