Leonardo DiCaprio’s ‘cringe’ birthday rap is drawing Succession comparisons

DiCaprio marked his 49th birthday with an extravagant Hollywood bash – and a rousing rap performance that’s being compared to Jeremy Strong’s iconic run as Kendall Roy

Maanya Sachdeva
Tuesday 14 November 2023 19:10 GMT
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Dicaprio sings Sinatra on set

A video of Leonardo DiCaprio rapping at his star-studded 49th birthday party has been compared to a famous scene from the TV show Succession.

The Killers of the Flower Moon actor DiCaprio celebrated his birthday on Saturday (11 November), as some of Hollywood’s biggest celebrities were attending his extravagant party in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles.

According to various reports, stars such as Salma Hayek, Beyoncé and Jay-Z, Rita Ora and Taika Waititi, Kim Kardashian, Zoe Saldana, Tobey Maguire, and Kate Beckinsale were all in attendance, with Lady Gaga, Chris Rock, and Olivia Wilde also on the party’s ultra-exclusive guest list.

Shortly after the party ended, a video of DiCaprio dancing and rapping, first obtained by TMZ, was shared online, with several fans comparing it Kendall Roy’s now-iconic “L to the OG” rap scene in HBO’s hit drama, Succession.

In the clip, DiCaprio can be seen rapping the song “DWYCK” by Gang Starr featuring Nice & Smooth, while his Hollywood friends cheer him on. Fans of Succession immediately drew parallels to Jeremy Strong’s performance as Kendall paying musical tribute to his father Logan Roy (Brian Cox) in the eighth episode of season two.

“How Kendall Roy of him,” one person wrote on Reddit, while another user noted Kendall’s ill-advised rap was the “first thing I thought when I saw” DiCaprio at his party.

“I opened this thread literally praying this would be the top comment,” a third comment read.

“It’s definitely giving off ‘Eldest boy’ vibes,” another fan commented, referencing Kendall’s outburst in the final episode of Jesse Armstrong’s saga about the Roy media empire.

Jeremy Strong’s Kendall Roy in ‘Succession’

Others defended the Oscar-winning actor, saying “he’s having fun and everyone is enjoying themselves”.

Strong, 44, has previously revealed his reaction to first reading the rap scene in the script.

In an interview with The Wrap, the Emmy-winning actor said: “I advocated cutting it immediately. And I said ‘Oh, God, it’s going to be silly.’”

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“But Jesse always knows how to go too far,” he continued. “He knew it was just where the show lived. But I did think, ‘This might just be silly and I don’t know how we pull this off.’”

In the end, the scene made it to the show after Armstrong showed the actor a clip of billionaire oil heir Michael Hess rapping with Nelly at his 30th birthday. The rest is TV history, as the rap performance spawned countless memes and became inextricably associated with his character.

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