Somehow it is still jarring when David Burd opens his new show Dave, by describing to a doctor – with surgical precision – how disappointing and unaesthetically pleasing his penis is. It shouldn’t be. The man’s stage name and rap alter ego is Lil Dicky. In a hip hop landscape where it’s widely accepted that everyone has a big dicky with big chains and cars, it is amusing and refreshing to hear Lil Dicky rapping about saving money and how bad he is in the bedroom on his debut album, Professional Rapper. Now we get to see his uncomfortable grind to stardom in this FXX comedy debuting March 4.
To compare this to the premise of Curb Your Enthusiasm feels like low hanging fruit. Sure, this is a comedy about an insecure Jewish man based in Los Angeles getting in the way of his own success and squandering amazing opportunities due to his own neuroticism and pursuit for perfection. That alone would be an enjoyable show. The situational and physical comedy are abundant and almost every episode contains a cameo made by famous rappers. What else could you want?
Apparently, the answer to that question is a lot more and thankfully this show delivers. The whole narrative around Lil Dicky’s career is that no one takes him seriously as a rapper. The cover art to his debut album is literally a resume listing out his qualifications as a rapper. Rappers aren’t books. They’re always judged by their cover. Multiply that times the end of time if you are a white rapper. A bare minimum prerequisite to make it is that you have to spit with the best of them. Lil Dicky does that on a technical level. He is more than proficient with clever lines and can rap circles regardless of race.
But Burd never got in this game to just be proficient. Maybe he got in it to crack a few jokes on the way, which never really gave us a genuine look into who he is and might be the reason people question his authenticity as a “real” rapper. Whatever that means. This show changes that perception.
It seems like we’re finally getting to know a closer version of who Burd is far better than we ever did with him questionably switching bodies with Chris Brown. The development of this story does takes quite a while to develop, but it is worth the wait. If you’re feeling like you don’t belong, who better to relate to than a broke white rapper trying to come up with no self-confidence? That premise allows for a great supporting cast, especially in rapper and eventual Lil Dicky hype man GaTa, who gravitates toward Burd for exactly the reasons that make him so uncool. We all just want to be accepted and Lil Dicky has all the time in the world for that. Ultimately, this comedy is a great forum to talk about mental health, fighting to be yourself in a superficial world, and what it means to be “normal.” Come expecting dick jokes, stay for the surprisingly safe space.
Watch the premiere of Dave on Wednesday, March 4, at 10pm ET on FXX