Lil Dicky’s meteoric rise through the hip-hop game has been nothing but perplexing to me. On the surface, he seems innocent enough; a comedy rapper from Philadelphia whose “Ex-Boyfriend” video punched a hole through the internet and allowed him to leave his cushy advertising agency job behind to ride The Lonely Island’s coattails. However, his Kickstarter-funded album Professional Rapper and an unsavory interview with Noisey painted a different picture for me. A picture with his head straight up his ass.
To save you from diving into the 20-track project yourself, just know that it’s 90+ minutes are split between White Guy Comedy Raps© that wouldn’t even pass muster on MTV’s Yo Momma and Dicky trying to distance himself from White Guy Comedy Rap©. His inflamed ego and his overbearing obliviousness to his whiteness makes “serious” songs like The Snoop Dogg-featured title track and “Truman” just as boneheaded and silly as jokes songs like “White Crime” and “Lemme Freak.”
He literally pitches being a comedy rapper as his angle one moment before mounting the high horse about the middle-class struggle the next: “I think I’ve overcome a lifestyle. I think it’s very brave,” he said when asked by Noisey’s Drew Millard about his struggle. “There’s a line in one of my songs that comes out in the future that says, “This wasn’t rappin’ or trappin / This was rappin’ or a big ol’ fucking house with a family.” I had everything to lose, if that makes sense. Obviously it’s very impressive when you go from nothing to something. But let’s be realistic, sometimes people have nothing to lose and it’s very easy to go for their dreams. I had a very safe route that would make me relatively content for the rest of my life. And I pretty much put that aside. I don’t think that should be ignored in my opinion, I think that’s a brave thing.”
Yes, he really thinks that giving up on a job that he could easily return to to pursue his dreams is the same as building an entire life from the ground up. This is the guy who doesn’t understand how asking complete strangers to film a music video in their house is a privilege only a white rapper could use to their advantage. This is the guy who un-ironically calls his fans “Dickheads.” This is the guy who defends his music as “complex satire” and himself as a “cultural puppeteer.” This is the guy who managed to pull Snoop Dogg, T-Pain, Fetty Wap, Hannibal Buress, and Rich Homie Quan (I hope they were well compensated) on an album with *two* anus-gazing 10-minute tracks sandwiched in between amateurish white privilege flexing.
And there his ass is on the XXL Freshman List.
There are many names I could rattle off right now who are more deserving and less cluelessly pretentious (Michael Christmas, Mick Jenkins, The Flatbush Zombies, Young M.A., Tsu Surf, EarthGang, Westside Gunn, Conway), but none of them were on a Carl’s Jr/Hardee’s commercial. Dicky being next to the likes of Kodak Black, Dave East, G Herbo, and Anderson Goddamn .Paak is nothing short of a disgrace. Hate is definitely a strong word, but Dicky’s done very little to make me like him. MC Paul Barman didn’t not die for this.