“In Brief” is a new series in which we offer our thoughts on music/music-related news in a 300 word essay, give or take.
I don’t typically pay any mind to Lil Dicky and his music, so I’ll keep it brief: his new song “Earth,” in addition to being whitewashed Afro-pop, is a huge missed opportunity.
Lil Dicky’s latest single addresses climate change (along with gun violence and animal endangerment), which is undeniably a serious problem whose implications on the future of humanity are potentially cataclysmic. Lil Dicky’s attempt to raise awareness of this issue is definitely a respectable one, and is certainly better than the alternative (i.e. doing nothing at all).
But if we actually analyze this “attempt,” we find that the song’s execution is miserable in so many ways.
I hate to be overly-analytical about comedic music, but given the scale on which Lil Dicky attempts to address this serious issue — over 30 A-list celebrities and artists are featured — it’s hard to remain passive.
“Earth” misses the opportunity to do something most pop artists don’t do: educate a massive audience about a complex, salient issue, preferring instead to personify animals and make sex jokes. Because of this, climate change and its biggest proponents — greenhouse gas emission, the fossil fuel industry, fracking, etc. — go unaddressed entirely.
And on a similar note, one of the most glaring frustrations is that this song doesn’t really offer any substantive solutions for the audience to take home. The only solution Dicky ever offers in the lyrics is, literally, “let’s all just chill” — which is hardly an answer to any problem. I mean, Lil Dicky doesn’t even suggest recycling, one of the simplest, easiest actions a person can do to help preserve the environment.
And I’ve barely even mentioned just how tasteless the song is musically, or how Dicky’s humor fails to be relevant (or funny), or how the intended audience of this message remains unclear. Then again, I suppose that’s all to be expected from a Lil Dicky song.