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The Definitive Hip-Hop Guide To Aziz Ansari’s ‘Master Of None’

Rap plays a huge role in the Netflix series.

Aziz Ansari's "Master Of None" has become one of the year's most talked about shows. Since its release on Nov. 6, fans have binge-watched the Netflix comedy loosely based on the actor's life. He's even earned a Golden Globes nom for it. The series, which is set in New York, is about Dev Shah, the character Ansari plays. It's full of everything you'd expect: heart, drama, laughs and, well, hip-hop.

Some people might not have necessarily expected that last part, I guess. But, if you're familiar with Aziz's comedy, then you know he's a hip-hop head. He's done stand-up bits about everyone from Jay Z to Kanye West to 50 Cent. Clearly, he loves rap. And it shows, yet again, on "Master of None." So, we put together a list of every time the Netflix show spotlights hip-hop. Here it is:

  • Plan Buck

    The series starts with a sex scene between Dev and Rachel (Noël Wells). Then, a condom breaks. The couple, who apparently just met, decide to catch an Uber to get a Plan B pill. So, where's the rap line?

    On the way home from the pharmacy, Young Buck's “Get Buck” bumps super loudly. Apparently, the driver's a huge Buck fan, like Taylor Swift. They were having an all-around awkward night and clearly, from the gif, you can tell that not even G-Unit's Buck could cheer these two up.

  • It Takes Two
    Master Of None/ Netflix

    "It Takes Two" plays at a children's party that Dev attends in the first episode. The Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock jam works for the scene because it features some interesting dialogue about relationships. It also works because, as the closed captioning says, it's one hell of an upbeat song.

  • 50 Cent Gets Name-Checked
    Master Of None/Netflix

    While auditioning for a role in an upcoming film called "The Sickening," Dev asks who the leads will be. The studio was closing in on Colin Salmon and Kerry Washington. But, there's also this: 50 Cent might appear as an evil senator. Wonder if Fif would be down for that role.

    This happened in the second episode, but sadly Fif doesn't actually appear on the show at all. If you want more of Aziz and 50, peep Ansari's juice bit where he claims the rapper didn't know the difference between a grape and a grapefruit. Now that I think about it, maybe that's why Fif ain't on this show.

  • They Reminisce Over Parents
    Master Of None/Netflix

    Pete Rock & CL Smooth's "They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)" plays in the opening credits for the third episode, "Parents." This turns out to be super appropriate in some ways because the episode is all about reminiscing. It's also a reminder that this song will never go out of style.

  • Crossroads

    When Dev meets up with Alice for a Father John Misty concert, he has a surprise for her. "Slight change of plans," he says. "Father John Misty cancelled. It’s Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. I hope that’s okay." That would have actually been dope, but it was just a joke.

    Alice, who's a good sport (at least up until this point in the third episode), plays along. "I hope they do '[Tha] Crossroads,'" she replies, referencing the classic '90s cut about lost loved ones and mortality. This all goes down before shorty does a Cartman impression and nearly ruins the night with terrible Vines and thievery. Thankfully, Dev rebounds with Rachel...sort of.

  • Rich Homie Cheetos
    Netflix/Master of None

    Denise (Lena Waithe) has a lover nicknamed Lil’ Funyons. To play on that, Dev calls Denise Rich Homie Cheetos. It's not super funny. Just because the show's a comedy doesn't mean every joke lands. There are a few duds in this third episode, sadly, but there are plenty of hip-hop influenced scenes.

  • Return Of Dev And Rachel
    Netflix/Master of None

    Dev meets up with Rachel again in the third episode. Remember the awkward ride with Young Buck's biggest fan? That's all behind them and next thing you know, they're dancing to Mark Morrison's "Return Of The Mack." Dev calls it "maybe the most amazing song that's ever been created," which is an exaggeration, for sure. But, the song has inspired several rap cuts, including French Montana's "Return of the Mack" and Nipsey Hussle's "Return of the Mack." It has not inspired original song titles.

  • Charge It To The Race Card With Busta Rhymes
    Master of None

    Busta Rhymes makes a surprising cameo in episode four, "Indians On TV," where Dev tackles racism after a network exec makes a pejorative remark in an e-mail. The exec takes him to a New York Knicks game after this, which is where Dev and Busta meet. Dev tells him about his situation and here's Bussa Bus' advice:

    "You’re a minority trying to come up in the game," he said. "You got a rare opportunity especially because you got the leverage in this situation. I don’t think you should play the race card. Charge it to the race card."

    And with that, he wishes him luck and they toast to life. Woo Hah!!

  • Walk On Tribe's Side
    Netflix/Master of None

    Lou Reed's "Walk on the Wild Side" plays to start episode five and it's a great song, to be sure. But where's the hip-hop connection? Most rap fans who watched this immediately thought of a different song. That's because the Reed classic's been sampled by A Tribe Called Quest for "Can I Kick It" so we can't blame you for thinking of the People’s Instinctive Travels And The Paths Of Rhythm cut. Even if it is "relaxed folk music."

  • Peaches And Cream

    Dev’s friend Denise invites him to a work party. As they walk into the event, 112’s “Peaches & Cream” bumps through the speakers. The truth is, it’s more r&b than rap, but not if you go by the closed captioning.

    In any case, this was one of the Bad Boy group’s best tracks of all time on a list with “Only You,” which featured Notorious B.I.G. and Ma$e on its remix. "Peaches" was even nominated for a Grammy once, which is tremendous for a song about food. I say that kidding, of course, because the track is really about sex. And that's fitting here because it's also where Denise brags about her greatness in the bedroom, also known as "The Denise Experience."

  • Dev Wants To Know Nina
    Netflix/Master of None

    This party is also where Dev meets Nina (Claire Danes), a famous food critic. They hit it off as G-Unit's "Wanna Get To Know You" played in the background, a perfect track for a romantic introduction. Turns out Nina's married, so that's a bummer for Dev, but the 112 to G-Unit transition was smooth, "Master of None."

  • The Will And Jada Situation
    Netflix/Master of None

    During their talk about Dev's opportunity to sleep with a married Nina, Denise brings up this old rumor about Will Smith -- he's a rapper, guys, let's not forget -- and his wife Jada Pinkett. The rumor was that they're swingers, something that's never been proven.

    Back in 2013, Jada addressed those talks on Facebook. "Will and I BOTH can do WHATEVER we want, because we TRUST each other to do so," she said in a statement. "This does NOT mean we have an open relationship...this means we have a GROWN one."

  • Mom's Spaghetti
    Netflix/Master of None

    Have you ever been in a rap-based argument? Those are the best/worst. "Master of None" takes those convos to funny levels of insanity so well that I figured a transcript would be appropriate. So, now, I present you with the "Mom's Spaghetti" scene, also known as the "8 Mile" scene, which features Dev's rap argument with his buddy Arnold (Eric Wareheim):

    Dev: You know in that “8 Mile” song? Eminem raps, “There is no movie, there’s no Mekhi Phifer.” But, it is a movie and Mekhi Phifer is there. He’s there.

    Arnold: That’s where you’re wrong. He’s writing it from the perspective of Eminem in real life.

    Dev: No, no, no. He says, “Mom’s spaghetti.” That’s in the movie. He has a spaghetti stain on his shirt before the battle at The Shelter. He’s B-Rabbit.

    Arnold: No, you’re just being ignorant now. In the first verse, he’s rapping as the character B-Rabbit, and there is a movie — I’ll grant you that.

    Dev: Thank yer.

    Arnold: But in the second verse, the perspective switches to that of Eminem, the real-life rapping actor. So therefore, the lyrics stand. There is no movie. There is no Mekhi Phifer.

    Dev: All right. Point taken. Wait a second. Hold on. If in the second verse he’s rapping as Eminem, then it’s real life, correct?

    Arnold: Correct.

    Dev: All right. Well, in that scenario, Mekhi Phifer the actor does exist. He should be saying, ‘There is no movie/There’s no David ‘Future’ Porter.

    Arnold: Well, that’s where things get interesting.

    Denise: Can we please talk about literally anything else?

  • The Last Episode
    Netflix/Master of None

    The final episode of the season, aptly titled "The Finale," also features a nod to Dr. Dre's "The Next Episode," ironically. That's because David McCallum's "The Edge" plays, a cut that was sampled by the good Doc back in the early aughts. It's actually inspired more rap songs, including Masta Ace's "No Regrets."

    The cut's also appropriate because fans are now waiting on that next episode from "Master of None." So, congrats on the Golden Globes nod, but keep 'em comin', Aziz.