Lil Dicky (aka David Burd), a Jewish rapper hailing from Cheltenham, Pa., kicks off his first-ever live tour at TLA this Wednesday.
His foray into rap began when he was working full-time in account management at Goodby Silverstein & Partners. One day he decided to spice up a monthly progress report by turning his three-page memo into a rap video. The company liked it so much that they gave him the opportunity to work in their creative department, where he wrote copy for ads like the NBA’s “BIG” campaign, among others.
Then he took to Twitter and YouTube, where he amassed a sizeable fanbase, releasing funny, attention-getting tracks like “Ex-Boyfriend,” in which he raps about the ex-boyfriend of the girl he’s dating emasculating him with good looks and other (ahem) physical features. Then his dream to “put the upper-middle class on his frail, Jewish shoulders” became more of a reality when he raised $100,000 from a Kickstarter campaign to fund his new album, videos and tour.
So what can we expect from Lil Dicky as he climbs the stage for the first live show of his career?
He half-jokingly describes his act as a mix between this classic, chip-on-the-shoulder Philly moment, when Allen Iverson stomped over Tyrone Lue in the 2001 NBA finals, and the self-deprecating humor made famous by Jewish comedians like Larry David or Jerry Seinfeld. “My sense of humor is definitely real world, in the moment, which I think is those guys’ sense of humor. I feel like in a way, I’m the rap version of that. … I’ve been to a lot of shows, and I’ve seen a lot of shows where the guy’s just onstage rapping, going through the motions. It seems very contrived,” he says. “I’m building my shows in a very different way, where there’s a lot of interludes, where I’m talking to the crowd back-and-forth, comedic bits. I almost treat it as 25 percent standup improv and 75 percent music.”
Catch Lil Dicky’s Philly show at TLA (334 South St.) on Wed., Feb. 19, at 8 p.m.. Find ticket info here. And check back to Ticket on Thursday for a review.