“Earth” is a song by American rapper Lil Dicky. It was released on April 19, 2019, three days prior to Earth Day. All proceeds from the song will be donated to different environmental charities after collaboration with the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.
While the video is beautifully animated — clearly reminiscent of “The Lion King” — and would make a great educational clip for kids, there are so many dirty words in it that it’s hard to imagine who the intended audience is.
In collaboration with the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (LDF), a portion of profits from the song, music video, and merchandise will be allocated to select nonprofits identified by LDF as being on the front lines of implementing solutions to climate change. These organizations support those who are helping communities transition to 100% renewable energy, protecting critical ecosystems and wildlife, and supporting regenerative farming practices. They include the Quick Response Fund for Nature, the Shark Conservation Fund, the Solutions Project, the Global Greengrants Fund and the Carbon Cycle Institute.
In addition to the song and video, the “Earth” project includes an interactive website “We Love the Earth”, this aims to educate the public on the realities of climate change. The website was created by Lil Dicky and RYOT, and in partnership with Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation to feature behind-the-scenes and making-of content, interactive tutorials, merchandise printed on sustainable materials, and more. More information can be found at welovetheearth.org.
Some of the lyrics are references to the artists portraying them, such as Ariana Grande portraying a zebra (“Am I white or black”, referencing her controversies surrounding cultural appropriation), Zac Brown playing a cow (referencing the country stereotype of cowboys), Snoop Dogg playing a marijuana plant (referencing his habit of marijuana use), Sia playing a kangaroo (referencing her Australian heritage), among many others.
According to Lil Dicky, the abrupt appearance of Kanye West is because he originally intended West to portray himself rather than an animated animal since he was a huge fan of West. However, he couldn’t get in contact with West, but instead of replacing West’s role, they kept him in with Kevin Hart voice acting him.
The music video features the voices of 30 celebrities and singer-songwriters, including Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Shawn Mendes, Halsey, Katy Perry, Ed Sheeran, Leonardo DiCaprio, Brendon Urie, Charlie Puth, Snoop Dogg, Miley Cyrus, among others. Most celebrities represent a different type of animal or plant. Meghan Trainor, Joel Embiid, Tory Lanez, John Legend, Psy, Bad Bunny, Kris Wu, and Backstreet Boys are not seen in the video. Kevin Hart is a substitute for Kanye West, and Leonardo DiCaprio’s character re-enacts a scene from the 1997 film Titanic. The video concludes with Dicky proclaiming that DiCaprio knows more about the Earth and with DiCaprio saying that the track might be his “favorite song ever”. The video begins (in live-action), with a news report about the hot climate change around Los Angeles County, then comes into a polluted street corner near Downtown Los Angeles where a young boy is being bullied by a group of older boys and shoved into a trash can. Lil Dicky appears and reprimands the bullies as they run away, and the young boy then finds a book and opens it revealing an animated jungle with a cartoon version of Dicky wearing a Tarzan style outfit as the celebrity guests sing their verses portrayed as their characters. In the rap verse, the book shows a cameo of Lil Dicky with Maui from the 2016 Disney film Moana.
List of guest vocalists with a role they play in the music video:
Lil Dicky as Man
Justin Bieber as Baboon
Ariana Grande as Zebra
Halsey as Lion cub
Zac Brown as Cow
Brendon Urie as Pig
Hailee Steinfeld as Mushroom (“Common Fungus”)
Wiz Khalifa as Skunk
Snoop Dogg as Marijuana
Kevin Hart as Kanye West
Adam Levine as Vultures
Shawn Mendes as Rhinos
Charlie Puth as Giraffe
Sia as Kangaroo
Miley Cyrus as Elephant
Lil Jon as Clam
Rita Ora as Wolf
Miguel as Squirrel
Katy Perry as Pony
Lil Yachty as HPV
Ed Sheeran as Koala
Meghan Trainor, Joel Embiid, Tory Lanez, John Legend as playback vocalists
PSY, Bad Bunny, Kris Wu as Milky Way, the Earth, and Mount Everest
Backstreet Boys as the Credits
Leonardo DiCaprio as Himself