Lil Dicky performing in September 2014
|Birth name||David Andrew Burd|
|Also known as||Brain|
|Born||March 15, 1988|
Cheltenham Township, Pennsylvania, U.S.
David Andrew Burd (born March 15, 1988), better known by his stage name Lil Dicky or LD, is an American rapper, comedian, and environmentalist. He came to prominence with the release of the music video of his song "Ex-Boyfriend" (on April 25, 2013), which went viral with more than one million views on YouTube in 24 hours. He released his debut album Professional Rapper on July 31, 2015. In 2018, his song "Freaky Friday", featuring Chris Brown, became a worldwide hit. He also gained attention for his 2019 music video "Earth", which featured many singers and actors including Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, Ed Sheeran, Shawn Mendes, Kevin Hart, Wiz Khalifa, Charlie Puth, Katy Perry and Leonardo DiCaprio. The song was made to raise awareness about the environment, pollution and climate change. Burd stated that a portion of the song's proceeds are being donated to a variety of environmental charities.
Burd grew up in an upper-middle-class Jewish family in the Elkins Park neighborhood of Cheltenham Township, on the north border of Philadelphia. He attended Cheltenham High School. Speaking about his time in high school, Burd said "I was a pussy. I was really awkward looking. I wasn’t getting any girls at all, but I was very class-clownish and I got good grades.” After graduating from high school, Burd began attending the University of Richmond, where Burd's step brother and comedy rapper Phatdik also attended at the same time. Burd graduated summa cum laude in 2010. He then relocated to San Francisco, California, where he worked in account management at the advertising agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners. After reimagining his monthly progress report as a rap video, the company brought him to work in their creative department, where he wrote copy for ads such as the NBA's "BIG" campaign.
Burd's interest in music started when he was a child, listening to hip-hop music and alternative rock, Burd began rapping in the fifth grade after doing a history report on Alexander Pushkin using rap music. In his youth, the hip-hop and rap music artists Burd listened to most were Nas and Jay-Z.
Burd says he initiated his rap career "simply to get attention comedically, so I could write movies, write TV shows and act". However, he "fell in love with rapping" and says he's "not leaving that game until [he's] proved [his] point".
Burd began working on his debut mixtape, So Hard, in 2011. The mixtape took Burd over two years to finish because he still had his day job at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners during its development. Burd recorded a majority of his early material for So Hard on his MacBook Pro and a $400 microphone; in 2013 he began releasing one song per week for five months straight. On April 23, 2013, Burd released the music video for his song "Ex-Boyfriend", the mixtape's leading single. The music video went viral, receiving one million views within 24 hours of being posted on YouTube. Burd released a new song or music video, in a series titled Hump Days. Following the release of 32 songs and 15 music videos, Burd launched a Kickstarter, stating, "I've officially run out of money... In a nutshell, you are funding phase two of my rap career." The month-long crowdfunding period began on November 20, 2013, with the goal of raising $70,000 in order to enable Burd to create and produce more music, music videos, and go touring. The Kickstarter well exceeded its target, raising $113,000.
Burd held his first live concert at TLA in Philadelphia on February 19, 2014. Burd signed with CMSN, which also manages Tyga and Chiddy Bang. He plans "on having two concurrent careers going on, as a rapper, and as a comedian/actor/writer".
Burd released his debut album Professional Rapper on July 31, 2015, and features artists Snoop Dogg, T-Pain, Rich Homie Quan, Fetty Wap, Brendon Urie (Panic! at the Disco), RetroJace and Hannibal Buress.
On June 13, 2016, XXL Magazine released the 2016 Freshmen line-up. It included Burd, along with Anderson .Paak, Kodak Black, Lil Uzi Vert, 21 Savage, Dave East, Denzel Curry, Desiigner, G Herbo, and Lil Yachty.
On April 12, 2017, Burd released a music video for "Pillow Talking". Its special effects made it the 49th most expensive music video ever created. In an interview with XXL in April 2017, Burd mentioned that he was creating a new project and that he was also attempting to pitch a TV show to networks.
In September 2017, Burd released an EP under his alter ego Brain, I'm Brain.
On March 15, 2018, Burd released a new single, "Freaky Friday", featuring Chris Brown, and the associated music video. By April 9, 2018, the video had reached over 100 million views and topped the charts in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
On April 2, 2018, Burd announced his first Australian tour; he previously studied abroad for two years in Melbourne.
On April 19, 2019, Burd released a single called "Earth", featuring artists such as Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, Ed Sheeran, and Shawn Mendes. They all voice various animated organisms in the music video. The music video, which was created in partnership with the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, aimed at encouraging better environmental practices worldwide. Upon release Burd referred to the project as "the most important thing [he'll] ever do."
Musical style and influences
Burd's style blends the comical with the relatable. According to Boston magazine, "Content-wise, Burd comes up with his material from everyday occurrences and everyday experiences. From there, he crafts his videos around those topics to create a visual narrative that accompanies his talent as an emcee. 'It's like a comedian. They are out in the world, and writing things down,' he said. What followed 'Ex-Boyfriend' was a series of other videos that covered similarly average everyday experiences—songs about staying in for the night, songs about being a Jewish kid—he also has a rap battle with Adolf Hitler in one of his videos."
Burd describes his style as a response to the excessive egotistical nature of rap today: "I really wanted to embody the exact opposite of that, and I think people are appreciating it. There just hasn't been a voice for that normal dude when it comes to rap." He added, "I think a lot of rap is just escalated to a place that many people can't relate to... My niche is that I'm relatable. I don't rap about going to the club and popping bottles." In terms of his rapping skills, Burd is able "to manipulate words at an excessive speed, and weave rhyme patterns together in a way that's funny while also making viewers want to rewind parts of his videos".
- Professional Rapper (2015)
|2014||Professional Rapper Tour|
|2015||Looking for Love Tour|
|2016||(Still) Looking For Love Tour|
|2016||Dick Or Treat Tour|
|2018||Australia and New Zealand Tour|
|2018||Life Lessons Tour|
- Hyman, Dan (May 10, 2019). "Lil Dicky On Having Potential To Be 'One Of the Best' and Proving He's No Joke". Billboard. Retrieved May 12, 2019.
- "Cheltenham Rapper Lil Dicky Kicks Off His First Live Tour at TLA Wednesday". Philadelphia Magazine. 18 February 2014.
- "Meet Kickstarter's Newest Musical Star". Bloomberg News. 6 December 2013.
- "Lil Dicky - 2016 XXL Freshman Class". 2017 XXL Freshman Class. Retrieved 2017-09-15.
- "Before pop stardom, many of today's young musicians earn college degrees". Washington Post. 2 January 2016.
- "S.F.'s Lil Dicky Wants To Be the Larry David of Rap -- Watch Him Get "Too High"". SF Weekly. 16 September 2013.
- Martin, Clay Skipper,Matt (2015-09-17). "Meet Lil Dicky, the Funny Rapper Whose New Album Is No Joke". GQ. Retrieved 2017-09-15.
- "Lil Dicky Talks Upgrading His Rap Career Via $100,000 Kickstarter Campaign". HipHopDX. 10 April 2014.
- "Lil Dicky Isn't a White Supremacist, He's Just an Asshole". Noisey. Retrieved 2017-09-15.
- Betker, Ally. "It's Time to Take Lil Dicky, Hip Hop's Goofball, Seriously". W Magazine. Retrieved 2017-09-15.
- "Rapper Lil Dicky Talks Stereotypes, Expectations, and Battling Hitler in a Music Video". Boston. 11 February 2014.
- "Lil Dicky - Ex-Boyfriend (Official Video)". YouTube. 25 April 2013.
- "Lil Dicky's Kickstarter - Album, Videos, Touring". Kickstarter.
- "Rapper Lil Dicky Reaches Kickstarter Goal". Variety. 27 November 2013.
- "THANK YOU". Lil Dicky's Kickstarter. 20 December 2013.
- "Cheltenham Rapper Lil Dicky Kicked Off His First Live Tour at TLA". Philadelphia Magazine. 20 February 2014.
- "Lil Dicky signs to Pop-Up Music". Jingle Punks. 16 January 2014.
- "Watch Yo Self". Funny or Die. Retrieved 2017-04-26.
- "A Complete Breakdown of Lil Dicky's Bizarre "Pillow Talking" Short Film". DJ Booth. 13 April 2017. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
- "Lil Dicky Focuses on Creating His New TV Show - XXL". XXL Mag. Retrieved 2017-09-15.
- "Brain Gets Lil Dicky & The Game On His "I'm Brain" EP". Retrieved 2017-09-15.
- "It's Freaky Friday! Lil Dicky & Chris Brown are Number 1".
- "ANNOUNCES DEBUT AUSTRALIAN & NEW ZEALAND SHOWS THIS JULY". Retrieved 2018-04-06.
- "Lil Dicky Is the Last Person You'd Expect to Organize a "We Are the World" for Climate Change". Time. Retrieved 2019-08-03.
- "Lil Dicky Talks Rapping, YouTube, and How To Make A Viral Video". Maxim. 2 July 2013. Archived from the original on May 12, 2014.
- "Rapper hopes to gain fame with comedy". Daily Trojan. 21 April 2014.
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