Aziz Ansari’s recent appearance on Bill Simmons’ podcast is a must-listen. They dive deep into Master of None, Aziz's writing process, his ascent in the comedy game, his relationship with kings like Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock, and a number of funny stories from his interactions with other celebrities (including Drake and LeBron James).
As you probably know, Aziz is a huge fan of hip-hop and Kanye West in particular. He even had a spot in the “Otis” music video.
He recently ranked his favorite Kanye albums from top to bottom, and he had Yeezus near the top (tied for third).
Aziz has developed a relationship with Kanye—though he said he doesn’t see him as much nowadays because Kanye has a family—and has heard most of Ye’s albums before they were released.
“The Life of Pablo was the first time since Graduation that I heard a Kanye album without hearing any of it before,” Aziz said.
In the podcast, he relayed a hilarious story about hearing an early version of “New Slaves” off of Yeezus at the Mercer Hotel in New York City. The story begins around the 1:13:40 mark in the SoundCloud stream below.
“One time he was like, ‘hey, I’m leaving soon, but… just come meet me in the lobby of the Mercer,’” Ansari recalled. “He was like, ‘I just came up with this song called 'New Slaves.’ And he played the beat on his laptop, bump bump bump buh dum bump, and then he just rapped the whole song for me, right in the middle of the Mercer. He just did the, ‘I’m bout to wild the fuck out, I’m going Bobby Boucher!’ And there’s like someone [sitting nearby] eating eggs.”
Another incredible story from Ansari includes a reference to “Living So Italian,” the, hyped-up unreleased Jay Z and Kanye collab that was scrapped because of sample clearance issues (1:10:50 mark).
“We were sitting there, and we were watching some basketball game or something... Jay Z’s just kind of staring off, and he just taps Kanye, and he very quickly whispers this rap,” Aziz said. “It was one of the raps in the song and he had just come up with it, and it was long and so complicated. It ended up being in another album, but he just whispered this, they were going to do a song called ‘Living So Italian’ ...and they couldn’t clear the sample or something, but Jay Z had a verse he had come up with right there, and it ended up being in another Jay Z song on the Magna Carta album.”
Aziz also discussed why he accepted Netflix’s offer for Master of None, though (it’s easy to forget now) Netflix was at the time an unproven commodity in series production. Season 2 is funny, emotional, Drake-like, and addictive. It's certainly worth a watch.
If you haven’t checked out Master of None yet, allow this drinking game to accompany you.