David Burd, better known as Lil Dicky, got his first taste of mainstream success in 2016. In February, his Fetty Wap and Rich Homie Quan-assisted single “$ave Dat Money” peaked at No. 23 on Billboard’s Hip-Hop chart, and in June he made the coveted XXL Freshman Class cover, a rite of passage for rap’s rising stars.
Having accomplished all that, the 28-year-old from Cheltenham Township, PA, says now he has only one goal in mind.
“I’ll know I’ve made it when I’m being handed the MVP trophy at the [NBA] Celebrity All-Star Game. Nothing would make me happier,” Dicky says.
If you’ve seen the YouTube video of Dicky playing pickup hoops in Chicago (the clip is from 2014 but just recently went viral), you’ll understand why he yearns for a roster spot in the annual celebrity event. At one point, while rocking Russell Westbrook’s USA jersey, Dicky cashed eight three-pointers in a row from NBA range.
LD says his game most closely resembles that of fellow sharpshooter Stephen Curry. Comparing oneself to the reigning MVP is bound to raise some eyebrows, but Burd delivers solid reasoning. “Steph has evolved way past the point of my game, but when I saw Curry at Davidson, I saw how I played when I was really on fire.”
Surprisingly, Dicky never played or even tried out at Cheltenham High, located a half-mile from the Philly city border. The varsity team was loaded, and plus, Burd didn’t feel like lifting weights or learning offenses. So he settled for dominating local rec leagues and summer camps instead, a career highlighted by a game of one-one-one with Jameer Nelson of St. Joseph’s and Orlando Magic fame. Dicky lost 3-2, and afterward, his friends forced him to rap in front of Nelson and an entire camp of kids.
“Now that I’m a rapper, it’s interesting, ’cause one of the key moments in my rap career literally happened on the basketball court,” says Dicky (pictured below with Lakers rook Brandon Ingram).
Burd was 13 when his hometown Sixers made the Finals, and he says Iverson’s Tyronn Lue step-over remains his favorite memory in the history of sports (high praise from someone who once squeezed 40-plus sports references into a single track).
He also watched AI usher in the League’s “IDGAF” attitude. “I wonder, as a rapper now, how much that must’ve influenced me as a kid, seeing one of my main inspirations be so embedded in the hip-hop community,” he says.
Dicky is keeping an eye on the Sixers and is currently on tour, where you can catch him in concert rocking an ill bball jersey—he’s got 60 in his closet—like one of his most prized possessions, a Jesus Shuttlesworth Lincoln uni.
Mostly, though, the dude is gunning for a Kevin Hart-like celebrity game career. First, he’s gotta make the roster.
“I don’t know what has to happen to make that happen. By all means, let’s start the campaign now.”
Photo: Lacy Eakin