FXX’s ‘Dave’ proves star’s lack of depth, talent

Dave

Yannik / Wiki Media

Dave "Lil Dicky" Burd released his first video six years ago on YouTube and since has amassed 23 million views. Lil Dicky today has amassed over six million months streams on Spotify.

There are many issues with “Dave,” FXX’s new rap comedy starring Dave Burd: it’s juvenile, reductive and, worst of all, boring. But it’s biggest problem is that Dave Burd isn’t Donald Glover. Whereas the latter is behind “Atlanta,” a profound dive into hip hop culture as well as race in America, the former is the co-creator of one long dick joke that can’t hide Burd’s relentless marketing strategy over actual talent. 

Overall, “Dave,” is a show that follows Burd becoming the “greatest rapper alive,” yet each episode exposes his lack of acting ability, and most unforgivably, makes you wonder why the actual Burd is considered a musician at all. 

To illustrate, the bane of shows about successful musicians is that the music has to be good in order to convince viewers the character should be successful. 

At the end of the first episode, when viewers see guest star rapper YG complementing a Dicky freestyle containing such “gems” as “I just want a girl to let me hit it on a work day/I don’t think my dick has grown at all since the first grade,” any credibility the show might’ve had is obliterated by hearing Burd’s inept rap. 

Even on an acting level, Burd is a black hole that detracts from his more talented co-stars. The pilot’s first scene, which has Burd listing his character’s various penial surgeries, only confirms Burd’s inability to sell jokes of any brow or make his character engaging in any way.  

In other words, Burd isn’t a loveable character, nor one you love to hate. Rather, he’s simply someone you want to go away.   

If possible, the second episode only furthers this perception by botching a great comedic setup. Burd is asked to perform at a young fan’s funeral since he was the deceased child’s favorite rapper, mainly because the child only listened to white rappers. 

And yet, instead of mining the dark humor of Burd’s privilege, the joke never goes beyond his annoyance with being compared to Macklemore.

Therein lies the problem: Burd’s actual success comes from influencer-like tactics that stake success on shock value and big name celebrities, not depth or awareness — qualities essential to any great art. And like awful advertisements, the guest stars for these episodes are here for the check as well as to distract viewers from noticing how awful Burd’s product is; they’re not here because they respect him. 

Few TV shows focus on the hip hop landscape, so seeing Burd’s half-hearted attempt to receive backing is infuriating, especially when one takes into account the implications of a white rapper receiving such opportunities over more marginalized artists. 

Ironically, a show that actually focused on this music marketing would be interesting. But instead, viewers will have to make do with what Burd thinks will sell: yet another generic comedy. Needless to say, hip hop deserves better.