JEWISH AMERICAN rapper Lil Dicky..
(photo credit: Courtesy)
He’s one of the most famous artists you’ve likely never heard of, and he’s performing two sold-out shows in Israel next month.
Lil Dicky, 29, who was born David Andrew Burd, is a rapper and comedian who creates epic and surreal music videos that seem to effortlessly go viral.
His latest creation, “Pillow Talking,” has reached almost 10 million views in just two months. The over 10-minute-long video features the rapper engaging in a post-coital conversation that touches on war, aliens and the existence of God – and features an anthropomorphized talking brain. That video reportedly cost $700,000 to produce, which would make it the 49th most expensive music video of all time.
And now Burd is heading for Israel for the first time in his life, and performing two shows at the Barby Club in Tel Aviv – July 4 and 5. Both shows sold out well in advance – and quickly.
“I thought it would make sense to have a fanbase out there as a Jewish rapper,” said Burd in a recent email interview. “But I was surprised that it sold out faster than any other shows of my career. It’s cool.”
Indeed Burd doesn’t shy away from Jewish content in any of his music – putting his identity front and center from the beginning.
His video “All That K” features a hanukkia, a synagogue, Israeli flags and a whole lot of matza. That’s because the song deals with the idea of Burd being unable to say the n-word in his music, so instead he discusses the “K” word – “kike.”
“Look, you can do it, you can say it/ I been through it, you can play it/ Yea I’m Jewish, so I’m praying das yo boo cuz I’ma take her,” he raps. “Whatchu know about a balla/ born and raised on the kaballah/ tryna make a dollar, until I’m cakin and stackin challa.”
Burd first gained national attention when the video for his song “Ex-Boyfriend” hit a million views within 24 hours of being posted back in 2013. Now the video has 31 million hits, and Burd has turned into a viral machine. His video for “$ave That Money” (about saving, rather than spending) has more than 76 million views, and the one for “Professional Rapper” (where Burd admits he used his bar mitzva money to start his career) has hit over 55 million.
And, if it wasn’t already clear, there are no sacred cows when it comes to the topics of Burd’s music videos. The song “Jewish Flow” features Burd in a rap battle of sorts with Hitler, as Nazis play basketball and World War II footage punctuates each moment.
“Dicky spit that Jewish flow/ Lil Dicky spit that Jewish flow/ Sicker than the Holocaust/ Dat mothaf***in Jewish flow,” he raps. “That Third Reich raw/ Concentration camp cold/ Now we rollin in that mothaf***in dough/ Das dat Jewish flow.”
While this will be Burd’s first trip to Israel, he did try to come on Birthright when he was younger.
“I tried to go with my high school friends, and two thirds of us got rejected,” he said. “Then, six months later, they reached back out to see if I was still interested in going, and that there were some openings, but by then, the plan fell through and the moment had passed.”
But despite that missed opportunity, he’s excited about his upcoming trip – and there’s plenty he wants to see.
“I should probably book some sort of tour,” he said, noting that he wants to see “everything” during his four-day visit. “I want good food. I want to experience the culture. See the religious stuff. There’s a lot to see.”
And he’ll even be in town during American Independence Day – on July 4.
“I’m excited,” he said. “I feel like 4th of July in America is all about celebrating our homeland, and I think it’s cool to be in my religion’s homeland on such a day.”
While Burd is immersed in his music career, he’s also exploring a TV project, which he’s called a Curb Your Enthusiasm
- style look into his life off stage.
The show is in “infant stages but picking up more and more as time goes on,” he said. “It would change my focus from being 100% focused on music, to 50%, yes. But I’m not about to abandon music anytime soon.”