On the latest episode of “Drink Champs,” N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN sat down with Michael Blackson to discuss his acting roles, beefs with other comedians such as Kevin Hart, and Giannis Antetokounmpo allegedly stealing his dance moves.
Born in Ghana and raised in Philadelphia, Blackson has become one of the most beloved comedians in the world. With a career spanning over two decades, he has made audiences laugh with his incredible humor and hilarious observations about life, no matter how serious the situations may be. His journey to becoming a comedian began with a co-worker’s recommendation at Domino’s. Fast forward to 2000, Blackson got his breakthrough by starring in the cult-favorite Next Friday. Over the years, the comedian fostered a massive audience following several appearances in movies like 2013’s One Night in Vegas, 2016’s Meet The Blacks, and 2018’s Nobody’s Fool, to name a few.
In 2021, Blackson starred in the highly acclaimed film Coming 2 America alongside comedy legends such as Eddie Murphy and Tracy Morgan. That same year, he also appeared in The House Next Door: Meet the Blacks 2, which starred frequent collaborators Mike Epps, Katt Williams and more. On the stand-up comedy side, he spent a large portion of 2022 touring with DC Young Fly, Deray Davis, and Lil Duval for their “The No Cap Tour.”
To help give fans a recap, REVOLT compiled a list of nine facts we learned from the Michael Blackson “Drink Champs” episode. Check them out below and watch the full episode here.
1. On starring in Next Friday and auditioning for Ice Cube
In the 2000 film Next Friday, Blackson had a noteworthy appearance as “Customer No. 1,” during which he attempted to return a CD that he chewed on. He shouted at the cashier in frustration, exclaiming, “This is whack! I can’t get jiggy with this s**t!” While talking about the challenges he faced in his career, the comedian opened up about how playing in the Ice Cube-written film changed his life.
“The day that I had to go to my audition was the day I had to go to court. Me and Kevin [Hart] was the only ones that decided we were going to go to court. The rest of them n***as skipped town. They had to deal with that s**t later on,” Blackson explained. “We got court at 9 o’ clock in Newark, New Jersey. Got up and left Philadelphia at like 6 a.m., Kevin drove really fast and got me in time to catch my flight. Landed in LA at 4 p.m. and made a 5 p.m. audition. All that s**t went down.”
2. On being typecast throughout his career
Blackson has established himself as a multifaceted talent who is capable of being more than just a comedian thanks to his roles in several blockbuster movies. Notably, he received a lot of praise for his depiction of the archetypal angry African immigrant in America. Earlier in the conversation, Blackson stressed his acceptance of the categorization and cultural stereotypes that usually define his roles, as opposed to dodging them.
“100 percent. They say, ‘Hey Mike, if you want to make it as an actor, you have to change your character. You can’t always be African.’ My thing is stand-up comedy is my thing. Acting and all that is an extra plus,” he shared. “I’ve been doing comedy for 30 years, and I make a hell of a living from it.”
3. On the late Bernie Mac
Comedian Bernie Mac was a legend for his sharp wit and unparalleled sense of humor. He wasn’t hesitant to joke about controversial subjects, and his bold approach influenced a whole new generation of entertainers. Despite his untimely passing in 2008, his impact on the world of comedy endures with many comedians citing him as a major influence, including Blackson, who praised him midway through the conversation.
Regarding Mac, he stated, “Bernie Mac kind of reminds me of what I’m becoming because he was a guy that refused to change for anybody. He made them accept him for who he is, and I think that’s where my career is going right now.”
4. On putting aside his beef with Katt Williams
Back in September of 2022, Blackson made claims that during the taping of the comedy show “Wild ‘N Out,” Williams verbally attacked him over statements that were made during Blackson’s previous sit-down with “Drink Champs.” Later, he elaborated on his comments from the episode, where he lauded Williams for being personable while also claiming he “did crack and fought a 10-year-old boy.” After the death of a mutual friend, the comic said he and his unintentional rival were able to put their differences aside.
“Somebody had died because we lost so many celebrities in the past few years. So I made a tweet about… with everybody dying so quick, I would hate for something to happen to one of us, and we’re beefing over something so simple. When I posted it, he reposted it, so I knew that we squashed all of the comedy beef. But I heard he did a diss track on me, but it didn’t come out yet,” Blackson shared.
5. On siding with Mike Epps during his Kevin Hart beef
Hart and Epps have had a tumultuous relationship in the past with the latter making unflattering remarks about Hart on more than one occasion. In fact, in a particularly scathing comment made on “The Breakfast Club,” Epps even went so far as to compare Hart to Williams. However, the Think Like A Man star didn’t let Epps’ words go unchallenged, and the two comedians found themselves embroiled in a heated feud in 2018. When asked why he took Epps’ side during the situation, Blackson revealed that the two worked together more often.
He explained, “I think me and Mike Epps had worked more together. He’s put money in my pockets — his tour did. So I guess you have to go with whoever you’re working with more. Kev went on that whole other level.”
6. On his YouTube comedy show “Black Friday”
Reflecting on some of his earlier days in the industry, Blackson opened up about his comedy show on YouTube, aptly titled “Black Friday.” Among the several highlights that came out of the series, he revealed to N.O.R.E. that it was the first time he made money online, pulling in a whopping $50,000 a year after getting funded.
“‘Black Friday’ was a show that was given to me by Walter Latham, who was the creator of Kings of Comedy. Back in like 2011/2012, YouTube gave money to about five producers — like $5 million for each creator to create their own network content. Walter Latham got one, Shaq’s company got one, and Puffy might have got one,” he revealed. “That was my first time actually making money online. Walter actually paid me $50,000 a year and I’m like, ‘I can make money just putting s**t online?’”
7. On Giannis Antetokounmpo stealing his dance
Epic Games’ newest step was a partnership with NBA superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo in December 2022 for Fortnite, continuing the company’s trend of teaming up with the world’s greatest influencers and personalities. While it’s not new for the brand to work with basketball stars, Blackson said that one of the dance moves in the game was stolen from him. He claimed that Antetokounmpo had taken full credit for it and has been dodging his DMs ever since.
“I don’t think you can copyright a dance, but it’s a matter of loyalty and showing respect to the person you got the dance from,” Blackson stated. “Next thing I know, my s**t is on Fortnite… I DMed him; I don’t have his number, but I texted his brother because he gave me his number today. I texted, you know I kept it real nice… ‘Hey man, just hit me up. I saw my dance on there. I appreciate the dance, but mothersucker, what’s going on?’ He just ignored it. He read it and ignored it.”
When asked how he would handle the situation if he saw Antetokounmpo in person, Blackson responded, “Probably smack the s**t out of him. No, I’m just playing, man. That n***a seven feet tall, I’ll go online and beat the s**t out of him.”
8. On Akon’s comments regarding African Americans moving to Africa
Akon is on a quest to convince African Americans to go to Africa, so that the continent could once again become the world’s most powerful country. During an interview with REVOLT’s “Deposit$” podcast, he said that the continent has all of the resources it needs — all it lacks is people. And Blackson seemingly concurred, saying that America would be nothing without its Black citizens. “Oh definitely, they’ll just be left with hockey players and punters,” he joked.
According to Blackson, “Especially around the time during the 2020 era when George Floyd got killed, and we felt like America don’t have no love for Black people. We all talked about it: What if we all just got the f**k out of here and went back to Africa? What would America be? And you know what makes America great? Different people… all of us.”
9. On making jokes about Kevin Hart cheating on his wife
Blackson and Hart were once close friends, but a disagreement over a sensitive topic caused a rift between the two comedians. In 2018, Blackson used Hart’s cheating scandal as material for his comedy routine, which Hart took issue with. Although their beef garnered plenty of attention at the time, the two have since moved on and put their differences aside, as stated by Blackson.
“I don’t regret a motherf**king thing. I didn’t make fun of him cheating because nobody’s perfect; we’ve all f**ked up. I didn’t make fun of him cheating; I made fun of how I felt he snitched on himself. At the time he talked about it, nobody didn’t know yet,” Blackson shared. “And I go hard in the paint because sometimes we don’t think. The only problem Kevin had was because I just did it so many times.”
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