Hannibal Buress hit us up in our DMs to let us know he was hosting his first music set at Chop Shop on Friday night (Sept. 10) and, of course, we had to slide. When Buress interviewed with The TRiiBE last year, he shared that he’d been using quarantine time to experiment with new ways to present his comedy — with his longtime love of music being one of the tools in his arsenal. 


We really didn’t know what to expect going into his Friday show. It was called, “Hannibal Buress plays the hits,” and the show description written on the ticket website only said that he’d be playing the hits with a live band.

Chicago comedienne and actress Marilee opened the show with a raunchy set. There were musical performances by rappers Serengeti and Ron Lamont, and a combined hip hop concert and comedy set from Buress himself. 

Although Buress’ show was heavily centered on his music performance, which included original songs from Buress while accompanied by a band of bass, horns and harp instrumentalists, he perfectly weaved in comedy between songs, giving the audience plenty of laughs.

After the show, we asked Buress if he’d ever performed with a live band before today. He said he did so once, during a birthday celebration for comedian Eric Andre in April 2019. From watching Buress play the hits, it was clear that music is an artistic expression that he fully enjoys. Performing music gives a different high than comedy, he said.

Hannibal performed with a rapper friend named Serengeti, who impressed the crowd with his rhymes while leading them in chants of "Bears! Hawks! Sox! Bulls!" Photo by Darius Griffin // The TRiiBE
Rapper Ron Lamont was the final guest appearance of the night, and gave the audience an impressive freestyle after performing with Buress. Photo by Darius Griffin // The TRiiBE

“With the music, it’s not as necessary to get a reaction each time. With comedy you constantly have to work in front of people,” Buress said.” With the music it’s less about the reaction and more about feeling that sh*t.” 

Here’s our list of the five most hilarious moments from Buress’ music set.

1. Chicago comedienne Marilee takes the stage

Comedienne Marilee warmed up the crowd before Buress hit the stage. Charming the audience with her raunchy humor, Marilee expressed her excitement to get back to her sex life since she’s been recently vaccinated against COVID-19. “I got the vaccine ‘cause I’m ready to start back f——,” she said. She also sent the crowd into a frenzy when she told the story of how she sent her ex-boyfriend into a diabetic coma by withholding his insulin medication after he cheated on her; eventually, she quickly and deliberately asked the crowd not to record her set because she was the lead singer of her church’s choir. 

Comedienne and actress Marilee opened up the show with a comedy set and a song. Photo by Darius Griffin // The TRiiBE
2. The 70-year-old London drill rappers

In between his first and second songs, Buress talked about the time he was in London and his comedy show got canceled. So he decided he wanted to do a music show out there instead. After finding a potential place to perform, Buress was going back and forth with himself on whether he should perform or not. While the internal debate went on, a group of 70-year-old British rappers took the stage and had the club lit. After witnessing their set, Buress was shook — so shook that he didn’t want to do a music show anymore.

3. The 14-minute freestyle

During a joke between songs, Buress reminisced on the time he was prepping for the birth of his daughter, and decided to relax by getting inebriated which led to him recording freestyles that he sent to his friends. “It was one when I was super high. I freestyled for 14 minutes and then I sent it to my friends, which was really rude but I was hyped about it,” explained Buress. One of his friends sent the song back to him with new vocals and new adlibs over the freestyle, roasting Buress for being lame and sending a wack freestyle.

4. “Testicular Torsion”

One of the things that Buress said he likes about creating music is the fact that he can talk about situations that he’s experienced in his personal life. In one of his original songs, entitled “Testicular Torsion,” Buress takes the audience on a wild ride with him on Chicago’s Green Line train, rapping the story of how he “lost his balls.” Testicular torsion is when the testicle is twisted inside the scrotum causing extreme discomfort. While the track was obviously exaggerated, it was pretty funny listening to it while Buress talked about experiencing the pain in 2005. Buress even made it a point to rap about how his parents felt listening to him tell them what was happening with his body. 

Buress Hannibal rapping a song named "Coach Wilson," a tribute to his character in the film Spider-Man: Homecoming. Word on the street is that he'll be reprising his role in the upcoming Spider-Man: No Way Home. Photo by Darius Griffin // The TRiiBE
Performing on stage with Buress during the show was Dejon Crockran (bass), Jackson Shepard (guitar), Jahari Stampley(keys), John Cunningham (sax), Vince Fossett (drums), Yomi (harp) and Ryan Nyther (trumpet). Photo by Darius Griffin // The TRiiBE
5. Kanye’s church

Buress joked that there may be an entire generation of preachers that will say that Kanye inspired them to preach, and the whole room burst into laughter. He said he went to “Kanye’s church,” a.k.a. Sunday Service, and talked about how different the church was because there was a $50 charge at the door.

Buress mentioned that he was an atheist during his set; something many fans remember from a line from his 2016 stand-up, “Your Prayers Mean Nothing.” At Sunday Service, Kanye played the clean version of his track, “Father Stretch My Hands,” while Hannibal sang the dirty version with all the cuss words and sexual references. 

To everyone judging him at Sunday Service, Buress said, “I’m the one who stood true to the original art. Y’all the ones trying to deliver to Jesus and shit, like [he’s going to say], ‘Oh I was gonna send yo ass to hell, but then you flipped that Kanye lyric, you’re good, blessed be,’” Buress said, joking about how purposeless the gesture was.

is a freelance contributor for The TRiiBE.