Imagine you're holding an instruction manual called "How to be a Famous Rapper." Now open to page one.
What does it say? There's probably some stuff about making beats, money, diamonds — the usual suspects. Chances are, nowhere in your imaginary text does it say anything about devoting entire verses to another man's impressive penis. But, in his budding rap/comedy career, Lil Dicky, hasn't exactly played by the book.
David Burd, also known as Lil Dicky, is one of rap's most unlikely newcomers. Birthed from the uterus of YouTube, the former skinny Jewish kid from a small town just outside of North Philadelphia, is one of hip-hop's most unique (and hilarious) voices.
After converting a monthly progress report into a rap video, his superiors at the ad agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners were so impressed, they offered him a job in the creative department. But it wasn't long until Lil Dicky left to pursue music and comedy.
Now, after raising over $100,000 on Kickstarter, Lil Dicky has released over 30 songs and 15 music videos, amassing millions of views and earning enough of a fan base to launch a national tour. But as his career continues to develop, Lil Dicky is trying new things. He's tested the waters with some serious tracks including "Make Belief," and "Russell Westbrook On a Farm," and has expressed interest in easing up on the comedy angle and producing an authentic effort.
But, for now, Dicky's coming to town to make you laugh. We'll have to wait and see if that changes next year. New Times: What's your game plan for getting people to stop thinking of you as just a comedian, and start taking you seriously as a rapper? Lil Dicky:I'm totally fine with people thinking I'm a comedian alongside being a rapper, but my game plan for being viewed seriously as a rapper is simply to make the best music I can - and let that speak for itself.
What do you think it is that allowed you to succeed and amass thousands and thousands of views. You're certainly not the only funny guy making videos on the internet. What did you tap into that made you get noticed?
I think I was one of the first guys who really combined true comedy, and true musicality. Before me, a lot of guys could do one really well, and the other kind of so-so. I genuinely believe I'm the first person to really check both boxes.
I know you're in the studio now. What are you working on and how will this material be different from your past music?
I just finished wrapping my first real project, my debut album - Professional Rapper. It's going to feel like a lot "realer" of a thing now, from a rap music perspective. I've said this before, but my earlier work felt like a comedian that could rap well, and I think now I'm trying to be a rapper that can be funny well.
What's it like performing live? Do fans come in expecting a certain thing? And what do you try and give them?
It's super fun. I honestly enjoy the time in between songs more than the actual songs. I love talking and making jokes. My set is kind a rap show infused with stand up, infused with a business presentation. Like, I do a powerpoint throughout the show. I just want people to have fun, be happy, and let loose. I think the vibe is really special at my shows - people routinely say it was the most fun performance they've been to. You and Donald Glover seem to be on similar trajectories. Have you ever met him? What do you think of what he's managed to do with his rap career?
I've never met him, but I definitely respect his ability to play in both lanes. It's super difficult - mostly from a time standpoint. I've seen first hand how long the rap thing takes, and how much touring can suck out of your schedule, so to be in movies too, to be writing his own TV show - I admire a guy that can multitask to that extent.
Who are your favorite rappers?
Jay Z is my favorite rapper ever. Right now, Drake is my favorite rapper. I love Kanye, J Cole, Lil Wayne, Nas, and ASAP Rocky is super dope.
Lil Dicky with ProbCause. 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 12, at Culture Room, 3045 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-564-1074, or visit cultureroom.net. Tickets cost $17 plus fees via ticketmaster.com.
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Ryan Pfeffer is Miami New Times’ music editor. After earning a BS in editing, writing, and media from Florida State University, Ryan joined the New Times staff in November 2013 as a web editor, where he coined the phrase "pee-tweet" (to retweet someone while urinating). Born and raised in Fort Lauderdale, he’s now neck-deep in bass and booty in the 305.