Lil Dicky’s Dream Job Wasn’t Becoming a Rapper

Dave Burd — better known by the stage name Lil Dicky — is a successful rapper with a new comedy series on FXX. Before he became a rapper and television star working with the likes of Kourtney Kardashian and Justin Bieber, Burd had other career aspirations. 

Find out what Burd dreamt of becoming before he became a viral sensation.

'Dave' Lil Dicky
Dave Burd | Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images

Dave Burd became a viral success overnight

Burd was born and raised in Cheltenham Township, a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After he graduated from the University of Richmond, Burd wrote NBA playoff commercials for the Goodby Silverstein and Partners advertising firm. 

He was working a desk job when the music video for “Ex-Boyfriend” went viral on YouTube in April 2013. He the agency the next day to pursue rapping full time. Since then, Burd has worked with famous artists like Chris Brown, Snopp Dogg, and Brendon Urie. 

Dave Burd wants people to see him ‘as a human being’ 

In March 2020, FXX debuted Dave, a semi-autobiographical series about Burd’s early career in the music industry. The series analyzes the more mundane aspects of Burd’s life before his viral success. Dave may be semi-autobiographical, but there is a lot of truth to it. Many of the character’s personal qualities, including Dave’s congenital disability, are true. The stories in many of the episodes are based on true events in Burd’s life, including the heartbreaking break up in episode 9 of season 1. 

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pubiscus. #DAVEFXX

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Since going viral, Burd has felt like his fans only view him as a joke regarding the male anatomy. With Dave, Burd hopes to change people’s perspectives. He wants to be seen “as a human being, not just a three-and-half-minute song,” he explained to The Wrap. “I’m hoping that people just have a chance to understand me in general. I feel like a lot of what people see of me is of the front-facing rapper. It’s hard to really know who a person is when they’re rhyming. For me, I just wanted people to see who I am as a person and what it’s really like.”

‘Dave’ is allowing Lil Dicky to fulfill his childhood dreams 

Before he became a successful rapper, Burd aspired to become a stand-up comedian. “I’ve always wanted to be a comedian my whole life,” Burd said. “Ever since I was a kid, my favorite thing to do was make people laugh. So I was like, ‘How can I achieve that dream?” Dave was the answer to that dream. 

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This picture was captured of me during the first shoot day of season one. If I look overwhelmed, it’s because I was. I had never written a script before. I actually downloaded the screenwriting software for the first time to write this season. I had never acted before. Never executive produced before. Never done anything beyond make rap songs and videos. But a lot of people believed in me. Many of you did from the start of my career. I could tell that it wasn’t just about my music, you guys actually liked and believed in ME. As a person. Then, I was lucky enough to have Fx believe in me too. And then an incredible group of writers, a cast and crew…who came to work every day on a show created by a guy who’s never even worked in the medium before, yet was demanding it be treated and approached like it was the most important work of their careers. And somehow, they all cared about it just as much as I did. They believed it was going to be special. I don’t know why, but they did. Let me be a prime example when I say that things are totally possible in life. I had no legitimate reason to believe I could be a successful rapper. But I believed, and then I became that. I had no real reason to believe I could make a great tv show without any experience. But I believed, and I believe we achieved that. The thing that was always driving me, and still is to this day: “what if I’m right…” I couldn’t afford to never know that answer. So I tried my hardest to find out…And I am so relieved that I did. Because I was fuckin right!!!! What outlandish things to believe! I did it!!!! No matter what you’re interested in pursuing, do yourself a favor and find out if you are right too. And even if you aren’t, you’ll never blame yourself for being wrong. Because you tried your best and that’s all you can do. And that’s peace of mind as far as I can tell. What the hell am I even blabbering about? I’m honestly so privileged that this post is probably annoying and somehow problematic in a way that’s beyond my comprehension. But go watch the finale. I feel like my whole career has been building to it, not just the season. And I gave it my all. Love, Dave

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“I became a rapper actually as a result because I thought that was a good way for people to notice me,” he explained. “I didn’t know I was destined to be a rapper.” Now, thanks to FXX and Burd’s talent for writing, he gets to be both a rapper and a comedian.

Lil Dicky will continue with comedy 

FXX confirmed another season of Dave, which means Burd gets to continue living out his dream of being a comedian. Since the series is based on Burd’s life, there’s plenty of material to work with!