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It’s a Monday night, and there’s a band bottomward Hollywood Boulevard, a hundred or so millennials, best of whom are white, abounding of whom are cutting sports jerseys, all agilely cat-and-mouse to see Lil Dicky banderole at the Fonda Theatre. Which for abounding passersby, and now abounding readers, apparently aloft the question: Who is Lil Dicky?
Lil Dicky is 27-year-old Dave Burd, a culturally Jewish ad man angry rapper via this absurd hip-hop video, and again this absurd hip-hop video, and now this absurd hip-hop video — anniversary of which were Internet sensations, blew up on Reddit, and bound accustomed added than a actor YouTube views. He’s about amid the Lonely Island and Logic, admitting afresh he’s been aiming for Future. He’s a concept-heavy rapper with decidedly able breeze (listen to him prove it in the additional ballad in his signature song, “Professional Rapper”). If there’s accuracy in his songs — not an accessible case to make, accustomed his small-penis-joke date name — it’s the way he self-deprecatingly picks afar his lameness, painting himself as a boilerplate early-twenties “basic” macho who doesn’t accomplish it out of a pregame, smokes too abundant weed, and ultimately wants adulation but is too absent to acquisition it.
Dicky’s Monday-night appearance was his third stop on his Looking for Adulation Tour. He bounced assimilate the date cutting a baseball jersey, apart to betrayal his biconcave chest, and billowing shorts. At his ancillary was his advertising man, who sported abbreviate dreads and a atramentous “Dickhead” T-shirt.
He opened the appearance with an ear-piercing arrangement of the above “Professional Rapper,” the appellation clue off his admission album, appear on July 31. Its video takes the anatomy of an interview, in which Snoop Dogg, acting on account of the absolute hip-hop community, interviews Dicky for a position as, you estimated it, a able rapper. “I capital to explain that aloof because I’m rapping in this funny way doesn’t beggarly that I’m not aces of absolutely actuality evaluated as a rapper,” Dicky explained to me in a buzz account aftermost week. “I additionally capital it to be on the affair of my life, you know, aggregate actuality congenital off of my résumé and, like, from 14 to 23, my accomplished activity actuality geared about my résumé. So I thought, what bigger way to get that bulletin of actuality aces as a rapper out than alleviative it as a job account and affairs my case? Like, literally.”
The song is able in synthesizing his meta adventure into a listenable six-minute rap song, but in agreement of actuality taken actively as a rapper, it’s adamantine to accept you’re audition him accurately because, what’s a worse way to be taken actively than a job account gag? “Professional Rapper” does the adverse of its apparent mbission. The clue sets Dicky up as an anti-rapper who parodies the genre’s excesses while flaccidly allurement to be let in. He absolutely blithely articles a gatekeeper, in Snoop, whose job it is to appoint him, about begrudgingly. Problem solved. He’s in. Let’s rap!
But first, aback to the Fonda for a quick monologue: “Look, I don’t apperceive if y’all can acquaint by now, but I can’t absolutely rap like a lot of these rappers. I don’t accept a Bugatti, a Ducati. I drive a 2002 Toyota Avalon — and boy does that affair run well. But for one song I appetite to apperceive what it feels like to drive a Maybach. I aloof appetite to feel mentally, in my mind, like I do in actuality drive a Maybach, so I appetite you all to apperceive me as such. Not alone that, aback this exhausted drops, everybody in this allegation drives a Maybach.”
He followed the address with “How Can I Become a Bawlaa,” an unimpressive song off his aboriginal mixtape. The appellation says it all. He wants to rap about “money hoes et cetera,” but he can’t because, you know, he was built-in white and average class. It’s not a decidedly funny song and best of the jokes — “Homicidal tendencies / The alone chef that I can avowal about is seeded sesame / I’m anxious B” — abatement flat. But the affect was genuine, and, I imagine, aggregate by best of the predominantly white army — few of whom were rap concert rookies. To a degree, he has captured an aspect of what brought hip-hop into white suburbs and is bulging that affection aback to his audience. It’s hip-hop as a commissioned agreement in excess, a simulation of a added eventful, glamorized lifestyle. What separates Dicky is that he makes no basic of assuming the acquaintance with us. He wants to be air-conditioned as abundant as we do. It’s what he’s cutting for by spitting quick, affable fame, and agreeable in his own affectionate of balance — he brought out a crossbow at one point for the account of a joke. And yet, all the while he’s cogent us how crank he is.
To added prove the point that he’s not able of active the hip-hop dream, he’s quick to acknowledge that his abutting ambition in activity is award adulation and clearing down. He’s afterwards traditional, apparent boilerplate monogamy, appropriately the name of his tour. In a move according genitalia sweet, hilarious, and corny, he fabricated Monday’s appearance into his own array of Newlywed Game, an breach in which he’d sporadically accept acquisitive women in the army to appear on stage, circuit a wheel, and acquire his love. The aboriginal adversary was tasked with cartoon Dicky’s account (on stage, while he rapped); the additional had to pin a dick on his advertising man; and the third went on a apish after-date airing to the (invisible) door, which concluded in a kiss, and again another.
“I feel appealing acceptable about kissing Lil Dicky. He was a acceptable kisser,” Babe 3, a 22-year-old FIDM student, said afterwards the show. “Personally, he’s a white Jewish rapper, I’m a white Jewish girl, so that’s cool. I additionally like that — I don’t know, he’s just, like, relatable, because we’re all aggravating to save money. We’re young, you know. He’s aloof original. Something that hasn’t been apparent absolutely yet.” This is what Dicky’s activity for. He wants to be the best, but absolutely he wants to be the best that he can be, which agency authoritative bodies beam and creating hip-hop that’s banally relatable.
“Obviously my aspirations are to be advised one of the best,” he told me aftermost week. “Like anyone rapping should accept that mind-set. But really, do I anticipate that in 10 years bodies are activity to attending at me the way they attending at Jay Z? Like, no, I’m not an idiot. I agnosticism that that will happen. But I do anticipate that I can actualize some array of lane or alcove that hadn’t absolutely been acclimated before.”
At this moment, Lil Dicky is apparently at the success-maximizing point of his abuse curve. Bloggers accept already accused him of appropriation, white privilege, base his Jewish heritage, and aloof apparent actuality an asshole. One of Dicky’s songs is alleged “$ave That Money,” a “Thrift Shop”–esque ode to actuality frugal — a absolute adverse to hip-hop’s affection for emphasizing apparent displays of abundance that opened him up to “Thrift Shop”–esque ancestral aloofness complaints. But he’s not yet acclaimed abundant for these critiques to echo like they did for Macklemore. What Dicky charge apprehend if he wants to breach through to the abutting akin is that he’s at his best aback he’s at his goofiest — creating dating bold shows, or featuring his academician on an 11-minute song about pillow allocution that meanders into a chat about an conflicting invasion; he’s at his affliction aback it feels like he’s satirizing hip-hop and/or societally marginalized groups. It’s adamantine to brainstorm addition aisle but that of the antic or the roastee. For acceptable and for ill, he still believes that “the funniest I anytime was in eighth grade.” And that’s how he appeared to me on Monday, alone by show’s end his shorts were off and he had a edgeless in his hand.
Max Cea (@max_cea) is a Grantland intern.
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