Lil Dicky – Live @ The Logan Campbell Centre, Auckland
It was like a giant eggplant emoji (rather than a pickled baby gherkin) punctuated Lil Dicky’s performance at the Logan Campbell Centre in Auckland on Wednesday night. We got some big juicy laughs.
WORD AND PHOTOS BY NATALIE CRANE
Lil Dicky landed on-stage after a hyped countdown in an 80s tracksuit and launched straight into his hit song Professional Rapper. As the lyrics of Professional Rapper go, “How can I help you?”, “Hi my name is David Byrd, I have an appointment today. It’s probably under Lil Dicky”…Or it could have been under his many other stage names, ‘Mr Left Sloping Penis,’ ‘Brain’, ‘Young Dick’ or ‘LD’.
LD is a 30-year-old white Jewish rapper and comedian from Philadelphia (Fresh Prince territory). He’s an MC with a degree, having graduated from college and worked in account management at an advertising agency. According to Philadelphia Magazine, he reimagined his monthly progress report as a rap video and then got a gig in the agency creative department.
From there he humbly recorded his early material on a MacBook pro for his 2013 album So Hard. After some massive YouTube hits, LD would go on to release the album Professional Rapper featuring hip hop heavy hitters Snoop Dogg, Fetty Wap, T-Pain and more. You can definitely say he’s a professional rapper now.
The crowd went wild when LD took off his tracksuit to reveal an All Blacks Shirt! Nationalistic pride surged when the NZ national anthem started playing. I was relieved that most of the crowd could sing along to the Maori version. LD explained it was his first time in NZ, and he might just stay forever. He had a posted a pic on his Instagram the night before, urinating into NZ scenery with a Nike jacket, musing it could make a good advert for Nike.
LD segued into an interlude with This is How We Do It, an old school hip hop jam and then into some pretty offbeat takes on the old call and response trope. “I say Penis, you say asshole, Penis Asshole”. “I say Work, you say Sux, Work Sux”. “I say Abortion, you say Pro-choice”. He was starting to bond with the crowd, his fans, or ‘lil-dickheads’.
LD proclaimed he’d come to New Zealand to look for a wife. My eyes lit up as I’d followed him since his early Youtube days, maybe I had a chance. A sort of game show ensued called ‘Looking for Love’. An eager participant (not me) was pulled from the crowd, Rihana (with one ‘n’). She was asked to draw a picture of LD and then spin a projected wheel with options such as ‘give the DJ head’. Feminists would have also squirmed when the crowd started yelling ‘tits out for the boys’. I felt like I was back in the infamous Baywatch campground at R&V where juvenile boys rated girls out of 10. We were also treated to a sort of game of ‘pin the tail on the donkey’, or ‘pin the long dick.’
Pillow Talk was up next. My sister commented he had been talking a lot, so it was good to get an actual song. I was unrealistically hoping The Brain would make an appearance, the talking animated brain from the gnarly music video that now has its own merch.
What followed was tracks about growing up in the 90s, and getting pussy with Personality. It’s all about relatable rap with LD. Well, he did tell us he drives a 2002 Toyota Camry. I drive a 2000 Toyota Opa, it’s a match made in heaven.
LD then asked what day it was…”Wednesday? Cos it feels like a Friday.” This was the predictable lead-in for the song Freaky Friday that went to Number 1 in the charts in NZ and the UK and has over 300 million YouTube views. The controversial Chris Brown’s parts were recorded, I don’t think he is actually allowed into the country.
The next game show contestant was pulled up, who coincidentally had the name Hannah Dick. She was forced to smack LD with white powder until he looked like a powdered doughnut. The audience yelled for LD to chug his water and he then showed his rap prowess with White Crime. LD really is skilled at rapping. He never missed a beat with his smart and fast lyrics, sort of like a clown-faced Eminem.
The crowd then started moshing to Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit before the lights turned green, and LD asked the crowd if he could smoke weed on stage. He feigned being a little worried about the negative impact it would have on us, and then quickly rolled a blunt on stage. This was the perfect moment for his track Too High.
Things got more serious with his song Molly, about the love of his life marrying another guy. It wasn’t long before he cheered up again though with a song that he likes to sing in the shower…I Want it That Way, by The Back Street Boys.
Saving Money with Fetty Wap and Rich Homie Quan was then brought out of his bag of tricks, and it was a real crowd pleaser. The video is entertaining with his hustling to get free locations in return for sponsor mentions, and therefore saving money. Now that’s something everyone in the concert could relate to.
All the girl contestants were then brought on stage to try and put a condom on a banana. This was Harold the Life Education giraffe gone wild! He made his choice of girl and presented her with a bunch of followers, “You had me at Hannah Dick”. The interlude of Ginuwine’s Pony was perfect to lead into Lemme Freak. The extended vocoder section was glorious. He then sprayed the audience with actual relish.
We got a bit of an inspiring ‘Ted Talk’ from LD with “when you want something enough, just go for it and it will happen”. He explained how he had been at work one day years ago and was like, “this sux”. Now he’s amazed to be touring in New Zealand in front of a thousand people. Just like his song Work (Paid for That).
We knew he’d be back for an encore. And then it ended where it all started. With Ex-Girlfriend, the YouTube vid that reached 1 million views on its first day and catapulted his rap career. Career-wise, when asked in an interview for Daily Trojan mag, LD said he has aspirations to be like Donald Glover/Childish Gambino. He plans on having two concurrent careers, as a rapper and as a comedian/actor/writer.
In the end, unfortunately, Cupid didn’t bring LD and I together, but I managed to get a selfie with the hype man GaTa, who is sometimes mistaken for LD!
It was a good hour and a half show and my sister and I were left feeling rapacious, or greedy for more. The venue Logan Campbell Centre worked well for this event, and the seated option made you feel like you were at a US college basketball stadium. My only gripe was getting trapped in the carpark behind a probably stoned driver for 20 mins, who didn’t know how to merge like a zip.
All and all, it was rap satire at its best. That night, the crowd got some good dick.