I’m not the world’s biggest rap and hip-hop connoisseur. Like…I know most of the lyrics to Hamilton, does that count? I enjoyed that “Panda” song last summer, very much. Or like, one time I met Jay-Z and he got me champagne, so naturally, I thought he was a waiter. It got written up in The Village Voice and everything!
Now, before you get super riled, this has nothing to do with cultural appropriation or dismissal of a hugely influential form of music. It’s just that I honestly only listen to soundtracks and musicals; so until Noah Hawley features a track from Drake or the Weeknd to play underneath the world exploding into tiny color fractals that turn out to be a washing machine or some shit, don’t expect me to be able to tell name you one song by either Drake or The Weeknd.
Again, this is just who I am and my musical preferences. In fairness, I also don’t care about the following artists at all: Bruce Springsteen, Spoon, Phish (that’s how much “fuck Phish”), The Lumineers, anyone that has ever performed on Saturday Night Live as the musical act (barring Lady Gaga), OneRepublic, Calvin Harris, that dude who did “Blurred Lines” (though that song was catchy!), whoever the fuck Lil Yachty is, Billy Joel, or any other band or recording artist whose name doesn’t rhyme with “Shmeven Shmondheim” or “guy who did score for SHBO’s hit, Swestworld.”
There is one artist hip-hop/comedy artist* I love though, literally FORCED upon me by an ex who swore up and down that the lyrics weren’t too fast for me to follow along with the song’s world-building, which is my number one complaint about all lyrics in general. The song was 11 minutes long. It was called “Pillow Talk feat. Brain” by Lil Dicky. It tells a story, an epic story. A story with the multi-dimensional layers of, say, a “Tangled Up in Blue”-level story—and yes, I can say such blasphemy, because again, your gods aren’t my gods. And because I really like the song—about the awkward sleepover of a one-night stand. Although, check it, by the time Dicky’s brain gets up in there and starts asking the really tough questions (“Why can’t god fuck with aliens?” and of course, the classic response to someone saying “It’s apples and oranges”: “Why can’t fruit be compared!!??”), it’s more like an awkward threesome.Last month, Lil Dicky paired up with the digital agency Giant Propeller (an effects company whose creators have worked on such tiny little indie hits as The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Noah, Thor, Captain America…you know what? Just check out Mike Bodkin’s IMDB page,) to create this amazingly trippy video that includes all the best imagery from “Pillow Talk”: aliens, dinosaurs, wolves, brains, pepperoni pizza, and oh yeah…John C. Reilly as God.
“It represents something new because you rarely see a song that’s 11 minutes,” Lil Dicky (aka David Andrew Burd) wrote in an emailed statement to The Observer. “So it’s kind of a short film and song hybrid that doesn’t come around that often.”
“We were attracted to the project because we knew that the lyrics lend to insane visuals and Lil Dicky was the type of artist who wanted to create something visually incredible,” said Giant Propeller’s Creative Director Jordan Freda. “Dinosaurs, aliens, talking wolves. It had to be crazy. I thought of it as a film maker’s wet dream. It’s rare you get the opportunity to develop so many artistic visual effects concepts for a music video or short. Our team at Giant Propeller was stoked!”
“For me, the attraction to this track was really about Brain,” seconded Bodkin. “After living in LA for so long, you hear a lot of celebrity stories; it is just part of the culture out here. I was at a party in the Hills a couple years back and I heard a few hilarious anecdotes about Brain and his crew running around the LA scene. When this project came up I thought ‘I have to meet this Brain character.’ I had to see what it’s all about. Didn’t disappoint.”
The collective internet is far from disappointed themselves; in the ONE MONTH (literally, the video came out on April 12th) since its release, Pillow Talk has garnered over 6.3 MILLION views on YouTube. Not bad for some pillow talk.
*Ugh, you can also tell I don’t write about music a lot, because I sound like someone’s grandparent. “Who is your favorite hip-hop slash comedy artist these days, OfKatniss?”**
**In my version of the future, it’s like Handmaid’s Tale but gender-swapped.***
***See? TV, I know how to write about! I’m gonna go back and do that!