Lil Dicky on Top 10 Hot 100 Debut With 'Freaky Friday': 'It's Validating to See a Song Be Mainstream While Being So Quirky & Weird'
The comic rapper chats about featured Chris Brown being on-board from the start & with whom else he'd like to switch bodies.
The song surges after the March 15 release of its official video. Its premise borrows from the body-switching movie Freaky Friday, first starring Barbara Harris and Jodie Foster in 1976 and remade with Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan in 2003.
In Lil Dicky's version, he self-deprecatingly basks in the benefits of temporarily becoming Chris Brown, while Brown gasps at the realization that he's assumed Lil Dicky's form. Lil Dicky also briefly turns into Ed Sheeran, DJ Khaled and Kendall Jenner, all of whom who make cameos near the end of the clip.
"Friday" crowns the Comedy Digital Track Sales chart and enters the all-genre Digital Song Sales chart at No. 3 with 38,000 downloads sold, and bows on Streaming Songs at No. 4 with 26.5 million U.S. streams, in the week ending March 22, according to Nielsen Music.
Billboard caught up with Lil Dicky, the 30-year-old born David Burd, and who had previously charted one No. 71-peaking song on the Hot 100, in 2015, about the origin of "Friday" and its instant chart success, as well as the validation that it's providing him.
What's your reaction to "Freaky Friday" debuting on the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 9, becoming your first top 10 hit?
Utter and sheer happiness. It's a dream come true. I've always hoped I could do it, but until you see it officially happening, you deep down wonder if it will in fact ever happen. Especially with my music, because so much of it is comedic in nature, you just never know how far it can go. But, in looking at this debut, it motivates me even more to keep going as hard as I can.
Did you think that this song had such hit potential when you wrote and then recorded it? Or, did the video make you think that it could become really big? Of course, having Chris Brown, DJ Mustard and Benny Blanco involved (the latter two hitmakers co-wrote and co-produced "Friday") didn't hurt …
I haven't put any music out in three years, and I really wanted to challenge myself to make something impactful. I think the video helped take it over the top, for sure.
But even with the song by itself, I remember when Chris came out of the booth when we were recording it, he said, "This really sounds like a hit." So, the thought was always in the back of my mind. But, to see it come to fruition is amazing.
I recognize I do something very unique with the type of comedic elements I fuse into my songs, so even though I thought it had potential, I really couldn't be certain. But it's very validating to see a song be mainstream while being so quirky and weird. That has always been my goal as an artist, and I'm super-appreciative that so many people have been so supportive.
Was Chris Brown on board with the concept from the start? He was game to poke some fun at himself?
Yes, the second I started talking to him about it, I could see how much he got the concept, and how funny he thought it could be. It was weird… I didn't know what to expect when I went to his studio to talk about it all, show him the beat and play him a rough version of the hook, but he just laughed hysterically every time I wanted him to laugh.
He was into it immediately, and we talked through the concept and individual ideas within the song, and then he took all of those thoughts and brought them to life in the biggest of ways, both in the song and in the video.
Are you truly as self-deprecating as you seem in "Freaky Friday"?
Yeah, I am. I'm pretty self-aware, and I am an embarrassingly flawed human being in a ton of ways. Like, I haven't even tried a cherry before, because I'm such a picky eater, and I behave like a 9-year-old. I literally just had my first grape this year! It was fine, but I doubt I'll revisit the grape anytime soon.
And, I'm fully aware of how pathetic all of that is, so when there's something else about myself that's worthy of making fun of, I like being the first in line to do so. But, I hope my strengths as a human being make up for it. That's what I'm banking on.
Other than Chris Brown, Ed Sheeran, DJ Khaled and Kendall Jenner, anyone else with whom you'd like to switch bodies?
LeBron James. I'm such a big basketball fan, and to be in his body for a day, and be able to just dunk at will, have that level of court awareness, and size, oh my goodness, that would be a treat. After him, I would probably go Tom Brady. Being the best quarterback of all time, and then being married to one of the most prolific supermodels of all time, not a bad person to be.