By Sierra Aceto
If you haven’t heard already, rapper and comedian Lil Dicky released a new song ‘Earth’ on April 18. It arrived — along with a music video — featuring over 30 artists and celebrities voicing various animated animals and organisms. Ariana Grande is a zebra, Justin Bieber is a baboon and there’s even an appearance by Leonardo DiCaprio himself — or an animated version, at least.
The video has amassed more than 47 million views over the past week, but there remains a question about whether or not the quality of the song suffered in favor of a simple message and a Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation promotion.
There was potential with a large production like this to create an entertaining and meaningful song that could gain genuine popularity and spread awareness about climate change. Instead, what we got was a detailed animation with a sub-par song.
Although it is part of Lil Dicky’s stylistic expression to produce slightly shoddy songs along with comical video narratives, this amusement can only be stretched so far. Songs like ‘Pillow Talking’ and even ‘Professional Rapper’ do a more commendable job of illustrating their intended message while also delivering on humor and entertainment.
After listening to ‘Earth,’ — more times than I care to admit, I might add — the main issue I have is the lyrics are too simplistic. There is maybe a 30 second stretch of lines about pollution and industrialization, and this is the only verse that directly addresses any negative effects of climate change.
The rest of the video is various celebrities singing one-liners or cracking jokes about whatever animal they are voicing. While the intention may have been to remind viewers of the many species with which we share this planet, listening to Sia sing ‘Hippity-hop, I’m a kangaroo’ doesn’t really provide the necessary persuasion that would inspire me to contribute to the cause if I wasn’t already concerned — which we definitely all should be.
When it comes to crucial conversations like climate change and global warming, I’m not sure if Lil Dicky was the man to pioneer this project.
If I was being optimistic, I would say that a large collaboration like this had the potential to be more like the Black Eyed Peas’ 2016 release of ‘#WHERESTHELOVE‘ feat. The World. This song is more audibly pleasing, and the music video more emotionally evocative.
The effort to spread awareness about global warming is commendable. At the end of the music video, Lil Dicky includes the fact that we have less than 12 years to reverse our climatic situation before we will inevitably suffer the consequences of climate change.
So, no matter what you thought of the song or the video, this is the main message you should take with you going forward: our earth is running out of time, and we need to take action.