“Dave” and Lil Dicky fans, the artist’s first new music in eight years is finally coming to streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music later this year. Dave Burd, the “Dave” star/exec producer and rapper also known as Lil Dicky, is compiling tracks, and expanding other music cues, from the first three seasons of “Dave” that he plans to release shortly.
The album would serve somewhat as a “Dave” soundtrack but also as Lil Dicky’s first official release since 2015’s “Professional Rapper,” which was certified platinum and hit No. 1 on the Billboard Top Rap Albums chart.
“I’ve been making music ever since then,” Burd said. “I realized this year, as I took a step back and looked at all the different music that’s made it into the first three seasons of the show, there’s enough here, a great body of work and a project that I can put out as a soundtrack. I think this is such a better representation of Lil Dicky the musical artist than, honestly, my first album even was. People are always like, ‘when can I get that song?’ I think this will be a cool thing for fans who have watched the show. And for people who have never even seen the show, I think they’ll enjoy listening to this as like a body of music.”
Burd is currently working with producer Benny Blanco (who’s also a frequent “Dave” guest star) to finish some of the songs, as well as get them ready for mixing and mastering. Burd said he’s looking at including between 15 and 20 tracks on the album.
“There are bits and pieces of songs you’ve been hearing for three seasons of Lil Dicky, the musical artist,” he said. “Sometimes you’ll hear 20 seconds of it, but I might have a full three minute version of that song that’s unreleased. I want to get that out to the world. It’s a really strong body of work that I’m super proud of. I was surprised when I took a step back and looked at the inventory of stuff that have made it into the show — ‘Oh, my God, there’s like a great album here of work that can live on its own.’ So that’s what I’m working on now.”
That’s why Burd said this next album is just the beginning of a more regular release of music from Lil Dicky. “Some of my favorite songs I’ve ever made have appeared in spots during the season. I can’t keep holding on to things forever as I try to make another album,” he said. “But I have so much other music that hasn’t been in the show that I’m not including on this project,” he said. “I think it’s been hard on fans of my rap music who have been loving the show, but wanting music to listen to in their headphones.”
Burd said he hopes to release the “Dave” soundtrack by the end of this summer. “The sooner the better,” he said. “It’s just some of these things you’ve seen in the show are 30 seconds. That’s a little too short. It’s not as simple as, ‘they all exist and I can just put them on a thing and boom, I can come out tomorrow.’ I want to do it the right way. And again, none of these songs were even mixed or mastered. But I’ll be working on it as fast as I can. These things do take some time. I’m not going to just throw some sloppy version of it out. But let’s get all our ducks in a row, get all the files to Benny, get all the structurally things correct.”
Burd admitted that the all-consuming job of starring in and writing “Dave” has limited the time he has to put out an album. “When I’m making the show, it takes every ounce of my energy,” he said. “The lifecycle of a season is a year, and it’s like 15 hour days, seven days a week for a year straight. It’s impossible for me to come home and then work more on music. So I’m working on all this music before I start the show, in between. It’s not for lack of effort that I haven’t been able to put music out. You only have so much time and then then you got to make the show. And so I’m happy that I finally accumulated enough great material that I’m proud of that I can put something out and people can listen to it… I’ve changed, the music changed, my ability as a rapper has changed. I would hope fans don’t think that I’m not making music.”
Season 3 of “Dave” wrapped on May 31 with a surprise appearance by Brad Pitt; the show also boasted cameos this year from Drake, Demi Lovato, Don Cheadle, Killer Mike, Machine Gun Kelly, Megan Fox, Rick Ross, Travis Barker, Usher, Jack Harlow and Rachel McAdams. The critically acclaimed FX series has earned high marks for its storytelling — particularly this season, as Dave embarked on a nationwide tour while also looking for love. The series also stars GaTa, Andrew Santino, Christine Ko, Taylor Misiak and Travis Bennet. GaTa, in particular, has earned high marks for his portrayal of struggles with mental health.
“Nobody in the universe can do what he does,” Burd recently wrote on Instagram about GaTa. “He bares his soul every single time. He takes what’s on the page and makes it SO MUCH BETTER by making it his own. He gives us raw glimpses into his own trauma. I’ve seen it first hand how much it impacts people who watch this show… He is the heart and soul of this very special thing we make. And I know what he’s been through to get here. And I want to see him celebrated as one of the best in the world at what he does because that’s what he is, objectively.”
Burd described Season 3 as his most ambitious for “Dave.” “I always have such high expectations for anything I do,” he said. “Normally, if things reach my bar of satisfaction, even on the lowest threshold of whatever that bar is, that’s all I can ask for. And this season is the first thing I think I’ve ever made creatively where I’m like, ‘Wow, that actually fully exceeded my incredibly lofty expectations.’ I’m able to watch the season and feel like these episodes are as good as they could have been. There’s such a wide variety of tones and stories. And I couldn’t be prouder of just every week. I think all 10 episodes like really satisfied people in different ways.”
Because Burd plays a version of himself on “Dave,” it’s always a little tricky to track the career progression of the fictional Lil Dicky vs. the real one. In Season 3, the show kicks off with Lil Dicky experiencing mild doses of fame — he’s hanging out with Rick Ross, but Killer Mike doesn’t know who he is. By the end of the season, Lil Dickey is at the Met Gala and interacting with Brad Pitt and Drake.
“We always think to ourselves, how is this character’s career going to progress?” Burd said. “At a certain point, I would imagine he would take a step forward in his fame, as opposed to middling in the internet obscurity. We really loved the idea of the bus blowing up and people for one day thinking that I’m dead, and the streams going through the roof. Once you do that, then you can go to the Met Gala, then you can be in an episode with Brad Pitt and Drake and it’s not a total leap.”
Burd and Jeff Schaffer co-created “Dave” and executive produce with Luvh Rakhe, Vanessa McGee, Kris Eber, Rob Rosell, Kevin Hart and Hartbeat Productions, Scooter Braun, Marty Bowen, Mike Hertz and SB Projects’ James Shin and Scott Manson.