Essentials: Hannibal Buress

A look into the life of the multihyphenate creative as he launches his music career as Eshu Tune.

Fashion 
6,356 Hypes 3 Comments

You are reading your free article for this month.
Members-only

Whether it be from his appearances on shows and movies such as The Eric Andre Show and Spider-Man: Homecoming, sketches he wrote for Saturday Night Live, cameos on video games such as Grand Theft Auto V, or stand-up and late-night talk shows he’s performed at across the U.S., Hannibal Buress has been entertaining audiences for over a decade on the biggest stages.

Drawing from the comedic wit we’ve grown to love, Hannibal has now launched his music career under the alter ego Eshu Tune, named after Eshu, a benevolent trickster god. His journey with music has always grown alongside his comedy — recording his first songs in 2001 with his childhood friend David and battle-rapping to get stage time in college. Looking forward, he looks to make music his priority, having everything else support that.

“Right now I’m focusing on the music and getting better at that. The recording and every part of it, producing beats, performing, rehearsing, and releasing music,” Buress tells Hypebeast. “It’s been a cool run and it’s about to be an interesting year.”

Throughout the years, Buress has been a far-reaching influence in hip-hop, performing alongside artists such as Chance the Rapper, for whom he also directed a music video, and contributing verses on songs including “Doug Stamper” by Open Mike Eagle. He’s performed at multiple festivals including Pitchfork, T-Pain‘s Wisconsin Fest, and SXSW, and has been a fixture in music videos, appearing in clips from Jay-Z, Anderson.Paak, Cordae, and more. Since releasing his self-titled Eshu Tune project last April, Buress has shared the stage with the likes of The Roots, Robert Glasper, and Marc Rebillet for his US Tour.

Follow us below as we learn more about Hannibal Buress’ new chapter as Eshu Tune through his everyday staples.

We see the Pioneer DJ controller. Have you been trying to mix more lately?

That’s my second or third controller. I used to DJ more in 2015 and 2016 as DJ Burger Feet. Honestly, I probably should have been DJing a lot off of a phone or just a computer because I really wasn’t blending that much. I got some decent song selections, but the blend is kind of clunky. I’ve been listening to a lot of Amapiano mixes lately on YouTube but I hadn’t really listened to that many mixes over the years. I pick songs, listen to albums, and make playlists, but now I listen to mixes when I work out or play video games. It’s nice when somebody is blending really well and kind of take you on a ride so I need to start practicing more so I can have an awesome DJ set and take people on a journey.

How did the name DJ Burger Feet come about?

Because at the time my feet looked like hamburger meat.

We spot the Questlove (Questlove: Music Is History) and Prince (Prince: The Last Interview) books. Are they big personal inspirations for you?

For Questlove, I like that he has so many jobs and is super detailed-oriented and precise with his work. He’s a drummer, producer, DJ, writer, podcaster, music supervisor, etc. so I respect his willingness to jump into so many fields and try. It seems like he’s really about getting a lot out of his time and his life. There’s a great story in his book and he talks about specific songs and how they were important for the year, so it’s really dope to be able to learn about music in that way.

The Prince book I got is new and it’s just a collection of interviews taken from Amoeba Records. I like reading that type of stuff on the road. Sometimes on a good wakeup day, when the phone isn’t in the room and I just lay there for a bit and think through what I want to do, I’ll read before I do anything. I stopped putting pressure on myself to finish books now. You can kind of read a few pages and take what you want from it and go to another book and do it like that. I can feel the difference in my brain if I’m able to have two hours without anything digital, but it’s tough to do that every single day. I could feel the difference in clarity and the difference in how I communicated versus if I wake up on my bed and started looking at stuff because that’s the perfect time to make something actually — write, play, or make a beat.

How long have you been doing music and what got you back to it?

I’ve recorded music before I ever did stand up.  I started stand-up when I was 19 and I recorded songs before that. For stand-up, I got into that in college. I recorded some music in college and battle-rapped back then too. It was always adjacent to music. From hosting rap shows early on and doing skits off people’s albums, freestyling, and things like that.

I’ve seen you wear similar glasses in your music videos and recent Genius interview. Is it going to be part of your artist persona?

I like those glasses a lot. Somebody gave me some red lenses when I was in New York in the Fall and I just saw how they just changed the lights and took the edge off of everything. Sometimes I wear them out and about and it’s nice to have them on even coming off a red-eye flight or something. They block out the peripherals a bit so it gives you less information. We don’t need all that information necessarily — taking all the colors of the world. When I’m driving, yeah, I kind of will need to know what the lights are doing but I mean green is the top one yellow is the middle one right? You might not feel that right away so you need to see it, but for the most part, you don’t really need to see all the colors man, in the brain.

Where did you get the vintage bomber?

My stage name is Eshu Tune, and Eshu is from Nigerian mythology — a tricker god — so the colors are red and black. When I decided on that, I started buying red and black stuff for stage. I never wore much red and black but it was nice to have those colors to go to. I found it at a secondhand spot on Melrose in LA and it’s reversible, so it gets multiple uses. Sometimes I wear both sides at a show. As a former gambling addict, to find a former red and black casino jacket as one of my stage pieces was really exciting.

And the pants with the musician graphics?

The pants are from a designer named Nanlib. She popped up on my Twitter and I just started looking at her pieces. She had a lot of dope custom pieces that stood out. I saw those pants and they looked comfortable. I haven’t really worn denim in a minute. I just like comfortable, good quality jogging pants and I don’t see myself going back either. For these, it’s also just nice to look at your legs and see some art. Jeans are dead to me right now.

How did you get your own football trading card?

I booked a show in Phoenix without realizing it was the Super Bowl. I asked the venue about February the 9th to 11th and they said it was available. I’m like okay that’s cool. There was a lot going on that weekend. Shaq had a DJ gig and I was like ‘I didn’t know I was competing against a Shaquille O’Neal DJ gig.’ I thought it’d be cool to have merch of my old high school football picture on a card with my stats on there since it was Super Bowl weekend. I didn’t have many stats. I didn’t get that much time. Coach didn’t really see my potential but that was fun. Definitely one of my favorite pieces of merch that I’ve done.

How big of a bowler are you?

I’ve been bowling pretty heavily for the past few years and I bowled as a kid. That was 1990 when I started and then I didn’t bowl as much during high school. I got back into it in LA in 2019 and when I started bowling more, I had an idea for an Anthony Bourdain-style bowling travel show that I pitched to the PBA and Bolera. I made contact with them and in 2021 they needed a fill-in for a celeb bowling tournament so I flew from Houston to Phoenix and appeared in that, but I enjoy bowling a lot.

Getting a strike is a great feeling when you first notice in those couple of seconds right after you roll it and then it does happen. That noise of it and when you really get into a rhythm. It’s a fun activity and a way to hang out without being at the club or bar or something. My song “1-3 Pocket” is a song about bowling. It’s the hardest track about bowling. So I’ve been doing some work with Bolera and they just sent me a custom bowling ball. I need to get it drilled actually.

I didn’t have a bowling ball for a while. Someone stole my bowling ball out of the car during the pandemic. That was devastating. I drove around looking for them and if I saw somebody there was going to be a confrontation. I might not win but something’s going to happen. I just left it in the car because I thought it’s fine it’s not a computer, nobody’s going to take these customized 15-pound objects. Now I got a bunch and it’s gotten kind of crazy. I got five or six here and I got two or three in Chicago and a bunch of shoes. In different lane conditions, certain balls might not hook on as well so you might need to switch it up. There are little nuances to the game you start to learn as you go deeper.

Is the sketchbook mainly for brainstorming new ideas?

I like that one because it’s wide and doesn’t have lines so it frees up the ideas a little more than I think it does and changes the scope a little bit. I think I write better and more free with that amount of space.

Walk us through the music equipment you have there.

The one,in this case is a wearable MIDI Controller. You can hook it up to your Logic or GarageBand or whatever. Say you put a sound on there, you can move it with your wrist instead of using a MIDI where you press a key. I’ve used it for one show and I need to get it activated again, but I like that type of stuff just to mix things up and use my body as an instrument.

The other is the ERAE Touch. The color on it is nice for my live shows. It really makes the process different and fun. I haven’t mastered it at all yet but I’ve used it to make a couple of songs. Obviously, I have computers and whatnot but it’s nice to get the music going in a different way. I started getting into it when I saw the iPad had a lot of production apps. My mind responds a lot better to touch. It’s a better process for me.

Read Full Article

What to Read Next

Here's What The World's Most Expensive Ice Cream Looks Like
Food & Beverage

Here's What The World's Most Expensive Ice Cream Looks Like

Japanese company Cellato sets the new Guinness World Record.

Dominic Fike Teases New Album, 'Sunburn'
Music

Dominic Fike Teases New Album, 'Sunburn'

Following the release of his “Dancing in the Courthouse” MV.

MSCHF Presents "Lethal Dose" at Frieze Art Fair NYC
Art

MSCHF Presents "Lethal Dose" at Frieze Art Fair NYC

Compiling the amount of various everyday products that would kill a 200lb person via acute toxicity

Netflix's 'Squid Game: The Challenge' Reality Show Arrives This November
Entertainment

Netflix's 'Squid Game: The Challenge' Reality Show Arrives This November

456 players compete to win $4.56 million USD.

BMW Films Premieres "THE CALM" Short Film at Cannes
Automotive

BMW Films Premieres "THE CALM" Short Film at Cannes

Its first production in seven years.


Hyundai To Pay $200 Million USD Settlement After TikTok Trend Exposed Security Flaws
Automotive

Hyundai To Pay $200 Million USD Settlement After TikTok Trend Exposed Security Flaws

Compensating Hyundai and Kia owners who have been victims of theft.

The 5 Year Anniversary Edition of Juice WRLD's 'Goodbye & Good Riddance' Arrives
Music

The 5 Year Anniversary Edition of Juice WRLD's 'Goodbye & Good Riddance' Arrives

Featuring two new tracks: “No Good” and “Glo’d Up.”

This Air Jordan 37 Low Celebrates the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League
Footwear

This Air Jordan 37 Low Celebrates the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League

Joining the Nike LeBron 20 for this year’s “EYBL” collection.

The Heinz Remix Machine Offers Customizable Condiments
Food & Beverage

The Heinz Remix Machine Offers Customizable Condiments

Hot dogs will never be the same.

Nike Adds the Terminator High To Its "Be True" Lineup
Footwear

Nike Adds the Terminator High To Its "Be True" Lineup

Celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community.

More ▾
 
We got you covered. Don’t miss out on the latest news by signing up for our newsletters.

By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.