One can list his success in quantitative terms – a No. 1 debut on the comedy and hip-hop charts for Professional Rapper, an upcoming headlining tour booked by CAA’s hip-hop maven, Cara Lewis, and a video, “Ex-Boyfriend,” that garnered more than 1 million views within 24 hours.
One can also qualify Lil Dicky in esoteric terms. When he talked to Boston magazine at the beginning of last year he was only into the rap scene for nine months and wondered out loud how everything took off so fast. With the help of “Ex-Boyfriend,” he was about to embark on his first headlining tour, which included his first time in front of an audience, ever. Now, it’s about a different viral video, a cartoon that includes Snoop Dogg, where Burd “interviews” for the job of “Professional Rapper.”
“If you wanna do this, then you won’t get far acting like a little bitch,” Snoop says.
“Nah, that’s my niche!” Burd responds. “Don’t get offended by this, but that’s the market y’all missed. That’s the target I’ll hit. And that’s the heart of my pitch. I wanna do this whole thing different.”
Different seems to be working. The “Ex-Boyfriend” video is up to 11 million views, his debut album launched at No. 7 on Nielsen Soundscan, the title track video is at 3 million in one month, a recent Reddit interview hit the “front page of the Internet,” and the “Looking For Love” tour is heading to clubs in 20 markets.
As manager Mike Hertz noted, there have been many tipping points to this story, and there should be more on the way including an “epic audio/visual experience” mid-September.
It’s been a quick progression since Burd worked at an ad agency just a few years ago but, as Hertz pointed out, there is no five-year plan here, as long as the career continues to move forward. In fact, it’s so DIY that Hertz, who was introduced to Burd a few years ago, is so dedicated to his client that they actually live together.
The tour kicks off Oct. 3 in Pozo, Calif., and wraps on Halloween in Atlanta.
“This tour is in the spirit of Dave’s past tours, where it was very much an introspective blend of standup comedy and rap, all rolled into one,” Hertz said. “The ‘Looking For Love’ tour really is a quest about finding Mrs. Right at any cost. Think 1980s dating game. Think ‘Singled Out,’ but at a rap show.”