Formerly an account manager for an ad agency, rapper/comedian Lil Dicky has built a reputation on his penchant for blurring the lines between trite, Three Loco-esque comedy rap and legitimate lyrical ability.
His 2015 debut album Professional Rapper, for example, peaked at No. 1 on Billboard's Top Rap Album and Top Comedy Album charts, fusing comedic verses (“Professional Rapper” ft. Snoop Dogg) with legitimate hit-crafting (“$ave Dat Money” went Platinum and peaked at No. 71 on Billboard’s Hot 100).
“Pillow Talking,” a personal favorite from the tracklist, is a lengthy affair (nearly 11 minutes) that leans heavily on Dicky’s ability to write comedically. In what is, essentially, an awkward post-coital conversation placed over a minimal trap instrumental, the single somewhat brilliantly captures that uneasy interaction with someone you barely know but have already slept with.
On the heels of his highly successful, virtually costless “$ave Dat Money” video, Dicky made a hefty withdrawal from his bank account—likely using the money he didn't spend the last time around—for the high-budget “Pillow Talking,” which clocks in as the 49th most expensive music video of all time.
After teasing the video last week, earlier today (April 12), the “Pillow Talking” short film was released, and it’s wild. So wild, in fact, that it deserves a breakdown. There’s a lot that goes on in the span of the 11-minute visual, so you’d be forgiven for being a tad overwhelmed.
The video starts off simply enough—Dicky and his female companion are doing the damn thing, and in true Lil Dicky fashion, minute, slightly embarrassing details of sex that are normally brushed away in Hollywood portrayals are front and center. The awkward position changes, the sweat falling into the woman’s face—regardless of how you feel about Dicky or his music, he’s a pioneer in realistically portraying sex in hip-hop visuals.
As Dicky and his lady friend finish the deed, however, things get awkward quickly. Dicky’s line of questioning turns towards our military’s ability to fend off an alien invasion, which sets off a string of outrageous hypothetical alien scenarios that are rendered into reality by CG animation.
Once the unidentified female brings religion into the equation, however, an anthropomorphized version of Dicky’s brain enters the room and the conversation, and a hilarious take on a cliché religious debate takes hold. Dicky’s room gives way to a prehistoric setting as he debates the logic surrounding God’s creation of dinosaurs, complete with John C. Reilly playing the Almighty.
Just when the two agree to disagree on their beliefs and resolve to end the night with a pizza, a debate over vegetarianism breaks out, and Dicky’s room once again is transformed. This time we’re taken to what looks like pre-colonized America, with indigenous hunters chasing buffalo and fending off wolves. All the while, Dicky’s brain is wandering the bedroom offering backhanded commentary to the debates occurring bedside.
Keeping a viewer’s attention for 11 minutes is damn near unheard of in 2017 but it’s a feat Dicky accomplishes with the help of an astronomical budget and some genuinely funny dialogue.
From start to finish, “Pillow Talking” is awkward, bizarre and often hilarious, not the normal benchmarks for a hip-hop video, but Dicky—for better or worse— isn’t your average rapper, either.