By Chris Yuscavage
Want to hear something funny?
Well, don’t look hear. We’re all business today. But if you’re in the mood to chuckle, try checking Kanye West’s latest album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. On “Blame Game,” a track featuring John Legend on the hook, another special guest makes an appearance: Chris Rock. After Kanye drops a couple verses about the aftermath of a relationship gone wrong (Hm … are you listening, Amber?!), Rock drops some funny punchlines, adding an exclamation to Kanye’s message of heartbreak.
This particular tactic isn’t new to the rap game. Rather than try and be funny themselves, there are plenty of rappers who have turned to comedians to appear on their albums in order to inject a comedy routine into the mix. In honor of Chris Rock’s latest appearance—and in honor of the fact that he’s also reportedly narrating Busta Rhymes’s entire next album—RapFix gathered a group of 10 comedians who have appeared on rap albums in the past. No joke: these guys provided some of the best laugh tracks we’ve ever heard.
The Comedian: Cedric the Entertainer
The Appearance: On Kanye West’s 2004 debut, The College Dropout
The Result: Does ’Ye have a thing for comedians? Why, yes he does. (Hint: This isn’t the only comedian to appear on a Kanye album on this list). Big Ced did his thing on the Chicago MC’s album by playing the role of an administrator at a school. And, boy, do we wish we went to that school growing up.
The Comedian: Dave Chappelle
The Appearance: On Reflection Eternal’s 2000 album, Train of Thought
The Result: Yo, did you know that even Nelson Mandela was checking for Talib Kweli and DJ Hi-Tek back in 2000?!? Um, yeah. Sort of. The former Chappelle’s Show host did a spot-on impression of the former South African impression in support of the guys. Good one, Dave.
The Comedian: Katt Williams
The Appearance: On several Dipset-affiliated releases
The Result: Once a full-fledged members of the Dips (yo, how come no one called him for the reunion?!), Katt’s gone as far as releasing his own Gangsta Grillz mixtape with DJ Drama in 2007. No, we’re not kidding.
The Comedian: Tony Roberts
The Appearance: On Styles P’s 2007 album, Super Gangster (Extraordinary Gentlemen)
The Result: The former Def Comedy Jam and “ComicView” performer talked real greasy on a couple of skits from the Ghost’s solo project—and ended up a ghost. Damn, Styles, you really don’t know how to take a joke, do you? (just kidding, dude!)
The Comedian: Mike Epps
The Appearance: On Gucci Mane’s 2009 album, The State Vs. Radric Davis
The Result: Epps, who has also starred in several skits for Jim Jones, provided some commentary about how gangsta he was compared to Gucci Mane as he played the role of a character named “Toilet Bowl Shawty.” Anything for a laugh!
The Comedian: Kevin Hart
The Appearance: On T.I.’s post-prison 2010 mixtape, F— A Mixtape
The Result: Kevin Hart (aka K-Hart as he refers to himself here?) leaves Tip a less-than-encouraging voice mail. Earmuff the kids—this is one funny skit!
The Comedian: Tracy Morgan
The Appearance: On Ghostface, Method Man and Raekwon’s 2010 album, Wu-Massacre
The Result: We’re still not 100 percent sure how Morgan’s skit titled “How To Pay Your Rent” fit into the grand scheme of things, but we did learn one thing: If you’re looking for this comedian to pay your rent, you better think again. Straight comedy.
The Comedian: Lil Duval
The Appearance: On T.I.’s F— A Mixtape … mixtape
The Result: K-Hart wasn’t the only one to get some shine on Tip’s comeback mixtape. Lil Duval also donated a couple of punchlines to the cause. Okay, we get it, fellas: F— a mixtape!
The Comedian: Bernie Mac, played by … DeRay Davis
The Appearance: On Kanye West’s 2005 album, Late Registration
The Result: What better way for Kanye to pay homage to a hometown hero in Chicago than to have the late, great Bernie Mac play the role of your teacher on a track. Though Davis impersonates the late Mac, it was awesome nonetheless. Waaaaake up, Mr. West! This is how all rap skits by comedians should be done.
Do you enjoy when rappers invite comedians to appear on their albums? Tweet us at @MTVRapFix or tell us in a comment below!