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Hannibal Buress Debuts New Single As Eshu Tune

Written by on November 15, 2022

“Expressing in music… because you don’t have to play for the laugh, there’s a little more room. Where you can be funny, but you can also work in metaphor and whatnot, or tell a story or have multiple meanings.”

Hannibal Buress AKA Eshu Tune AKA DJ Burgerfeet breaks down his new single “Knee Brace” in the Vocalo studio on Nov. 11.
Photo by Morgan Ciocca, Vocalo Radio / Chicago Public Media.

Before performing at his hometown release show for new single “Knee Brace,” the talented actor, comedian and, lately, rapper Hannibal Buress stopped by the Vocalo studio to talk all things Eshu Tune.

As of late, Hannibal Buress has been turning toward beats and rhymes to pursue his dreams.

While Buress is best known for his comedy and acting work (Broad City, The Eric Andre Show), he’s creating a new chapter of his career with musical alter ego Eshu Tune, filled with hard-hitting bars and lyrics laced with comedic wit. The name, Buress explained, draws meaning from “Eshu,” the benevolent Yoruba trickster god.

“It’s put me… back in the ‘up-and-comer’ space I was in when I was younger. Eshu is a different guy than Hannibal, in that sense. Eshu’s probably closer to Hannibal at 23, 24.”

Buress’s musical endeavors actually predate his comedy career. Though he cited he’s been playing saxophone since elementary school and even recorded some of his first songs in 2000 or 2001, it wasn’t really until this year Buress turned to music more seriously and felt truly connected to his music.

“I got addicted to comedy early, [in 2002,] and it was easy to lock in on,” he recalled. “And music, at the time when I started, didn’t seem as feasible.”

2022 has been a pivotal year for Buress’s music career. Eshu Tune debuted with a largely comedic eponymous EP in April featuring Eryn Allen Kane, followed by scattered open mics and freestyling here and there. In July, things started to pick up for Eshu Tune — between DJ sets, an onstage festival appearance with The Roots and his own solo sets. Though his music performances don’t draw crowds comparable to his standup comedy performances, Buress chooses to focus on the moment and what he’s building toward.

“Having a stage name and allowing me to separate it… I can go do open mics a lot,” he said. “Eshu has six people in the crowd, sure. That’s fine. Let’s do it.”

“Eshu is spending Hannibal’s money to pursue his dreams.”

Buress explained he made the transition to focus more seriously on music because he finds more joy in it than comedy. While his comedic nature is still present in his performances and lyrics — single “Judge Judy” samples the TV judge and “Knee Brace” was born out of looking up “weird words” — Eshu Tune finds more energy and freedom of self-expression in the music world.

“You gotta do what feels good and not just do what’s there, that’s how I am operating now,” he said. “I just believe in what I’m doing”

On Friday, Buress debuted Eshu Tune’s newest single “Knee Brace” at Chop Shop in Wicker Park, but beforehand he stopped by the Vocalo studios to break down Eshu Tune, performing with the Roots at Pitchfork 2022, pursuing his dreams and being a dad.

Check out the full audio of the live conversation below.

Follow Hannibal Buress and Eshu Tune on Instagram, and stream Eshu Tune on Spotify below.

Interview by Bekoe and Nudia Hernandez, produced and edited by Bekoe

Filmed by Kristina Rodriguez

Introduction written by Makenzie Creden and Morgan Ciocca

Photography by Morgan Ciocca

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