In celebration of this year’s Earth Day and to bring attention to the issues of climate change, well-known rapper Lil Dicky released his single, “Earth.” The performer is usually recognized for his music videos and the humor that he incorporates into them, but “Earth” isn’t just another funny release, it is also a Public Service Announcement that advocates for action against global warming, albeit still weird.
Sometimes Lil Dicky and his music are not taken seriously because of the comical schtick that he has fashioned for himself, but if you were to listen closely then you’d understand that underneath the witty banter is a deeper meaning worth acknowledging. His seemingly off-the-handle creative choices are intentional because that’s what grabs an audience’s attention, keeps them talking and prompts further discussion.
The single has an insane amount of popular artists featured on the track, like Ariana Grande, Katy Perry and Justin Bieber just to name a few. The music video for “Earth” is a lengthy seven minutes filled to the brim with flippant, yet entertaining content that is part live-action and part animation, plus all of the 32 featured artists have their own designated cartoon character.
Aside from the video’s obvious joking manner, you can immediately see that a lot of work went into making the video a high quality production, a trait that Lil Dicky never seems to skimp on. The extensive and at times garrulous music video could easily be mistaken for the opening scene of a movie meant for the big screen, one that I would undoubtedly watch through its entirety.
The music video begins as a live-action, as Lil Dicky approaches a group of young kids who fool around long enough to knock over a garbage can, letting trash get blown all over the street, a scene that highlights society’s issues with littering and the production of excessive waste. Quickly transitioning from live-action into animation, Lil Dicky is still himself just the animated version, while all of the featured artists are cast as different animals, plants and germs—essentially representing life on Earth.
Lil Dicky’s peculiar methods add to his appeal, making him idiosyncratic to others within the current rap music industry. The song begins with a quick intro from the musician that suggests he is having a conversation with planet Earth itself – “What up world? It’s your boy, just one of the guys down here.”
Proceeding the intro is the extremely catchy chorus – “We love the Earth, it is our planet / We love the Earth, it is our home.” Short and sweet, the chorus is what stands out most in the track, not only is it memorable and melodious, it is also the main message that Lil Dicky aims to get across to his listeners.
I got the sense that Lil Dicky was aiming for a certain “Lion King,” “Circle of Life” kind of feel, and it worked to an extent, but it definitely airs on the raunchier side, as the song’s lyrics include curse words and the music video contains somewhat vulgar imagery—things to be expected from the rapper. Following the chorus is when all of the featured artists are introduced and say their bit: Halsey as a lion cub, Wiz Khalifa as a “disgruntled skunk,” Snoop Dog as a marijuana plant and a personal favorite, the cartoon version of Kanye West voiced by Kevin Hart.
By the time the song reaches its third chorus, Snoop Dog, Meghan Trainor, Sia, John Legend and Lil Dicky himself harmonize and sing, “Earth, it is our planet (It’s so tiny) / We love the Earth (We love the Earth), it is our home (Home) / We love the Earth, it is our planet (It is our planet) / We love the Earth, it is our home / We love the Earth.” The lyrics are simple, yet the takeaway is complex as the realization of what we as humans have done to our planet begins to settle heavily upon my conscience, the way Lil Dicky probably intended.
Near the end of the tune, the lyrics begin to list off things that make life worth living, things that make being a human so special. It is important to embrace those things, but if we as humans want to keep living out our mysterious existence than we also should embrace the home that makes living our lives possible.
Although the song and video are a lighthearted pairing that is easy to sing along to, it also urges a pressing matter: We have only one planet to call our home, and if we don’t take proper care of where we live now, then we will surely lose it later, and perhaps much sooner than our planet’s natural life expectancy.
Lil Dicky concludes his message and ends the music video to “Earth” by plugging the website WeLoveTheEarth.org, an educational site that promotes awareness, provides resources and information for anyone who is interested in supporting the cause and taking action.
What I can appreciate about Lil Dicky’s new single is that he is using his platform and the platform of tens of other famous celebrities to be a voice for positive change and he is giving fans the chance to help. What’s more, the website is in Layman’s terms for almost anyone to understand, interactive and worth exploring.
On a bit of a side note, there are two versions to the song’s outro and the version made for the music video is quite longer, but I definitely suggest giving it a listen/watch. In the extensive outro, Leonardo DiCaprio makes a vocal appearance on the track and Lil Dicky dubs him as planet Earth’s human representative if aliens ever come to visit, a zany no-brainer in my opinion, as I can’t think of a better earthling for the job.