Comedian Hannibal Buress is a cast member on Comedy Central’s Broad City as well as the co-host of The Eric Andre Show on Adult Swim. In the midst of a nationwide stand up tour, he laid out the similarities between hip hop and comedy, from lyricism and pacing to crowd interaction in his Guest DJ set. He performs at the Wiltern on February 27.
For More: http://hannibalburess.com/
1. Lupe Fiasco - "Body of Work"
2. Rustie (feat. Danny Brown) - "Attak"
3. Serengeti - "West of Western"
4. Wale - "The Curse of the Gifted"
5. Open Mike Eagle - "Big Pretty Bridges (3 Days Off in Albuqueque)"
Anthony Valadez: Hey I’m Anthony Valadez and I’m here with comedian Hannibal Buress, the Chicago native currently calls New York home, he’s a cast member on Broad City on Comedy Central, as well as the co-host of The Eric Andre Show on Adult Swim. He’s in the middle of a nationwide stand up tour and he’s here to talk about 5 songs that have inspired him over the years as part of the Guest DJ Project. Hannibal, how are you sir?
Hannibal Buress: I’m good, how are you?
AV: Word on the street is you’re a big time music fan, I even hear you’re a DJ now and I can’t wait to hear your picks.
HB: I wouldn’t call myself a DJ, per say. I try sometimes. It’s not good. It’s very abrupt blends. I yell on the microphone to cover up the fact that I can’t blend the songs. But I do, I have some decent picks.
These songs, I wouldn’t say inspired me over the years, a few of them are very new, but it’s tough to pick 5 songs. It’s kind of 5 songs I’m enjoying a lot right now.
AV: Well, we’re gonna talk about each one so let’s kick off the first song. What’d you bring for us?
HB: I have "Body of Work" by Lupe Fiasco. He’s a great lyricist and this track is one of my favorites off of the new album.
It’s just very dense lyrics and, a lot of times, I have no idea what he’s talking about but it sounds great and very specific, but then I have to look up stuff to find out what he’s talking about. So this track is just good. It just sounds important and the flow is sharp.
Song: “Body of Work” - Lupe Fiasco
AV: When I listen to this song I hear, it’s almost very similar to what you do on stage. You’re very much like a lyricist in the way you deliver comedy.
HB: In my comedy I like to have stuff that I know won’t get a huge laugh but is very specific, something that I enjoy or something that, you know, a few people will really like. So I do try to do little things when writing material, coming up with stuff or just flips of phrase and things like that, that I try to put into my comedy, yeah.
AV: That was "Body of Work" by Lupe Fiasco, what’s next for us man?
HB: My next song is "Attak" by Danny Brown, Rustie is the producer and Danny Brown is rapping over it.
The track has so much energy and the beat and Danny is just rapping his ass off on the song. It’s actually one of the tracks that I use for my walk on music for my shows, 'cause it just has a lot of energy and then that the initial bass drop that happens about 44 seconds in, it just really hits and it’s just a lot of energy and it’s a song you just, you know, can get real hype to.
Song: “Attak” -- Rustie (feat. Danny Brown)
HB: And so that time where he’s rapping at the beginning without the beat, you know that’s me getting hype on the side to walk on.
AV: That was Rustie with “Attak” featuring Danny Brown, part of KCRW’s Guest DJ Project, I’m sitting here with Hannibal Buress. What’s next man?
HB: "West of Western" by Serengeti, it’s just a great driving song man.
Serengeti raps in this character named Kenny Dennis and so it’s all these, you know, he has all these songs where it’s just stories that you learn about Kenny, about he’s a diehard Chicago sports fan. He has a little brother named Tanya. He has his wife Jules. He always drinks O’Doul’s beer and so this is just another story basically.
And it’s just the beat it’s just the real… if you’re in the car and you put this song on, your going to start speeding a little bit.
I remember one time I was in a Uber in LA and sometimes the Uber Drivers will let you…
HB: Yeah, they’ll let you DJ they’ll give you the AUX chord and so I hooked up my iPhone and I played this. And the dude just started speeding, man, he started… we were going up one of those canyon roads or something and he just started getting a little bit out of control. He was like "What is THIS?" It just has energy to it, man.
AV: You mentioned Serengeti as a character, do you ever feel like Hannibal Buress on stage is a character or is that just Hannibal Buress?
HB: No, it’s not a character; it’s a little bit exaggerated but for the most part its real stories and my real feelings.
There’s sometimes where I’m embellishing a little bit, but the core of it is me. It’s very rare where I’m saying something that I don’t believe on stage. Every now and then I’ll say something outlandish or something foul just to say it, but that’s you know, that’s comedy. But for the most part I’m not playing a character at all.
Song: “West of Western” -- Serengeti
AV: That was ‘West of Western’ by Serengeti, selected by our guest DJ, Mr. Hannibal Burress. What’s next on your list, man?
HB: I got "The Curse of the Gifted" by Wale. This track is the opening song to his last album and it’s him kind of talking about just dealing with success and just having goals and struggling with what his position is a little bit.
AV: I was checking out the lyrics and this is a story about the price of fame, but the love for the dollar. In any way do you relate to any of this in your rise to where you came from?
HB: I relate to it a lot. Entertainment is a weird business where there’s, as he says, a never-ending battle -- where you keep on doing stuff, where you know you do something and then it’s always something else to achieve.
In 2009, I wrote for Saturday Night Live, that was awesome. I had a job at SNL, right, then I worked at 30 Rock. Then I started headlining comedy clubs. I used to be an opener, then I was headlining the comedy club and that was cool. The comedy club was half full, then you know a year later the comedy club, it sold out. So, it's constant stuff and you have to try to keep progressing and he talks about his issues with that.
Song: Wale – “The Curse of the Gifted”
AV: That was "The Curse of the Gifted" by Wale. So now we’re down to the final song. What do you have for us?
HB: What’s next is "Big Pretty Bridges (Three Days Off in Albuquerque)" by Open Mike Eagle.
Full disclosure: Open Mike is a good friend of mine, we met in college, Southern Illinois University.
It’s just him talking about a gig being canceled and he’s just on the road in the hotel, away from his family, but he still maintains a sense of humor.
But it’s just him, you know, talking about doing shows and having some people vibing with him, some people not liking the show, and it’s just a cool track that I really enjoy. It ends the album perfectly.
AV: My man, it’s been so great talking to you, Hannibal Buress. Thanks so much for joining us over at kcrw.com.
HB: Thank you.