In Lil Dicky’s latest rap video, he rides around in a luxury sports car, prances through a mansion like he owns the place and parties on a yacht with bikini-clad women. Several athletes and A-list celebrities make cameos.
But Dicky filmed all those flashy scenes without spending a dime. The video “$ave Dat Money” made an immediate splash on the Internet, garnering a million views within 17 hours after being posted on YouTube in mid-September.
“We wanted to do the opposite of what you might see in a typical video,” said the rapper, whose real name is Dave Burd. “We thought about making the most baller video, but that’s expected. Then I thought to myself, ‘What if we filmed a video without spending money?'”
Dicky said the cost-cutting strategy saved him $30,000. His only major expenses were feeding his two-man camera crew and editors for the video. It took them six 12-hour days to create.
Dicky opens the video by asking seemingly random residents in a posh neighborhood if he and his crew can use their home to film. Most of the mansion owners say no, but one woman lets Dicky and his crew in.
He’s also seen trying to persuade the manager to use Lamborghini for 15 minutes. And Sarah Silverman, Kevin Durant, Mark Cuban, Tom Petty, T-Pain and Hannibal Burress all make an appearance. Gathering those A-list celebs was an easy task because he already knew them.
Dicky’s relationship is so solid with T-Pain that a scene from “$ave Dat Money” was recorded while T-Pain was filming his own video.
“T-Pain asked me to come by for a cameo in his video,” he said. “But then I thought. Wouldn’t it be a great idea to use his set for my video? It would be perfect. I asked him, and he totally thought it was the most hilarious thing.”
But not everyone was so welcoming. Dicky was rejected numerous times by mansion homeowners, but he said the constant dismissals made the video more authentic.
“We got off to a great start, but I knew there would be 99 percent rejections,” he said. “All you need to do is be persistent enough to get one person to agree.”
“$ave Dat Money” features Fetty Wap and Rich Homie Quan and was the first single on Dicky’s debut album Professional Rapper, which topped Billboard’s Rap Chart in late July. Not bad for Dicky, who used to write NBA commercials in 2012.
“I typically don’t believe things are meant to be,” he said. “But when all things really came together, it felt like making this video was meant to be. Seeing the success of this is still unbelievable.”