This absurdist environmental anthem was released on April 19, 2019 three days before Earth Day. The song is about the dangers that climate change has on our planet and its ecosystems.
Speaking on The Ellen Show, Lil Dicky said though when he started making the song he had a vague idea that something bad was happening here on Earth, but he didn't have the full facts. Now that he does, he hopes the track will change the global discourse on climate change.
"We have 12 years to change the way we do so many things on earth, or the damage is irreversible," the rapper said. "And within our lifetime, well within our lifetime, crazy things are gonna happen. Floods, food shortages, bad air, millions of people relocated… It's like… very soon."
"Earth" features a diverse list of 30 guest singers, rappers and other celebrities with many of them taking on the roles of a different animal or plant, starting with Justin Bieber's baboon. Other performers include Ariana Grande, whose zebra is unsure if she's black or white, and Snoop Dogg, who appears as a marijuana plant.
Here is a full list of the artists and their roles:
Justin Bieber — Baboon
Ariana Grande — Zebra
Ed Sheeran Koala bear
Halsey — Lion cub
Zac Brown — Cow
Brendon Urie — Pig
Hailee Steinfeld — Common fungus
Wiz Khalifa — Skunk
Snoop Dogg — Marijuana plant
Kevin Hart — Kanye West
Adam Levine — Vulture
Shawn Mendes — Rhino
Charlie Puth — Giraffe
SIA — Kangaroo
Miley Cyrus — Elephant
Lil Jon — Clam
Rita Ora — Wolf
Miguel — Squirrel
Katy Perry— Pony
Lil Yachty — Hpv
Meghan Trainor — India
Joel Embiid — Africa
Tory Lanez — China
John Legend, Psy, Bad Bunny, Kris Wu — The "We Love the Earth" choir
Backstreet Boys — Credits
Leonardo DiCaprio — Himself
The track was produced by Benny Blanco. Speaking to Time
, Dicky said it was his manager, music mogul Scooter Braun, and Benny Blanco who used their contacts "in a three-pronged attack" to recruit the artists. He added: "We're all such competitive people that we all kept tabs on who got who."
Dicky is friendly with Kanye West - he used to play basketball with him. However he was unable to get in touch with the rapper as he'd changed his email and his cell phone, so he reached out to Kevin Hart and asked him to play Kanye. The comedian was happy to do so.
The chorus interpolates the hook of another philanthropic track, the 1985 charity single "We Are The World
." The message is The Earth is our planet so we should treasure it.
PSY, Bad Bunny and Kris Wu each say "We love the Earth" in Korean, Spanish, and Chinese, respectively.
The animated music video shows Lil Dicky wandering across a lush land during which he encounters the celebrities as animals. The clip has a longer outro, featuring Lil Dicky and Leonardo DiCaprio talking, with another chorus from the Backstreet Boys at the end.
All proceeds from the song are being donated to the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, which fights to help protect vulnerable wildlife from extinction and other environmental issues.