The classic rap album skit has long been a musical tool to create unforgettable moments in hip-hop history. Back in the 1990s, a rap album wasn't complete without several skits or interludes to help bring connectivity to songs on a project.
De La Soul popularized and perfected the rap album skit beginning with their classic 1989 debut LP, 3 Feet High and Rising. From the 1990s to the early 2000s, skits were commonplace on a rap album. Skits also introduced unique, zany hip-hop characters that became famous for the comedic storylines and hilarious one-liners.
Snoop Dogg fans remember DJ EZ Dick, the fictional radio host with the velvety voice on radio station WBALLZ. He appeared in a few hilarious skits on some of Snoop's best albums. Then there's the evil Ken Kaniff from Connecticut who crank calls Eminem on his 1999 debut project, The Slim Shady LP.
Other memorable characters include Brain from Lil Dicky's 2015 song "Pillow Talking." In the accompanying short film, Brain is having a deep philosophical conversation with Dicky's one-night stand. It's a fantastic creative moment where a song comes to life with a great visual.
There's also some oddball characters that were brought to live from rap album skits. N.O.R.E. invited Animal Thug to join him on his 1998 self-titled album. "I have 20 girlfriend, man, you want some?" he asks the room of men, who erupt in laughter. Houston rapper Devin The Dude introduced Zeldar from Planet Beldar on his 2002 LP, Just Tryin ta Live. Zeldar is an alien who discovers weed on planet Earth and is confronted by people who think the alien is queer. Talk about a spacey character.
Check out the highlights of the hilarious hip-hop characters you wish were real below.
Lil Dicky's creative mind goes into overdrive on his 2015 single, "Pillow Talking," from his debut project, Professional Rapper. The dialogue-driven track features Dicky engaging in some strange pillow talk with a woman following a one-night stand. Their conversation gets heated as they discuss a variety of topics including sex, veganism, God, Uber vs. Lyft, and more.
Dicky's brain also gets involved in the conversation as he tries to settle a debate on whether God truly existed. "So, God made the Earth/And God was like, hold up/This shit is borin'," sings-rap Brain. "It need more shit/God was like, 'I'ma put dinosaurs on that bitch.'" After a while, Brain announces he has to poop. "T minus five ’til the Brain gotta shit," he says.
In a 2015 AMA Reddit video interview, Dicky explained that "Pillow Talking" was inspired by several discussions he encountered with women after a night in the sack. Interestingly, Dicky teamed up with his brain again for an EP called I'm Brain, which features The Game.
Ken Kaniff from Connecticut is a fictional character that despises Eminem and his success. He's the brainchild of Em’s former friend, Detroit rapper Aristotle.
On Em's 1999 debut effort, The Slim Shady LP, the "Ken Kaniff" skit features Ken prank calling Em and spewing lewd remarks at him. “Yeah, you want me to lick your ass, Eminem?” he sneered.
Although Aristotle was the initial voice of Ken on the SSLP, he quit after a dispute with Em over allegedly not getting paid for his voiceover work.
Em would voice Ken Kaniff himself on his 2000 masterpiece The Marshall Mathers LP. In a very ribald skit, the seedy Ken is fictitiously getting oral sex from Em’s rap rivals Shaggy 2 Dope and Violent J of the Insane Clown Posse. But when Shaggy accidentally mentions Eminem's name while performing fellatio, Ken gets upset and walks out. “Oh, fuck you guys! G-Give me my dick back!” he yells before leaving.
Meanwhile, in response to Em doing the Ken voice on MMLP, Aristotle dropped a 2002 mixtape called The Ken Kaniff Show. On the 14-track collection, Aristotle voices Ken, who raps offensively at Em, Dr. Dre and others on skits and songs, including the hilarious diss track “Without You."
The Wu-Tang Clan are infamous for their raw album skits like the torture skit on “Method Man,” appearing on the group’s 1993 debut album, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). Wu member Ghostface Killah carried on the tradition on his second LP, Supreme Clientele, which dropped in 2000.
The “Woodrow the Basehead” skit is a comical yet sad interaction between a drug fiend named Woodrow—voiced by Wu affiliate Superb—and Ghostface. In the skit, Woodrow is offering Ghost $9 for some rock cocaine. Ghostdini doesn’t want to give him any drugs because he’s a dollar short, which upsets Woodrow. "Come on, man, Come on! Brother Stark!" he yells. “Look, see, I always gotta go through this shit, man... y’all niggas are supposed to be Big Willies, you actin' a little silly, muthafucka!”
Then Woodrow gets real testy when one of Ghost’s people gets too close to him. “Ayo, tell these muthafuckas to back up! These niggas all in my muthafuckin’ face,” he screams. “You think I don’t carry a muthafuckin’ pistol, nigga? ’Cause I’m a crackhead?”
The skit ends with Woodrow getting belligerent with Ghost, who threatens to hurt Woodrow if he doesn’t leave. Funny as the skit may be, it’s also a painful reminder of how unpredictable the drug game can be between a dealer and an annoying customer.
Impatient Customers in the Chinese Food Restaurant
Although The Fugees 1996 album, The Score, is one of the best hip-hop albums of the 1990s, the project does have a controversial moment. Specifically, the song "The Beast" ends with the famous "Chinese restaurant" skit, which, depending on temperament, may be viewed as a racist reenactment or an honest misstep.
In the skit, which pays homage to old kung-fu movies, two guys walk into a Chinese restaurant and have a difficult time ordering their food because the owner breaks out into a fighting stance. "I will avenge my brothers by representing and whooping your asses, word is bond," the owner warns the two customers. "This ain't Channel 5, nigga, somebody gonna die," they respond.
Frustrated, the owner tells them to prepare for a butt-kicking. "All right. This is a Chinese restaurant, but like Burger King, have it your way," and proceeds to throw punches.
The wild skit wasn't really needed on the otherwise global-sounding project, but it did showcase what most people can't stand about fast food: waiting for it.
Duck Mouth and Bootnee Lee Farnsworth
One of the funniest skits on Dr. Dre’s seminal 1992 album, The Chronic, is “The $20 Sack Pyramid,” which is a send-up of the popular 1970’s TV game show The $25,000 Pyramid. In this version, host Henny Loc—voiced by Big Tittie Nickie—gives two contestants, Duck Mouth—played by The D.O.C.—and Bootnee Lee Farnsworth—played by Samara—a chance to win the grand prize of a dub sack of weed and a $35 gift certificate to the Compton Swap Meet.
What makes the skit so funny is the perfect comedic timing between Duck Mouth and Farnsworth. For example, when Duck Mouth offers these clues: “En Vogue, Halle Berry, your Auntie Clarisse,” Farnsworth immediately answers, “Bitches I want to fuck,” without skipping a beat. They also throw Compton's rap rival Tim Dog (R.I.P.) under the bus for extra comic relief.
“The $20 Sack Pyramid” is among several hilarious skits featured on The Chronic. While much of the content around the skits was more serious, Dr. Dre and his Death Row comrades showed they have a great sense of humor as well.
Don’t mess with Threats. The maniacal character appeared on the 9th Wonder-produced banger “Threat” on Jay-Z’s 2003 project, The Black Album. Threats, voiced by actor-comedian Cedric the Entertainer, is a very angry gangster who threatens bodily harm to anyone who tries to step to him in the wrong way. “And I'm serious about mine, I'm so sincere,” he vows on the song. “And I, nigga I'll kill ya, I'll chop ya up/Put ya inside the mattress like drug money, nigga.”
In an October 2016 interview on the Ed Lover Show, Cedric said he came up with the character on the fly after Jay told him what the song was about. “I wanted to do a version of the dude from Beverly Hills Cop, where I was like, ‘Is this the man who single-handedly...,’” he recalled. “Jay’s like, ‘That’s good, that’s good, but I’m doing this thing Threats and I want somebody to kind of give me like the Madd Rapper kind of thing,' and I just freestyled it. [Hov] left, and I was just in the studio with [Young] Guru...I just went in there and started making stuff up.”
It’s a memorable, hilarious moment on Jay’s album. The character Threats is also reminiscent of Cedric’s classic impressionist bit he performed on Russell Simmons' Def Comedy Jam back in 1993.
One of the bizarre moments on N.O.R.E.'s self-titled 1998 solo album is the "Animal Thug" interlude. In the skit, Animal Thug is introduced as the newest member of Thugged Out Entertainment. What makes Animal Thug so amusing is his very broken English and take-no-shit attitude. The Iraq native handles himself well against the silly, offhanded questions thrown at him by another person in the room.
At one point, Animal Thug tells the other person he has 20 girlfriends and a big penis. "Oh, no, no, girl like big dick, my dick's bigger than you," says Animal. The other person responds, "Nah, man I have it big. My dick is longer than you, Animal." Animal vehemently disagrees. "No, no, no, every fuck I get three, four girls. I'm man." The other person replies, "I'm man, too."
Animal Thug makes another cameo on N.O.R.E.'s 1999 project Melvin Flynt - Da Hustler. On "Animal Thug Goes Hollywood," Animal goes on an incoherent tirade and proclaims that he loves everybody, including beautiful girls with "big asses and big titties." Animal then states that Bill Clinton, who was America's 42nd president at the time, has 1,000 girlfriends and he needs to have the same amount of women as well. When N.O.R.E warns Animal to go home or else his wife will get mad, he scoffs at his suggestion. "No, no, no, I like here man," he says. "Give me $2,000 every day I come back. Thank you very much, everybody, I love everybody." We love Animal Thug.
DJ EZ Dick from Radio Station WBALLZ
Arguably, one of the most memorable characters in hip-hop is DJ EZ Dick, a fictional radio personality of radio station WBALLZ - 187.4 on your FM dial. Voiced by the late comedian Ricky Harris, DJ EZ Dick hosted the Jack-Off Hour along with DJ Salt-E-Nuts—also voiced by Harris—and delivers hilarious introductions on various Snoop Dogg joints.
EZ Dick first appeared on Snoop’s classic debut album, Doggystyle, in 1993. Before the start of the song, “Ain't No Fun (If The Homies Can't Have None),” the smooth-talking EZ Dick introduces the track to his listeners. “And this one goes out to the ladies from all the guys/A big bow-wow-wow,” he says. He concludes, “This is DJ EZ Dick/On the station that slaps you across your fat ass with a fat dick."
Harris’ DJ EZ Dick character also appeared on the Dogg Pound's 1995 album, Dogg Food, and Snoop’s 1996 project, Tha Doggfather, and 2004’s R&G (Rhythm & Gangsta).
Zeldar from Planet Beldar
Smoking pot, depending on the potency, can bring on an altered state of mind. For Devin The Dude, a major weed head, he must have imagined aliens when he was creating about Zeldar from Planet Beldar, on his 2002 LP, Just Tryin’ Ta Live.
In the oddball skit, Zeldar, voiced by Devin, participates in a show-and-tell convention on the planet Mars ,where he tells the story of how his spaceship landed on Earth and had to cut through some green, leafy trees. Unbeknownst to Zeldar, the greenery was a marijuana field. “I took my steel cutter, cut it and smoked it and guess how I felt, very good. I took some for myself,” Zeldar recalls in the skit.
Zeldar then went back to his spaceship and shared the weed with his family and, of course, they loved it, too. So when Zeldar returned to the ganja fields to get some more, the alien was confronted by “mixed people” who thought he was queer. “I saw mixed people all kinds of colors and they looked at me like I was weird,” the alien explains. “They call me queer. I say, ‘No... My name is Zeldar. I'm from planet Beldar. My leader is Zeldar.'”
It’s a bizarre skit, but these are the kind of weird stories that keep people entertained when puffing on the sticky-icky-icky.
Broke Fi Broke Fraternity Leader
Comedian DeRay Davis was initially hired to do the voice of a Bernie Mac soundalike who scolds Kanye West for being a dropout on the rapper's 2004 debut album, College Dropout. For ’Ye's second effort, Late Registration, in 2007, Davis was set to do the Bernie impression again, but West was impressed with another idea the funnyman came up with on the spot in the studio.
The Broke Fi Broke Fraternity is a hilarious four-part skit of an imaginary frat of broke college men who don't have cars, clothes or hoes. “I brought you brothers here today to start our own fraternity,” says the frat leader, voiced by Davis. He then performs the fraternity chant, “Broke Phi Broke, we ain't got it/Broke Phi Broke, we ain't got it.”
In the fourth skit, the frat leader discovers there's a rich imposter in the group, which is Kanye. “This brother right here has been out making beats on the side, yes, he has,” he states. “Pretending he's broke walking amongst us.”
Ultimately, Kanye gets kicked out of the fraternity for having new shoes and dressing fly unlike his Broke Phi Broke members. “Don't you ever come back smellin' all good, taking showers and shit like that, alright? We don't appreciate that down here at Broke Phi Broke,” says the frat leader. The skit segues into the album’s closing track, “Gone.”