The rapper from Philadelphia's songs are funny, but he takes hip-hop seriously.
This week, we welcome a new contributor to My Spilt Milk, Emily Tonn. This is her first story for the site.
It’s been almost a year since rapper Lil Dicky took on The House of Blues back in September. That night, he gave a titillating lap dance to the most gorgeous/stoic fan in the audience? With any luck, he’ll reprise his sexy dance for New Orleans when he performs this Monday at One Eyed Jacks.
Lil Dicky, born David Burd, is a rapper/comedian who grew up in a quaint, upper middle class suburb of Philadelphia. Because his upbringing was so different from that of many rappers, he faced his fair share of skeptics. “It was never like Oh my God, you could be taken seriously as a rapper,” he says.
Growing up, Dicky had a limited musical background and only played the drums in high school—but even back then he rapped for fun. “It wasn’t until senior year of college that I got my first laptop and I saw Garageband and that you could actually make high quality MP3 beats,” he says. “It quickly turned into an obsession.”
He spent 2011 honing his craft until he had enough material for a mixtape, and he eventually put So Hard out in 2013. It blew up.
Since Lil Dicky does not have the classic rags-to-riches mentality of the rap community, he has to write about what he knows: being a white, Jewish, dude who rarely gets laid and still uses Tinder. However, Dicky is acutely aware of his own white privilege and comfortable upbringing, and punctures it with music videos such as “White Dude.” Because he can’t identify with starting with nothing, he brags
I’m rollin with the top back
I ain’t gotta worry where the cops at
I ain’t gotta where a fucking bra strap.
Me and the crew are really doing everything that we like to
man it’s a damn good day to be a white dude.
Dicky’s music is full of this self-depreciating humor. When his first viral music video “Ex-Boyfriend” hit Reddit, it gained more than a million views within a day because of the song’s hilarious accessibility. It’s about how Lil Dicky is going to get laid by his outrageously beautiful girlfriend for the first time, only to be interrupted by her equally beautiful ex-boyfriend later that day. But not only does this hottie have an incredible bod with looks to match, Dicky finds himself in the bathroom with him to look over only to find out that he’s the opposite of her ex in more ways than one.
Lil Dicky writes his music on his own real life experiences with a frat boy sense of humor that has earned him more than 40 million views on YouTube. While other rappers brag about fame, money, and multiple chicks a night, he raps about The Lion King, his Jewish flow, and rap battle with Hitler. Whether it’s owning up to needing an emotional connection with a girl before getting laid or bragging about his Tinder dates, Dicky is a man of the people.
He’s naturally good at rapping and always has been. In sixth grade, he used to rap for projects and receive A’s. In his post-college career in advertising, he rapped his monthly reports, so the company promoted him to write copy in their creative department, most notably for the NBA’s “BIG” Campaign. It was then that Lil Dicky decided to pursue both of his passions: comedy and rap. Comedy has always been the endgame; rap is the vehicle.
His flow is strong enough to get respect from Rich Homie Quan and Fetty Wap, both of whom guest on his track, “Save Dat Money”—about a frugal rapper who avoids lavish spending—from his debut album, Professional Rapper due out July 31.
“It’s crazy to me that it started off as a Jewish boy from the suburbs who now has Fetty Wap and Rich Homie Quan on his songs—but that’s awesome,” Lil Dicky says. “It’s cool. I’m definitely in the rap game.”
Lil Dicky doesn’t treat rap as a joke, though. It’s what sets him apart from Weird Al and The Lonely Island. Luckily for him he has the chops to be recognized and embraced by the rap community while still being funny. At the end of the day, he says,
“It’s all about the respect level of the music and the rapping,” he says.