When it comes to rap music, it may seem like there isn’t any room left for shock value. Anything racy, potentially offensive, eyebrow-raising with rhyming melodic qualities has already been monetized by one talented artist or another.
But then an artist like Lil Dicky proves that wrong by gaining a massive, completely homegrown following with many of those same elements -- in his own way.
"In my heart I believe I’m a top flight comedian and a top flight rapper," the rapper-comedian told ABC News’ Chief Business and Economics Correspondent, Rebecca Jarvis. "I always dreamed of being an entertainer. So, my whole life to some extent, or from the age that I can remember onwards, I knew I was going to have to make some sort of attempt at being noticed for being funny."
Lil Dicky, also known as David Burd, released his first video in 2013 on YouTube called “Ex-Boyfriend” from his mix-tape "So Hard". It was chock full of the typical risqué visuals: stark nudity, sexual scenes, etc. But the video's narrative was genuine and the lyrical storytelling kept you hooked, even if you blushed and had to look away.
And clearly it worked: In the first day it had over a million hits, and it hasn’t stopped there. Burd went on to raise $113,000 on Kickstarter to continue financing his musical career, and in 2015 he debuted his first album, "Professional Rapper." The independently released album hit No. 1 on Billboard’s top rap albums chart, selling 22,000 copies in its first week. It featured artists like Fetty Wap, Rich Homie Quan, T-Pain and Snoop Dogg.
The album’s hit single, “$ave Dat Money”, has over 32 million views on YouTube and gives a new face to the rap industry -- frugality. The entire video was shot with a minimal budget by asking random wealthy home-owners and luxury car dealerships to let them film scenes on their premises.
“You hear a lot of rap songs about spending money, I thought wouldn’t it be funny to make a song about saving money because it’s ironic, but beyond irony I genuinely have pride in saving money," Burd said. "I’m a relatively cheap person who, to me, it’s not cool to over spend, it’s cool to get a great deal.”
Lil Dicky launched his second tour, "(Still) Looking for Love," on Friday, March 4th. For more information, you can visit his site, lildicky.com.