DJ and Comedian Cipha Sounds has been named the new host of a 12-episode series that launched as part of truTV’s short form comedy series Rachel Dratch’s Late Night Snack. On the series, the new generation of comedians will have an opportunity bring their hilarious stories to life with a fun reinvention of stand-up. You can catch an episode this fall. From opening up for one of the biggest names in comedy to having his own “Hip Hop Improv” show on TIDAL. Cipha signed with Roc Nation in 2015 as he cemented his name as one of the biggest DJ’s working alongside DJ Funk Flex at Hot 97 and having his own show on Shade 45. We got a chance to speak with Cipha on his newest accomplishment. He talked with us about opening up for Dave, filming with Wild ‘N’ Out, his perspective of mixing hip-hop + comedy together as a host and much more.
Check out our interview below.
The Source: How does it feel to be named the new host of the half-hour series?
Cipha Sounds: Its hard because now I’m a TV Star (Laughs). Nah, I’m Super excited TRU TV had a plan a few years ago to take over the comedy game and they’re doing a great job at it and I was a fan before this even happened. Getting this opportunity I am super excited.
What makes the “Laff Mob Laff Track” series different than other comedy series?
First of all, comedy is on fire right now everything winning in the entertainment game is comedy. Dave Chappelle coming back and with the netflix thing, comedy tours and comedy festivals it’s like a boom for comedy right now like back in the day. The thing about this show is that the technology has now caught up with the comedy so we can do a stand up show where stand up comedians go on stage tell jokes re-tape it and that’s it. That formula has been done for so many years, so many decades. Now it’s like we take the comedians, not unknown comedians but they’ve worked a long time and their just about to blow and give them an opportunity to shine and then we re-create the joke. So it’s almost like a music video for a joke where you get excited. Like if you go on Youtube and punch in a Migos song there will be a version that just has the lyrics and the song and its still great. So when you see the official video it’s a whole different experience and that’s what we try to do with comedy.
How does it now feel to have come this far from opening up for Dave Chappelle?
It’s great, its like basically I heard this analogy once like I was always the guy and I’ve been doing this for a long time and now finally this will get some mainstream recognition. Doing comedy on a national level oppose to like everyone in New York knows me as just a DJ. When I go to comedy clubs I went over 400, 500 people where like now it’s going to spread throughout the whole country hopefully the world. I’ve always been a guy who has a friend who owns a yacht and I get to be a guest on their yacht, now I have my own yacht. Like I have a lot of friends who do a lot of big things like Dave Chappelle, Micheal Che all these other comedians I’ve done stuff with and now I finally get to invite them to my party.
What is your perspective on mixing Hip-Hop and comedy together as the new host?
Honestly, music was always first but the thing is back in the day especially New York a lot of DJ’s talk on the mic and I noticed what they were saying was boring to the listeners or to people in the club. They’re just shouting out people and the only person who cares about a shoutout is the person getting the shoutout. No one else cares, like who cares if so & so is here. The thing I try to do when I talk on the mic is try to be entertaining while your dancing and make you laugh, make you giggle or I want people to come up to me like “yo you’re crazy, you say crazy ish.” I started to notice I was saying alot of crazy things and I was wondering if I could do a show where I do this. The first time I tried it, that didn’t work out. I started another show and I incorporated music and it started to work and then I started my Improv show where I bring hip-hop celebrities in to tell stories and then we acted it out and that was a hit. So my “third album” was a hit. My first album was underground, my second album was critically acclaimed but it wasn’t there and my improv show was a hit.
So, from there I just started getting all these calls like TV shows that were asking me to consult and I just finished working on the new season of Wild ‘N’ Out they asked me like “to teach the new people the improv game, and also help us book some celebrities for the show.” Like who else can do that? Who can teach comedy and have all these connections to the hip-hop world. Like I was killing it on Wild ‘N’ Out and they were loving me and now i’m a TV producer. Just because I stayed in my own lane, so any type of show that has any hip-hop or anything to it I can work on it. I can be like an asset, so I don’t know alot of people who can do that.
Tell Us More About The “Hip-Hop Improv” on TIDAL?
So, the thing about my the imrprov show it’s hard to explain because it’s like pure long form imrpov what people do on TV is like a very colorful version of it which I also like. Where the improv show is like going to a jazz show it’s like the real stuff and then eventually people take that and start using it towards other things and then it becomes watered down, it’s easier to consume. Where when you come to my improv show it’s like pure off the top comedy and that’s what I like. I’m working on a TV show for improv also. You gotta think of it like when you go to a jazz cafe at like 2 in the morning and they’re just jamming and that’s how I look at it and some people come in and look at it and might not quite understand it. But, then i’m like also building these fans. There’s a show on comedy central where the guy does Trump impressions and then he starts running for president and this guy blows up, he used to be on my improv show. The head writer of Insecure he was on my improv team and there’s another guy that became a writer and he writes for Brooklyn Nine-Nine he was on my improv team. So it’s like this underground work where people blow up from.
Do you have any other plans upcoming for the summer?
Well, I’m going on tour with Michael Che from SNL so the whole summer we’re going on tour. Then he’s working on a new TV show that he want’s me to help out on. I got another show My Improv Show on Tidal is actually filming the live show every Friday. But now i’m working on a TV version of that and it’ll be bigger in a studio and that’s the main thing i’m working on right now. Alicia Keys is my partner on that show so that’s something I’m really pushing for.
Which album has been in heavy rotation out of Kendrick Lamar, Playboi Carti or Drake?
I like all of it. Drake album definitely has bangers. Trap music has taken over the industry and I love trap music but alot of times in a party when you start getting into this long trap set, aggressive guys are on the dance floor and girls are on the outside. That’s cool for half an hour but I’m not trying to have girls on the wall the whole time. I like people dancing but what I’m happy about is that some dance music is coming back. Some Caribbean flavor, afro-beats is coming into the mix and Drake is perfect at taking those flavors and incorporating it into hip-hop. So that’s what I mean by girl music. I don’t mean like not real hip-hop like get the dance floor mixed up to where people are actually dancing oppose to just one sound. Drake is good for that because Drake can have a hard joint and then he has a joint like Passion Fruit but then Playboi Carti definitely got the ill trap music going but it’s more like artsy, it’s more fly. Then you have Kendrick who is just straight rip through the microphone rap killing em. But what I like is when a girl Kendrick fan can spit bars like now it’s not like girly music, everyone likes it. My favorite thing is ‘Run The Jewels’ that’s my favorite project right now. They rap, rap! I saw something where Kendrick said Killer Mike is one of his favorite rappers, so I was like that makes sense.
Last words to end the interview?
I just want to say thank you to anybody who ever followed me or listened to me. I don’t brag like when I put something on instagram or when I do an interview of stuff I’m doing. I never want it to seem like I’m bragging, I just want it to be inspiring. I was a nobody from the Bronx no special up-bringing, no special privileges and I just kept pushing and I got my dream job as a DJ. Did the morning show on Hot 97 and then I was like I’m going to try something new. Then I crossed-over into comedy literally bottom of the barrel and now i’ve made a good name in comedy. I’m not anywhere near famous but I got a good name and now i’m like combining my worlds and I just want to use it as inspiration. Like with whatever you want to do it might be hard because trust me there are some dark days for me but finally with this show people are going to finally see more of what I do.