▲ David Andrew Burd, also known as Lil Dicky. Provided by more-sky.com
Money, slang, vulgarism, and black culture; these are probably some of the more recognizable aspects that most radio and hip hop fans are familiar with. Then Lil Dicky comes and changes the perspective of rap, by projecting his voice with honesty and authenticity. “I would like to go down as an important rapper,” says Lil Dicky. “If rap were a pizza, I would like to create my own slice, perhaps a buffalo chicken slice.” It is a heavy responsibility as a white comedian rapper, but he is willing to step up his game by trying his best.
David Andrew Burd, more commonly known as Lil Dicky, is an American rapper and comedian of Jewish descent. Unlike many hood neighborhoods, which typically reflect the many traits of mainstream rappers, Cheltenham, Pennsylvania, where Lil Dicky was raised, is a wealthy suburb. He never had to go through the struggles that many other rappers did, such as discrimination, drugs, and violence. Still, he had his own struggles—pressure from his parents about receiving good grades.
The blending of comedy and rap was always his goal, even before Lil Dicky released his first mixtape album So Hard (2013). In Boston Magazine, he said, “I want to have two concurrent careers, where I’m a rapper and a comedian.” He knew that he was competent with both, so he released his song “Ex-Boyfriend,” which went instantly viral as it received more than one million views on YouTube in less than 24 hours. Two years later, he released his first debut album Professional Rapper (2015), and his most popular song “$ave Dat Money,” which features guest stars Fetty Wap and Rich Homie Quan, even ranked 71st on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
While his background and rapping brings a fresh perspective to listeners, Lil Dicky has consistently faced backlash from other rappers because of his race, background, and the way he is altering the rap culture. Most traditional powers of the rap culture have been black and black people have consumed rap because it served as an anthem for their hardships. However, because Lil Dicky is combining both rap and comedy simultaneously, some people regard him as “not serious enough” to rap.
Nonetheless, Lil Dicky insisted that he is taking rap seriously and targeting the niche market because every rapper nowadays “sounds the same.” Most of Lil Dicky’s fans appreciate his rap persona for being less braggadocious, funnier, and more relatable to the listeners. He wants to make a legacy of being different from typical rappers and making one’s own path, rather than becoming a money earning machine.
Regarding Lil Dicky’s rapping style, his versatile flows and the unconventional switch of cadence is what catches the attention of the listeners. Furthermore, Lil Dicky prides himself on being able to include clever wordplay in his lyrics. Lil Dicky acknowledges the fact that some of his joke raps may offend other rappers but he merely aspires to show his goofy character in his songs.
Lil Dicky has talent and a passion for rap. Just because he is trying to go for his own rap genre, this does not mean that he is obliterating the hip-hop world. Even though black performers have predominantly expressed the hip-hop culture, more white rappers are debuting and becoming more mainstream. Lil Dicky is exclusive in this lop-sided arena for his fresh ideas and combination of comedy and rap.