In the 2010s, Lil Dicky came up as a comedic Internet rapper — which is also the premise of his hit FXX series Dave — but there’s one viral piece of his story he’s not proud of.
The 33-year-old rapper acknowledges parts of his controversial past in a new feature with GQ published on Monday (June 14), explaining why he took the music video for 2013’s “White Dude” off his official YouTube channel. The video faced backlash for its depictions of Dicky, the titular white dude, galavanting through life much easier than people of color and women.
“Even though I knew I was never serious with it and it was just a joke, it just didn’t feel like a joke I was proud of. And I don’t like making jokes I’m not proud of,” he said, later adding how aware he is of “how insensitive my art can be, but I’m a very sensitive person and I hate offending people. If I see anybody that’s offended by something I’m doing, it really hurts my heart, truly.”
Another decision he’s standing by is recording his 2018 smash hit “Freaky Friday” with Chris Brown, where the two switch bodies (à la the movie it shares a name with) and the R&B superstar enjoys a more low-key life while the rapper spoils himself in Brown’s luxury and ability to say the N-word, which is actually sung by Brown in the song and video. The song peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100, which proves Dicky’s point that “Freaky Friday” is a “f—ing global smash hit” despite his collaborator’s own controversial past with domestic violence against women, most notably his ex-girlfriend Rihanna, whom he assaulted in 2009.
“With Chris Brown, we can do one of two things: We can never hear from him again and say ‘I won’t accept any Chris Brown whatsoever,’ or I feel like we can allow him to use his talent for good,” he says. “When I see people react to the song, I really think that it makes people laugh and it makes people happy. I don’t think it’s the type of thing that really is making the world a worse place, on a micro-specific, talking-about-the-song level.”
Read his entire GQ feature here.