REVIEW: Cheltenham Rapper Lil Dicky Kicked Off His First Live Tour at TLA

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Lil Dicky, the white, Jewish rapper from Cheltenham, kicked off his first live tour last night at TLA, amusing the crowd with his YouTube hits and fun banter.

After being stood up by a couple strippers who were supposed to open the show, he began his set with a PowerPoint presentation demonstrating just how much fun the show would be: “I got a business background,” he explained. “That’s why they call me Lil Dicky aka the Priceline negotiator.”

Keeping up his self-deprecating shenanigans, he accused the crowd of bullying him. He pointed out how few black people and women were in attendance to reinforce his credibility. He lamented how his rap career hasn’t helped his success with women.

If that was all he brought to the table, the show might have felt incomplete. But Dicky delivered.

Lil Dicky TLA 2D’s hype man, GaTa (capital “T” for truth) was introduced as being “hooder than anybody in here,” which may have been true in a room that was mostly white guys. It felt like he was being used as a racial token for a minute. But then you started to realize that GaTa did more than that. He played Dicky’s counterpart — the “cool black guy” who provides the sharp contrast to the puny Jewish boy.

Dicky brought out another big personality to make him look smaller (literally) — Nerlens Noel, the 6-foot-11 rookie center for the 76ers. As a huge basketball enthusiast, Lil Dicky was thrilled to bring him onstage. And the feeling seemed pretty mutual. “He’s got a great flow for a white artist trying to make it in hip-hop,” Noel said.

But Dicky isn’t perfect — after all, it was his first time ever on a stage. He’s still working out the process. You could tell that he seemed to get a little gassed by the end of his set. The unbounded energy from the first couple songs seemed to be missing, and the crowd simmered a little with him.

But for the encore, Lil Dicky pulled out the big guns — his most viewed song on Youtube, “Ex-Boyfriend.” The ex-boyfriend from the video (Robert Mull) made a guest appearance, stripping down to his underwear and doing push-ups with Dicky sitting on his back. The energy in the room reached a high point of the night, and Dicky left the stage to the crowd chanting his name.

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But Dicky still isn’t satisfied. “I’m not as relieved as I thought I’d be,” he said after the show. “I’m just thinking about New York and how I can make it better.” If New York and Boston have as much fun as Philly did, Lil Dicky may need to add more dates to this “circus” of shows.

Want more Lil Dicky? Check out our interview/profile of him here.