“Professional Rapper” is the second single and second track of the album. It features Snoop Dogg and is the album’s title track. The song’s premise is that Lil Dicky walks into a meeting with a label executive (played by Snoop) and he has to pitch himself effectively. The perspective of the track, much like the perspective of Lil Dicky overall, is very objective. Snoop plays the antagonistic, professional role well by coming at Lil Dicky from all sides with a plethora of questions about who Lil Dicky is and why he thinks rap is for him. Dicky tries his hardest to prove himself by using numerous flows to explain his upbringing and his current platform, which he refers to as “acting like a lil bitch,” the niche part of “the market that they (labels) miss.” He attempts to make a hot hook but intentionally fails. Snoop’s interjections, reminiscent of Dr. Dre on Guilty Conscience, resemble a toned down call and response approach without becoming too redundant. The humorous undertones found in all of Lil Dicky’s music doesn’t bore the listener, but instead entices them to keep listening for the next laugh. Dicky’s cleverness is second to few, much like his delivery. From sports references to political references, he covers all of his bases on “Who Knew,” on which the hook is a bit relatable but linear.
On “Lemme Freak,” Lil Dicky is heavily pursuing sex. In the first verse he attempts to woo a young lady with a plethora of approaches. His approaches fall short until the hook, which is simplistic but infectious and incredibly catchy. After successfully building a relationship with the woman, Lil Dicky talks about how difficult it is to get sex despite being in a committed relationship. He even says Adele pandora and Jerry Seinfeld’s Bee Movie couldn’t even get him laid. The last verse tells of his continued difficulties nearly 40 years later, as the woman continues to hesitant to address his primal urges. Lil Dicky ultimately resorts to singing “Lemme Freak” one last time. The following track “Lemme Freak Forreal Tho (Outro)” continues to beg for another 4 minutes. He is accompanied by a synthesizer which adds a nice sentimental touch to the ballad-like track.
“White Crime” is a song about being hard but emphasizes petty crimes like stealing wi-fi, peeing in public, filling water cups with soda, running stop signs, and sneaking snacks into movie theaters. The juxtaposition is a creative approach that reinforces the corniness of Lil Dicky’s brand. However, the message could have been effectively conveyed with one less verse. “Bruh” is a simple lyrical exercise but is well worth the listen. “Dat Money” features Fetty Wap and Rich Homie Quan and is about being fashionably frugal. The song that preceded this record, was an interlude by Hannibal Buress, mentioning that money had little angles to be newly observed. Lil Dicky took an alternate approach and laced the track in a way only he could. The Rich Homie Quan feature seems slightly forced compared to the Fetty Wap feature but Lil Dicky is satirical enough for the three of them.
Jace of Two-9 is featured on the next track, “Oh Well.” This track has a simple hook and is about voicing the frustrations of the artists’ situations. Jace’s verse makes this song worth the listen. He talks about how he would prefer to roll up some herb than be asked questions about others or be insulted by strangers. “Personality” features T-Pain and is an ode to all of the average guys who manage to use their wit and charm to win over women. Lil Dicky’s unique and upbeat approach of being awkwardly honest truly shines through on “Pillow Talk.” He tries to have an intelligent interaction but settles for a lackluster conversation with a pretty young thing. Their lack of chemistry, a staple in passable post sex conversations, is classically comical as they fail to talk about aliens, Pangea, and pizza.
“Classic Male Pregame” is just as the title insinuates: a song about an all-male pregame. It is neither special nor exciting if you’re familiar with the pre-bar sausage fest that occurs as men prepare to seek female affection with the help of liquid courage. On “The Antagonist” and “The Antagonist II” Lil Dicky spits more bars and punchlines. He ultimately fails to shine through on the hooks, though the flows of the verses are versatile. The album closes with a song called “Truman,” which would be eligible for multiple replays if not for the following monologue that is several minutes long. The beat on this track is reminiscent of something that J Dilla could have created and Lil Dicky doesn’t fail to live up to it. The vibe is refreshing and it feels more like a classic hip-hop cut after I endured the entire album’s satirical rhetoric.
Overall, the album is conceptually a solid project. Lil Dicky’s approach is different, much like his background, but at times it falls victim to its own aspirations to be different. Dicky’s delivery and style is tolerable in short bursts but would likely not be something to listen to for extended periods of time. Let us know if you agree in the comments below.