Songs From the Lineup is a series that unpacks the musical lineup of the Life Is Beautiful Music & Art Festival through individual songs by the featured artists. Look for weekly installments at dtlv.com/songsfromthelineup, right up through the festival in September.
Boy meets girl, the couple falls in love, boy marries girl—right? Although dating culture has opened up to gender-nonconforming, same-sex, polyamorous, etc., relationships since the 1950s, the “boy meets girl” trope still persists, often with only the romantic aspects of heterosexual relationships portrayed in the media and pop culture.
But as a single 20-something female in Vegas, hearing pickup lines out on the town is not as glamorous as the movies make it out to be. Accordingly, Life Is Beautiful act Lil Dicky’s hit single “Lemme Freak” is all about the dicky, with the persistent request “Lemme freak / lemme freak, God dammit, lemme freak” heard throughout.
It takes cocky bravado to a whole new level. And while horny heterosexual men are almost always insufferable, Lil Dicky somehow makes the forward request work: “Look, I’m athletic, girl, I’ve gotten several rec league MVPs / At my crib I’ve got some pizza, plus a little bit of weed / In my room I’ve got a TV, plus I recently did sheets / Girl, I even have a fridge that has the water on the door / Like with the crushed ice …” The honesty is commendable. It stands out more than stupid pickup lines, or some man pretending to be interested in my profession or hobbies. Psh, just get to the point! And be funny while you’re at it. That’s how Lil Dicky makes an impression.
It’s also how he ends up getting the girl (“Fast forward seven months, we in love”) and how he builds a solid case for why he’s a deserving recipient: “Look, I just turned off The Departed for a movie ’bout a bee / I’ve been cutting back on farting, tweeting, arguing and weed …” Now, I’ve been through enough feminist theory papers to know it is not OK for a guy to pressure a lady into sex just because he opened the door for her and paid for her drink. (Can P!nk come to Life Is Beautiful, just so I can rock out to “U + Ur Hand”?) But again, I can see Dicky’s side, and I can empathize with feeling trapped in a relationship where one feels dissatisfied. The need to freak is a force of nature, and the chorus in “Lemme Freak” drops as heavy as a bachelor party group’s cologne.
“You know I don’t give a damn what your plan right now / This is me coming at you as a man right now / Lemme freak, lemme freak, God dammit, lemme freak.”
Dicky then fast-forwards 60 years, rapping, “Old LD looking old as fuck, still with the same ho, holding up / But my life sucks, legs hurt, friends dead, real terse …” LD’s at the point where he needs to take pills if he wants to, well, freak. While this situation is something I can’t relate to, I can’t help but laugh at him prodding at his lady: “Look, I don’t know if you’re aware that you’ve been throwing out my shoes / What I do know is, I’m sick of doing nothing here with you / All my blood is in my dick, I’m probably dying pretty soon / Are you even comprehending what I’m saying / Please acknowledge that you hear me …”
After marriage and kids are long gone, there’s still one thing on Dicky’s mind: the freak! And that’s what I love about this song. It does the opposite of romanticizing sex with the opposite gender—because sometimes, it’s all about the freak.