Stretching out Earth Day into a weekend-long celebration, on Friday, Lil Dicky released his new music video for “Earth,” a “We Are the World”-style celebrity powerhouse of a song to remind humans of the United Nations’s warning that if we do nothing to address climate change, all hell will begin to break loose in just 12 years. Along with Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Ariana Grande, and Leonardo DiCaprio, so many others wanted to join Lil Dicky in sending that message that it took about three years for them to be able to do so.
As for how Lil Dicky was able to compile such a star-studded roster, the answer is simpler than you may think. (Like Lil Dicky, Bieber and Grande are represented by Scooter Braun, and Leo, well couldn’t pass up a chance to plug his favorite cause.) The only person who eluded Lil Dicky was—who else?—Kanye West, in part because Lil Dicky knew that he would be difficult even before he reached out. (As he told Rolling Stone, “I’m friendly with Kanye. I used to play basketball with him. I have a relationship with him”—all of which is to say that he knew full well he’d have to give Kanye “the best possible presentation” to convince him to participate, which didn’t leave him too much time to track down Kanye’s new contact info.)
That failure aside, Lil Dicky still takes enormous pride in his casting, including Kevin Hart as a stand-in for Kanye and Lil Jon as a clam. Rather than depict celebrities as, well, celebrities, he chose animated figures of animals to stand in for each, including Ariana Grande, the zebra; Ed Sheeran, the koala; Katy Perry, the pony; Miguel, the squirrel; Hailee Steinfeld, the “common fungus”; Ed Sheeran, the koala; Shawn Mendes, the black rhino; and Lil Jon, the clam. Each is credited, though only in lightning speed; the video is, after all, already more than seven minutes long. In case you had trouble keeping up, here are some of the standouts, starting out with Justin Bieber as a baboon, as identified by the verse “I’m like a man, just less advanced, and my anus is huge”:
Miley Cyrus, the elephant:
And, last but not least, Lil Yachty as… HPV, a thriving population of which can be found underneath the permafrost of the Arctic tundra that’s melting every day now:
Aside from Lil Dicky himself, who stars in the video as a sort of millennial version of Adam, representing “humankind,” the only celebrity given the privilege to appear in their human form is DiCaprio—a move that suggests the actor is a sub-species of humankind. (Kevin Hart, on the other hand, is classified as “Kanye West,” who is apparently an entirely separate species.) During his cameo, DiCaprio declares “Earth” might be his “favorite song ever”—unsurprisingly, given that the proceeds from its streams and sales are going “right into the earth,” aka “whatever the fuck Leonardo DiCaprio is always pushing.” (More specifics are available on the song’s accompanying website.)