I thought, for a while, that I understood Lil Dicky. Over the last half-decade he's made a career as a joke-rapper with a taste for bathroom humor and sketchy body-swap comedy with disgraced R&B singers. He keeps the company of exceedingly famous people and was recently tapped for a comedy pilot on FX, for some reason. His whole thing isn't to my taste, but I sort of get it because there's always going to be a market of overgrown teens interested in people who live their lives like lesser Judd Apatow characters.
But hey, today there's proof that people contain hidden depths. Overnight, Lil Dicky resurfaced with his most confounding project yet—a star-studded single and video about climate change. It's called "Earth" and it was created in partnership with the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation to raise money for and awareness about the environment, a noble cause if there ever was one. In a press release, Dicky gave a quote explaining how this came to be. Since this is Lil Dicky we're talking about, the message is essentially: Wow! This climate change stuff is crazy!
“Like a lot of people, I had a vague idea that something bad was happening here on Earth, but I didn’t really realize how insane our climate crisis is and how screwed humanity is about to be,” he says. “It’s full-on crazy! If we don’t get our act together now, and change a lot about our fundamental behavior, Earth will become unlivable alarmingly soon. Why did it take me so long to get wind of this? I feel like everybody on the planet should be talking about this 24/7. But that’s not the case. So I wanted to make the most entertaining and epic piece of content possible, to get everyone aware and talking. Because it’s now or never… Let’s save the Earth! We love the Earth!!!!”
Right on Dicky! So where do we start then? Apparently, for Dicky, the answer is a completely bonkers seven-minute song and video starring everyone who matters in pop music. The clip opens with some shitty kids bullying Dicky and knocking over trash before one of them finds a book that transports him to an animated wonderland where Dicky pals around with animal friends—including Ariana Grande as a zebra and Justin Bieber as a baboon. Somehow it's even wilder than that implies—mostly Dicky seems to have convinced extremely famous people to make puerile puns about animals ("I'm just a squirrel looking for my next nut, ew," goes Miguel's brief entry.) Just to get an idea of how far this goes, here are a couple of others: We've got Bieber talking about the size of his anus, Shawn Mendes as "horny" rhinos (haha, get it), Wiz Khalifa as a farting skunk, Lil Yachty as HPV, and Katy Perry as a pony. There are like, 30 extremely famous people forced to sing really stupid shit. It's kinda beautiful.
This is all fine and mostly disarming, but it kinda swerves from confusing in a funny way to confusing in a questionable way when Meaghan Trainor begins singing about India and then someone—seemingly Dicky—croons "we forgive you Germany!" For what? From whom? It's unclear exactly! Messy stuff!
It's a simplistic message of unity which is I guess, better than nothing, technically. The whole video ends with a Dicky monologue informing whatever listener made it through all seven minutes that we only have 12 years to turn the environment around "or we're all screwed." Something tells me that if this is our last hope, we already are.