David Andrew Burd (born March 15, 1988) better known by his stage name Lil Dicky or LD , is an American rapper and comedian. He came to prominence with the release of the music video to his song "Ex-Boyfriend", which went viral with more than one million views on YouTube in 24 hours. Burd released his debut album Professional Rapper on July 31, 2015.
Burd grew up in an upper middle class Jewish family in the Elkins Park neighborhood of Cheltenham Township, a township on the north border of Philadelphia. He attended Cheltenham High School and then the University of Richmond. 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 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 I've proved my point."
Burd had been working on his songs and music videos for two years before he began releasing them as part of his debut mixtape So Hard in April 2013. His music video for his song "Ex-Boyfriend" went viral almost instantly, receiving one million hits within 24 hours of being posted on YouTube. Once a week for five straight months, Burd released a new song or music video. 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 Lil Dicky to create and produce more music, music videos, and go touring. The Kickstarter well exceeded its target, raising $113,000.
Lil Dicky held his first live concert at TLA in Philadelphia on February 19, 2014. Burd has signed with CMSN, who also manages Tyga, Chiddy Bang and others. He plans "on having two concurrent careers going on, as a rapper, and as a comedian/actor/writer."
Burd released his debut album Professional Rapper on July 31, 2015, and features artists Snoop Dogg, T-Pain, Rich Homie Quan, Fetty Wap, Brendon Urie (Panic! at the Disco), RetroJace and Hannibal Buress.
Music style and influences
Lil Dicky's style blends the comical with the relatable. According to Boston magazine, "Content-wise, Lil Dicky comes up with his material from everyday occurrences and everyday experiences. From there, he crafts his videos around those topics to create a visual narrative that accompanies his talent as an emcee. 'It's like a comedian. They are out in the world, and writing things down,' he said. What followed 'Ex-Boyfriend' was a series of other videos that covered similarly average everyday experiences—songs about staying in for the night, songs about being a Jewish kid—he even has a rap battle with Adolf Hitler in one of his videos."
He says his style is a response to the excessive egotistical nature of rap today: "I really wanted to embody the exact opposite of that, and I think people are appreciating it. There just hasn't been a voice for that normal dude when it comes to rap." He added, "I think a lot of rap is just escalated to a place that many people can't relate to... My niche is that I'm relatable. I don't rap about going to the club and popping bottles." In terms of his rapping skills, Lil Dicky is able "to manipulate words at an excessive speed, and weave rhyme patterns together in a way that's funny while also making viewers want to rewind parts of his videos."
Burd says his musical inspirations are Drake, J. Cole, A$AP Rocky, as well as Donald Glover "as a guy with similar aspirations."