New York City mayoral candidate Andrew Yang, a self-proclaimed JAY-Z fan, nearly dropped the ball when asked to name one of the songs from the emcee’s years-long discography.
During an interview on Ziwe’s Fumudoh’s self-titled Showtime series, the politician claimed to be a hip hop fan, noting he “listened a lot to hip hop during like the 1990s and 2000s.” He mentioned that fellow New Yorkers Nas and JAY-Z were two of the artists he liked the most, and was subsequently asked to named his favorite Hov song.
“What is my favorite JAY-Z song?” Yang asked himself after a long pause. He then proceeded to sing the chorus of JAY’s 2003 fusion with Linkin Park, “Numb/Encore.” Unable to name the song, he asked, “I think it was a duet, right?”
Fumudoh confirmed that the rock band was featured on the track, to which Yang responded, “Yes, there it is.” Surprised to hear that he chose the rock song as his favorite Hov record, she questioned, “What? Your favorite JAY-Z song is a rock song, by the way?”
“It was the first one that came to mind,” Yang explained, attempting to defend his choice. “Then, there’s like his collaboration with Kanye, like, ‘N-word in Paris’,” he added. “Those are the two songs that came to mind for me. But he has such a canon, you really can’t go wrong.”
Among Hov’s “canon” of records, “My 1st Song” has been lauded by Barack Obama, who explained that he has a personal connection to the track. The single from JAY-Z’s 2003 Black Album, the same album which features the original “Encore,” kept him motivated during his first presidential run.
“There’s a line in there, ‘Treat my first as my last and my last as my first and my thirst is the same as when I came,’” Obama previously explained. “And I actually kept on listening to that song during the presidency because it was a reminder that — even when you do make it — having a little bit of that sense of still being hungry, still having to work hard, still having to prove something, that’s what keeps propelling you forward.”
Look below to see Andrew Yang as he struggled to name his favorite JAY-Z song.