Student body divided on choice of Lil Dicky for WILD

Andrew Celli | Contributing Reporter

Social Programming Board announced that rapper and comedian Lil Dicky will headline the upcoming fall WILD Thursday, Sept. 14. This selection has left the student body divided—both in terms of musical preference and on moral grounds.

Lil Dicky, also known as David Andrew Burd, began his musical career in 2013, after self-producing a series of satirical music videos on YouTube. After going viral, Lil Dicky quit his job at a renowned advertising agency to pursue his comedic interests. His star-studded, Billboard-ranked album, “Professional Rapper,” pushed his career even further, as he began defining himself as a lyricist and musician.

Even with this quick rise to fame, Lil Dicky still lacks name recognition on Washington University’s campus.

“I have never heard of him. I don’t know any of his music, but I do think his name is dumb,” junior Sonia Storck said.

Despite their unfamiliarity with Lil Dicky, some students are still optimistic about the concert.

“I’m really excited. WILD is always a great time, and I trust the Social Programming Board to pick a great artist, even though I don’t know who he is,” sophomore Liam Osler said.

Those familiar with Lil Dicky believe the divide between his comedic and musical identities makes him an appealing selection for a WILD headliner.

“Lil Dicky is hilarious. He might not have the following of Rae Sremmurd or Kesha, but seeing him is going to be a riot,” freshman Mitch Frauenheim said.

However, some students, including junior Keona Kalu, have expressed moral objections to the Lil Dicky decision, claiming that he is guilty of appropriating black culture and adulterating hip-hop history.

“I love hip-hop, and it doesn’t seem like Lil Dicky respects hip-hop as a genre… he uses parts of [hip-hop] culture when it is advantageous to him,” Kalu said. “I don’t think hip-hop is above criticism, but I don’t think Lil Dicky is approaching it from a constructionist point of view. He just wants success.”

Lil Dicky has a complex relationship with rap culture. While he sees himself as a rapper more than as a comedian, his music is often critical of modern-day rap music. Some of his music attempts to use both humor and brashness to address the lack of diversity and representation in rap music.

In his 2013 song “Professional Rapper,” Lil Dicky expresses his intent to exploit the lapse in market share amongst middle class white men.

“Nah, that’s my niche!/ Don’t get offended by this, but that’s the market y’all missed,” Lil Dicky raps.

Senior Shane Rossi expressed his frustration with the artist choice, explaining that he doesn’t feel that Lil Dicky is a good fit for the Washington University community, especially during this time of racially motivated unrest.

“There are sexist and misogynistic references [in his lyrics] and also given our campus’s climate, I think that those things cannot be understood as comedic,” Rossi said. “Lil Dicky is somebody who should be excluded because I know there are so many students on campus that would object to him being a good fit for Wash. U.”