1. Hip-hop-sensation Lil Dicky (A.K.A. "LD") never haphazardly releases songs or music videos. On the contrary, he remains painstakingly patient in his approach to content distribution. LD releases specific content on specific days and at specific times, typically on Wednesdays at 1:00 PM, when click-through rates are particularly high. LD's content distribution strategy is defined by chaotic balance. He manages to keep his devoted fan base satisfied, while at the same time making them ravenous for more and more LD.
2. If you've ever seen Breaking Bad, you might say that LD distributes content much like Walter White manufactures methamphetamine. Every move is meticulously crafted, every decision, calculated, every detail, checked and double-checked. But the trick is, LD somehow makes it all look effortless. Perhaps that's exactly how hip-hop's Heisenberg seems to remain always one step ahead of his competition.
3. Lyrically speaking, LD's a next-generation artist. His music resonates with urban America, suburban America and the 50 shades of America in between. His approach is simple. LD ensures that his fans feel connected to the music -- not only by rapping about topics to which they relate - but also by engaging them in a process of co-creation. For example, LD recently held YouTube auditions for a hype man. In doing so, he involved his fans in an important decision-making process while simultaneously driving traffic to his Kickstarter campaign.
4. Artistic talent aside, LD's greatest success lies in his ability to foster communities of interaction around digital content. His content is increasingly becoming an act of exchange. His fans are consumers, but also creators. His music is indeed so relatable that at some level, his fans feel as though they've written it themselves.
5. What fans seem to admire most about LD though is his self-deprecating sense of humor. LD's not afraid to tell the truth even when it means confessing to hygiene problems, masturbation habits and episodes of penis envy. While Lil Wayne raps about women, money and weed, LD raps about premature ejaculation, white privilege and post-bong paranoia. LD is perhaps the antithesis of the hip-hop industry in which he's rapidly emerging, an industry traditionally dominated by money-infused machismo.
6. After all, that's why LD started rapping in the first place. According to his blog, "In an era where rap is dominated by racial, social and economic minorities, LD decided to put the upper-middle class on his frail, Jewish shoulders." Like many music lovers his age, LD couldn't relate to the current state of hip-hop. More than that, LD knew that if he wanted to stand out as a Jewish, suburban rapper, he couldn't rap about Cristal bottles, models and Maybachs. His story just wouldn't be compelling. So LD locked himself in his bedroom, recorded hit after hit on GarageBand and marched unapologetically to the beat of his own grimy drum.
7. Since the beginning, LD dared to be different. He defined the attributes of existing rap music and deliberately reversed them. Whatever the competition made, LD made the opposite. In doing so, LD infiltrated untapped market space. He ignored the urge to battle big guns like Drake and Rick Ross for market share. He focused instead on exploiting untapped market niches, on making rappers like Rick Ross irrelevant, and on rendering their business models obsolete. In that way, LD singlehandedly changed the rap game. He hasn't looked back since.
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