'SNL' Star Jay Pharoah Updates Drake Beat With 'Draft Night' Freestyle - Rolling Stone
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‘SNL’ Star Jay Pharoah Updates Drake Beat With ‘Draft Night’ Freestyle

The comedian shows off his rapping technique over Drake’s “Draft Day” instrumental

Jay PharoahJay Pharoah

Jay Pharoah

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images for ESPY

Saturday Night Live castmember Jay Pharoah has earned hip-hop credentials for his dead-on impersonations of Jay Z and Lil Wayne, but now the versatile comedian has entered the rap game on his own merits. As the NFL Draft concluded Thursday night, Pharoah marked the occasion by posting a four-minute freestyle – featuring nimble boasts and pop-culture references over the instrumental for Drake’s “Draft Day.”

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The track, titled “Draft Night,” opens with a sample announcing the Houston Texans’ Number One selection of defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. But Pharoah wastes no time declaring the evening’s sleeper pick: “It’s my draft night – the rap game has selected Jay Pharoah,” he says. “It’s time for me to put some points on the board.”

And that he does. Over a blistering drum kit, Pharoah first addresses the elephant in the room and takes down his critics in a few bars: “People say ‘He doin’ comedy – why the hell he rappin?’ / Got a heavy passion, but I could drop both and convert to actin’ / Why do one when I can do it all? / Cause I know if they take a step in my shoes, these fuckers would trip and fall.” From there, he touches on his personal fashion, disses Donald Sterling and references NBA titans Dwyane Wade and Tim Duncan. Before bowing out, he gives shout-outs to J. Cole and Drizzy.

It was only last week that Pharoah impersonated Drake in the Andrew Garfield-hosted episode of Saturday Night Live, appearing in the sketch “Celebrity Family Feud.” “Sky’s the limit,” he spits on “Draft Night.” “Well, that’s cool – I’ll just take the moon.” It’ll be fun to see where Pharoah goes from here.

Listen to “Draft Night” below:


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