Alumni

Photograph by Kayla Johnson/Creative Commons
Back at the Robins School of Business, his classmates knew him as Dave Burd. A few years after graduation, the pop culture world got to know him as Lil Dicky, a rapper whose videos attracted hundreds of millions of views online. Now, Burd hopes a new television show will help people start to know him as Dave again, says The New York Times.

Dave, an FXX series launched in March, is a fictionalized but semi-autobiographical account of Burd's unlikely rise as a hip-hop star. It begins just after the launch of his first video, which earned more than a million views in 24 hours. Overnight, he went from working at an ad agency and being everyone’s funniest friend to someone with a viral hit and a chance to build a music career.

Burd is the co-creator and star of the show, which mines his “bucket of shameful, embarrassing, amazing stories,” Dave’s co-creator Jeff Schaffer, an executive producer of Curb Your Enthusiasm and Seinfeld, told The New York Times. Dave also attracted comedian Kevin Hart and director Greg Mottola of Superbad fame as executive producers.

A reviewer for The Washington Post called the series “suprisingly deep,” adding that it is “a thoughtful (if inane) exploration of masculinity.” The reviewer notes that Burd’s rap persona often mines humor based on sexual insecurities. These insecurities, in turn, open up space for the show’s other characters to “start talking about their own issues — mental illness,” in one charactor’s case.

Burd has occasionally cast the university for cameo apprearances in his lyrics and videos. In the video for the 2015 song “Professional Rapper,” featuring Snoop Dogg, he does both during a spontaneous job interview with the rap legend. “I was undergrad down there in Richmond,” he raps as cartoon versions of the pair stand in front of a large UR shield. On YouTube, the video has 178 million views and counting.