Hannibal Buress

Live from Chicago

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Ask any stand-up and they'll tell you comedians are a maladjusted, self-loathing bunch as whole, but Hannibal Buress is a unique duck, coming on-stage with a swagger as effortless and attractive as Eddie Murphy's, yet his volume knob is turned down considerably, even when his material is just as funny and razor-sharp. Another easy distinction between Eddie and Hannibal is that Murphy moonlighted with Rick James while Burress used his time off to direct a video for the indie and edgy artist Chance the Rapper, so a knowledge of fringe characters like rapper Riff-Raff helps much on cuts like "I Went to See a Concert." That highlight features Hannibal re-creating his set as if it was a Riff-Raff show, and it's done in a way so brilliant it shouldn't be spoiled, but the 2010s phenomenon of rappers dropping the drug Molly gets the gas face with "I'm so emotional, I just masturbated to the color blue," a great example of the man's elevated understanding of hipster culture. He's worldly, too, as New Orleans' lack of open container laws ("Hey bartender, give me a Jameson's and ginger ale to go! I don't like this place"), and the problematic relationship between some New York cabbies and the African-American population (after Burress catches a cab he's been chasing, he expects to hear "Damn man! You're so fast I'm not even racist anymore!"), but it is the closing story of Mexico and time-share seminars that just might be his masterwork, to date. Flowing perfectly and funny from start to finish, Live from Chicago adds an excellent album to a discography that already has two, but since it is so well-rounded, this is the best entry point into man's early work.

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