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Breaking down the living nightmare that is Lil Dicky and Chris Brown's Freaky Friday

“I woke up in Chris Brown’s body…”

IS THERE ANYTHING more wholesome and delightful than the body swap comedy? Think Big, 13 Going On 30 and Freaky Friday, three capers about people inhabiting bodies that don’t belong to them and getting up to all sorts of high jinks in the process. They’re sweet, sentimental and as comforting as a mug of hot chocolate.

Which is why I was distressed, nay, outraged to learn of the existence of Freaky Friday, a collaboration between comedy rapper Lil Dicky and Chris Brown. Lil Dicky is a white comedy rapper who once embarked on a tour called the Dick or Treat Tour. You know who Chris Brown is.

The premise of the song is simple. Lil Dicky and Chris Brown switch bodies for a day and get an insight into how the other one lives. It’s intended to be a humorous, meta look at hip-hop culture, but winds up serving as a truly nightmarish commentary on how quickly we forgive men for their misdeeds.

Let’s break it down, shall we?

The video opens with Lil Dicky having dinner in a Chinese restaurant with friends. He asks the waiter for a recommendation on what to eat and he responds with, ‘Yes,’ the joke being that he can’t speak English.

Tasteful!

Screen Shot 2018-04-27 at 5.16.47 PMSource: Lil Dicky/YouTube

All of a sudden, a stranger approaches Lil Dicky and says, ‘No way, are you Lil Dicky?’ The stranger’s partner understandably has no idea who Lil Dicky is and says, ‘Oh you’re a rapper?’ at which point her partner explains that ‘he’s not like a rapper rapper, he’s a funny rapper’.

He raps about, like, how small his dick is.
Screen Shot 2018-04-27 at 5.17.45 PMSource: Lil Dicky/YouTube

This assessment hurts Lil Dicky’s feelings. He then sees Chris Brown on the television screen and fantasises about what it would be like to be him.

Dude, everybody else in hip hop is so much cooler than me. People are so good at dancing or they’ve got, like, the sickest tattoos. Sometimes I really wish I could be somebody else.
Screen Shot 2018-04-27 at 5.18.25 PMSource: Lil Dicky/YouTube

The camera pans to Chris Brown discussing how it would be nice to be someone else for a day so he could escape being scrutinised.

Hmm, I wonder why Chris Brown is scrutinised so much! Couldn’t have anything to do with the fact that he assaulted Rihanna and allegedly threatened to kill Karrueche Tran, could it?

Screen Shot 2018-04-27 at 5.19.07 PMSource: Lil Dicky/YouTube

At this point, the waiter performs a spell. (More Asian stereotyping!) The next thing we know, Lil Dicky is inside Chris Brown’s body and waking up sandwiched between two half-naked women.

“I woke up Chris Breezy,” he exclaims. “Oh my God, I’m the man!”

Screen Shot 2018-04-27 at 5.20.16 PMSource: Lil Dicky/YouTube

He spends the next few moments walking around a lavish mansion admiring his own tattoos, FaceTiming Kanye West, and marveling at all ‘the hoes in my DMs’.

It’s worth mentioning at this point that Chris Brown is trying so hard to be a good sport in this video that it’s actually… borderline repulsive?

Look at this smile.

Screen Shot 2018-04-27 at 5.21.15 PMSource: Lil Dicky/YouTube

All of a sudden, he wonders aloud if he can say the n-word now that he is living inside a black man’s body. (Exact quote: ‘Wonder if I can say the n-word? Wait, can I really say the n-word?’)

He then proceeds to say it eleven times. The joke here seems to be that Lil Dicky desperately wants to use the n-word, but can’t as a white man. The second it’s permissible, he uses it with gusto.

Screen Shot 2018-04-27 at 5.22.23 PMSource: Lil Dicky/YouTube

What an unspeakably grim aspiration to have!

We are then treated to a sequence involving Chris Brown waking up as Lil Dicky.

Here’s how he comes to this realisation: “What the f**k? I woke up and I'm Lil Dicky (Lil Dicky?)/Ugh, what the f**k?/This s**t is real weak"

Screen Shot 2018-04-27 at 5.23.17 PMSource: Lil Dicky/YouTube

What a wordsmith, huh?

Then comes the obligatory reference to the small penis…

Screen Shot 2018-04-27 at 5.23.51 PMSource: Lil Dicky/YouTube

Lil Dicky, as inhabited by Chris Brown, then walks down the street and remarks on how nobody recognises him or judges him for being black or having a ‘controversial past’.

I am pretty sure that Karrueche Tran didn’t take out a restraining order against Chris Brown because he was too controversial, but okay!

Screen Shot 2018-04-27 at 5.24.30 PMSource: Lil Dicky/YouTube

Elsewhere, Chris Brown pulls down his trousers in the middle of the street and exclaims, “I’m in Chris Brown's body/I look at my soft dick with delight, it’s my dream dick”

This song’s abiding message: ignore Chris Brown’s controversial past and appreciate his big dick, you killjoys!

Screen Shot 2018-04-27 at 5.25.48 PMSource: Lil Dicky/YouTube

The time comes for the pair to switch bodies and they do so in the club.

There’s a dance sequence. Trust me when I say it’s excruciating.

Screen Shot 2018-04-27 at 5.26.26 PMSource: Lil Dicky/YouTube

Celebrity cameo time! Lil Dicky next swaps bodies with… Ed Sheeran.

Screen Shot 2018-04-27 at 5.27.29 PMSource: Lil Dicky/YouTube

Now you might wonder why Ed Sheeran would have anything to do with a Chris Brown joint, but Sheeran once joined the R&B star on stage to sing his hit song Loyal, indicating he has no qualms about working with the singer.

Heartwarming!

He then swaps bodies with DJ Khaled who essentially says, ‘DJ KHALED!’ and disappears again.

Screen Shot 2018-04-27 at 5.28.03 PMSource: Lil Dicky/YouTube

The song's grand finale sees Lil Dicky swap bodies with Kendall Jenner. 

In what is surely her most ill-advised career move since she attempted to end police brutality with cans of Pepsi, Kendall Jenner looks down her jeans and remarks, “I got a vagina!”

She then gropes her own boobs, takes to the bed and says, “I’m gonna understand the inner workings of a woman!”

Screen Shot 2018-04-27 at 5.28.45 PMSource: Lil Dicky/YouTube

It's painful and I can't understand how it was sanctioned by Kris Jenner, but I guess she has a lot on her plate at the moment.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Despite being a cynical and utterly charmless endeavor, Freaky Friday has proven enormously popular, having garnered close to 170 million views on YouTube and topping the charts in the UK. 

On the surface, it might look as though the song is mocking Lil Dicky for being white, uncool, and a bad dancer. But it also presents Chris Brown as both a figure to be idolised and a self-effacing guy who isn't afraid to make fun of himself.

It's a haunting reminder that you can assault and terrorise women, and still be celebrated for your sick tattoos and slick dance moves.

Now if you excuse me, I'm going to cleanse my soul with 13 Going On 30.

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About the author:

Amy O'Connor

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