Yes, Lil Dicky is one of the greatest rappers this generation has ever seen. David Andrew Burd was born in 1988 in a town near Philadelphia. Raised in an upper-middle-class, Jewish family, Burd did not face the same back stories as many influential rappers. He attended the University of Richmond and graduated Summa Cum Laude from their business school. He then went on to get a job as an account manager at an advertising agency and quickly moved to their creative department.
LD is best known for his odd style, which can be seen in his music videos. One of the main contributors to his fame was the music video to “Ex-Boyfriend” which rapidly went viral. It was this video that drew me to Lil Dicky. He embraces his weirdness and includes it in his lyrics. In his track, “Professional Rapper,” LD responds to Snoop Dogg calling him out for backing out of a hypothetical fight:
“Nah, that’s my niche! Don’t get offended by this, but that’s the market y’all missed. That’s the target I’ll hit and that’s the heart of my pitch I wanna do this whole thing different.”
Burd acknowledged that he is not a “typical” rapper by any means. He wants his flow to be different and to draw a crowd of his own, not the same crowds associated with current rappers. The topics of his songs are completely out of the ordinary. Titles of his tracks range from “White Crime,” “Lemme Freak,” “Classic Male Pregame” and “Pillow Talking.”
He is using his contradictory personality to create a name for himself in the rap community. Many listeners take his songs as jokes, but the man can rap. His flow is on par with some of the most popular rappers on today’s radio stations. In an article titled “A Complete Breakdown of Lil Dicky’s Bizarre ‘Pillow Talking’ Short Film,” Brent Bradley said, “Lil Dicky has built a reputation on his penchant for blurring the lines between trite, Three Loco-esque comedy rap and legitimate lyrical ability.”
Just recently, LD released another music video to “Pillow Talking” that includes his twist on rap. Another example of his unusual flow is that, on this track, a character named “Brain” is featured. Brain is a CGI character of LD’s from his own Twitter and Instagram accounts that is seen in this music video. However, this music video is the quintessential example of Lil Dicky’s effective, yet odd, twist on modern rap. Rather than being like most of the influential rappers of this time, he decides to rap about completely random things while creating a culture of embracing his bizarre self. The video features hypothetical alien invasions, a CGI brain, dinosaurs and many more wild things. In his other music videos, such as “$ave Dat Money,” there is a part where he walks around an extremely affluent neighborhood going door-to-door in search of a house to use for his video. In the video, he spends almost no money to produce a video that, without his objection to “save that money,” would have cost thousands of dollars. In taking a different spin on the rap game, LD shows that he is not like basic rappers trying to showboat their wealth.
In addition, Lil Dicky’s SoundCloud features many of his other tracks, even freestyles over beats used by Kanye and Drake. He finds ways to incorporate his weird flow over other popular beats such as the one in “YEEZUS.” LD also has a song titled “The ‘90s,” where he reminisces about all of the highlights about growing up in the 90s. In the song, he raps about a variety of topics reminiscent of this time, from Michael Jordan, to Tamagotchis, to Oregon Trail, to Beanie Babies. I instantly connected when I heard this song and I know many other 90s kids did too.
Finally, Lil Dicky is known for opening up most of his songs with a nickname for himself, reinforcing the idea that he just wants to have fun rapping and enjoy being himself. An example being “The Independent Variable” or “White Jesus.”
I encourage everyone to listen to Lil Dicky. I understand that rap is not for everyone, but he is an atypical rapper. He redefines the rap community with his “don’t care” attitude and unique flow, refusing to conform to the basic rap lifestyle.