You may recognize Lil Dicky for his viral rap videos on YouTube, his curly mop of hair, or for those billboards scattered across Los Angeles that feature him popping out of a pair of briefs like a human penis. But the man with a proclivity for telling sophisticated dick jokes through song is known in some circles by his real name: Dave Burd.
Before Burd became Lil Dicky, the famous rapper, he worked, like most of us, at a regular desk job. But then one fateful day in April of 2013, he released the YouTube music video for his song “Ex-Boyfriend” that went viral overnight, changing his life forever.
That’s the origin story that the rapper, who has since collaborated with artists like Chris Brown, Snoop Dogg, Fetty Wapp, and Brendon Urie, tells in his brand-new, semi-autobiographical FXX comedy series “Dave.” Scooter Braun and Kevin Hart executive produce the series, which also features Taylor Misiak, Christine Ko, and real-life rappers YG and Gata.
But all Burd ever really wanted from having his own TV show was for people to see him “as a human being, not just a three-and-half-minute song,” he said in a recent interview with TheWrap.
“I’m hoping that people just have a chance to understand me in general,” he said. “I feel like a lot of what people see of me is of the front-facing rapper. It’s hard to really know who a person is when they’re rhyming. For me, I just wanted people to see who I am as a person and what it’s really like.”
While trying to hone-in on what his TV show should be about, Burd said he decided to just write what he knows.
“Rap is like the new rock and roll, so I’m essentially a rock star, which is hilarious because if you look at me, I’m the opposite of a rock star. I can’t even write a lyric past sundown,” he joked. “I have to wake up early and have two screens up and thesaurus.com and blazing wifi to even feel comfortable writing a rap. It’s funny juxtaposing elements of my life where there’s an obscene amount of confidence and an insane amount of self-deprecating neuroses.”
Making the show has also given him an outlet to pursue the dream he had long before he became a rapper: to be a successful comedian.
“I’ve always wanted to be a comedian my whole life. Ever since I was a kid, my favorite thing to do was make people laugh. So I was like, ‘How can I achieve that dream?” he said. “I became a rapper actually as a result because I thought that was a good way for people to notice me. I didn’t know I was destined to be a rapper.”
As we spoke, Burd was on his way to finish composing a song for a scene in “Dave” that he said absolutely had to get done that day. The “Lemme Freak” rapper said the feeling of having a fire lit underneath him is one of the things he’s enjoyed most about making the show.
“There’s something nice about having my hand forced in television. I can’t sit and dwell and have infinite possibilities, I have to make decisions,” he said. “At times it’s incredibly frustrating… at other times, it’s like, thank God that I can’t go dwell on this for six weeks. It’s liberating.”
“Dave” premieres with two back-to-back episodes March 4 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on FXX, and will be streaming the next day on Hulu.