Lil Dicky wasn't too surprised that his sarcastic debut album, “Professional Rapper,” took the top spot on two Billboard charts in August, for both rap and comedy. He's used to succeeding: His whiny first single, 2013's "Ex-Boyfriend," had more than a million views on YouTube in 24 hours. His recent single, the goofy "$ave Dat Money," got over four million streams, with most of its clicks coming from YouTube, according to Nielsen Music. The charm of Lil Dicky's brand of caustic comic hip-hop is that he sounds like all three Beastie Boys rolled into one skinny dude.
"Honestly, it wasn’t that shocking," says Dicky — real name David Hurd — of the chart-topping achievement. "Comedy? Of course, it would be No. 1. Rap was harder to accomplish, but when you see what else came out that day and consider the competition, it's great, but just comes down to timing."
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Dicky comes at hip-hop and comedy pragmatically, backed by a degree from the Robins School of Business at the University of Richmond. "I hope all that doesn't sound arrogant,” he says. “I mean, of course I had a dream as a kid and having it happen is an amazing achievement. It's still all just logical."
Dicky wasn't always so cogent. The Philadelphia-areanative was a goofball as a kid; a class clown. "I was the kid who made everyone laugh," he says. As far as hip-hop went, he was a fan of rappers such as Jay Z and Nas in grade school, and Kanye West and Lil Wayne while at Cheltenham High.
Post college, Dicky spent two years writing songs before releasing singles such as "Ex-Boyfriend." His quick success buoyed him to tour with a business school-approved PowerPoint presentation of his five-year plan. "I'm still using a similar presentation for my new Looking for Love tour, but instead of graphs, I'm going to make it a ‘Dating Game’ thing where we'll bring up girls and have them compete for my heart,” he says. “That sounds like fun, doesn't it?"
Calling in favors
Lil Dicky's "$ave Dat Money" is all about cutting costs to a bare minimum while filming a music video — "the most epic video for no money," he says.
In the mini-flick, Dicky talks homeowners with nice pools, car dealerships with hot wheels, directors already utilizing video sets and club managers with smoky stages to allow him to use their digs for zero cash. Dicky also enlists any celebrity that he's ever made contact with, including fellow rapper Fetty Wap, entrepreneur Mark Cuban, comedians Hannibal Buress and Sarah Silverman and classic rocker Tom Petty.
"Petty's stepson Dylan is a big fan of mine who we ran into at one of my shows," says Dicky. "He told me if I ever wanted to meet his dad, just call him. So, I called in that favor and every other one I could think of."
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