Lil Dicky's Star-Studded Charity Single 'Earth' Debuts in Hot 100's Top 20: 'It's Reinforced the Faith I Have in Humanity'
The song features guests including Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande & Ed Sheeran.
The track launches at No. 3 on the Digital Song Sales survey with 20,000 downloads sold, according to Nielsen Music, and No. 6 on Streaming Songs with 29 million U.S. streams. It also drew 3.4 million in all-format airplay in the tracking week.
"Earth" additionally enters Comedy Digital Track Sales at No. 1, where it's Lil Dicky's fifth leader, the most among soloists. His prior No. 1, "Freaky Friday," featuring Chris Brown, ranks at No. 2. On the Hot 100, "Earth" marks Lil Dicky's second-best rank, after "Friday" became his first top 10, reaching No. 8 in April 2018.
"Earth" is an all-star collaboration featuring over 30 high-profile guests, including Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Halsey, Adam Levine, Katy Perry and Ed Sheeran, with proceeds from the song benefiting various environmental organizations.
Upon its Hot 100 launch, Lil Dicky (aka, David Burd, 31) spoke with Billboard about the well-kept secret of the song's guest list and his talent of deftly mixing comedy and such an important cause.
Billboard: Congratulations on the debut! How does it feel to see the song and video received so well? Especially, considering the charity aspect.
Lil Dicky: It feels fantastic. Obviously, the better it is received, the wider-spread it becomes and the more money and awareness is raised, so that inherently is a great thing. But beyond that, I've been reading some of the comments and it's really reinforced the faith I have in humanity when I see all the togetherness that this song is creating.
I'm seeing a lot of accountability, too. A lot of people are making comments where they're taking some degree of personal ownership of this environmental crisis, saying things like, "We need to do better. I want to be better."
I really think people want to save this planet. And this song seems to be generating a lot of conversation around that desire, which was the main goal.
Has it been fun to see people marveling at how you put this song together essentially in secret? To get over 30 of the top names in music and pop culture and basically surprise the world with it is seemingly impossible in the social media age.
Yes, it's like I've been keeping this huge secret for years, and I've finally been allowed to jump on the rooftops and share it with everybody. And it's a secret that, upon its reveal, has been creating a lot of happiness and positivity, so it's even more satisfying for me on a personal level.
I feel relieved that it's finally out, but also very proud that we did this and are still doing this, together, as a group. This song couldn't just be one artist for it to have the impact it's having, and this Earth can't just be about one person having an impact either. We are in it together. The song feels like a microcosm of that reality.
The song is a rare mix of humor and touching heartstrings. From the song to its video, do you feel that you found the right balance? Ultimately, perhaps the proof will be in how we all react to climate challenges while we still have a chance?
It was definitely a tricky balancing act, for sure. In all of my songs, I try to do a lot of things at once, whether it be making you laugh, maintaining musical integrity, lyricism, etc. This song needed to do so many things at once to be at its most effective. It needed to be catchy and digestible for all ages. It needed to be funny; I find humor to be the best way to break down walls and impact people. It needed to be accessible and not too abrasively edgy, yet not watered-down to the point of not being in my voice. It needed to have the type of gravity that could unify people, while simultaneously having enough levity to where it isn't feeling preachy or overbearing.
Probably the hardest balancing act of my career thus far, because you want to please everybody without doing too much or too little, while satisfying or getting approvals of over 30 artists at the same time. But, I am happy with where we netted out.
And, yes, let's see how we react to the climate crisis while there's still time to react. I think, minimally, this song helped get us talking about the fact that we should figure out a way how. I believe we can do it.