Have you watched that video above yet? Go ahead, I'll give you a minute - technically five minutes. It's about how Lil Dicky once got bubble guts while heading to a big basketball game, ended up pooping himself (there's really no other way to say it) and spend nearly an hour waiting in a bathroom stall while his dad drove over with new clothes. That's a very real, incredibly embarrassing thing that happened to Dicky one time, and the type of story that very, very few other rappers would ever tell about themselves.
But Dicky isn't your typical rapper, if he's even a rapper at all. It's become nearly impossible to unravel the layers between the Philly native's comedy, music, musical comedy and comedic music - we know, we've tried - and it's a dynamic that Dicky himself has been trying to figure out. As he says, he never really planned his career out. He really only wanted to rap and make people laugh, and along the way is almost accidentally creating a new, serious sketch comedy style of hip-hop.
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Dicky may be figuring out his formula as he goes, but it's one that's been enormously successful. Without a label deal, without radio play, without even a proper album (although his Professional Rapper album is coming soon) he's been able to tour and rack up millions of YouTube views largely on the strength of his visuals. His songs can be funny alone, but like most good jokes they really need visuals to drive home the punchline. So, as was the case for his "Classic Male Pregame" joint, Dicky's often thinking of the video as he's writing the song.
Lil Dicky once pooped himself and lived to tell the tale. Lil Dicky is a comedian. Lil Dicky is a rapper. Lil Dicky is many things, but most of all he's someone trying to figure out how to be themselves while still entertaining others, a challenge every professional artist faces. And make no mistake, Dicky is a professional rapper, or at least he will be officially when his album drops on July 31.
[Nathan S. is the managing editor of The DJBooth and a hip-hop writer. He also occasionally talks on podcasts/radio/TV. His beard is awesome. This is his Twitter.]