House of Blues
October 24, 2016
At 9:45 p.m. Monday night, Z-Ro’s “Mo City Don” began booming through the House of Blues speakers. The crowd, filled with rap fans of every ilk, began to chant along in unison.
The DJ onstage then played verses from Chance The Rapper’s “No Problem,” Kendrick Lamar’s “m.A.A.d City,” Kanye West’s “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” and finally DMX’s “Party Up (Up In Here).”
By 9:55, the crowd had been hyped up enough to bring out the man of the evening.
Preceded by both classic and current rap staples, Lil Dicky’s performance Monday night – his first ever in Houston – might have come as a surprise to anyone unfamiliar with the Philadelphia native’s persona.
Unlike Z-Ro, Chance, Kendrick or Kanye, Dicky is as much of a comedian as he is a rapper, though the former trait doesn’t detract from his abilities as an MC. His persona is unlike that of any other artist currently in the genre and, while he won’t appeal to everyone, House of Blues boasted a sold-out crowd for his first visit to the Bayou City.
His bare chest was exposed through an unbuttoned Los Angeles Dodgers jersey, and his hair was drenched with sweat as LD, a.k.a. the Time Traveler’s Wife, pranced back and forth across the stage, tossing deli meat, toilet paper and candy bars into the crowd throughout the show.
Ten minutes in, Dicky convinced the crowd to join him in an a cappella rendition of the National Anthem, during which he gave his best Whitney Houston impression. LD, a.k.a. Leftward Sloping Penis, later brought out the ghosts of Biggie, Tupac, Harambe, Michael Jackson and even Hitler (for a brief moment) as a Halloween treat.
In between all the bells and whistles, he rapped about sneaking into movie theaters with candy stuffed in his pants, gaining favor with females through chivalry instead of his appearance and feeling insecure about a girlfriend’s ex. His rhymes were so funny, it would almost be understandable to overlook his lyrical abilities, which are impressive.
The most candid song performed Monday night was “Molly,” a sweet track about Dicky's breaking up with his longtime girlfriend to pursue his dream of being a professional rapper. When he finished the song, LD informed the crowd that Molly had gotten engaged only two weeks prior.
Dicky said he wanted to hate Molly’s new man but was incapable.
"I know that they own a dog together,” he said of Molly and her fiancé. “I don't know the exact breed, but it's the cutest dog. It’s the kind of dog you want to have with the love of your life.”
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Before closing out the evening with “Ex-Boyfriend,” the YouTube video that propelled him into the spotlight, LD invited a young woman onstage for “Lemme Freak,” during which he dropped his pants and gave the woman a lap dance while rapping about good behavior, cardigans and some movie about a bee.
He ended the song on one knee with flower in his hands, begging the woman not to sue him.
Dicky’s ability has been established, but only time will tell how much he relies on the comedy aspect. For now, it’s his bread and butter (and deli meat), but lurking beneath the silliness is an intelligent guy with one hell of a vocabulary.
“Molly” was a taste of what he has to offer outside of the humorous, and it tasted better than anything else he threw into the crowd Monday evening.