(AllHipHop Features) Cipha Sounds first made a name for himself in entertainment as a DJ and radio personality. New York City woke up to Cipha’s voice for seven years when he sat beside Peter Rosenberg on Hot 97’s The Morning Show.
While being the host of a top rated radio program earned the Bronx native recognition across the globe, Cipha has also spent years elevating his status in the comedy world. His comedic résumé already includes presenting the “Double Stuf Comedy” event and the “Take It Personal” improv show, but the man born Luis Diaz now has a regular stand-up comedy show on the Jay Z led streaming service Tidal.
Cipha’s The No Small Talk Comedy Series follows in the tradition of Russell Simmons’ Def Comedy Jam, P. Diddy’s The Bad Boys of Comedy, and Gabriel Iglesias’ Stand Up Revolution. Each installment features Ciph introducing comedians to a live audience at Manhattan’s popular Comedy Cellar.
Season 2 of No Small Talk hit Tidal on April 1. Subscribers can now watch all 6 episodes on the platform. Chris Distefano, Greer Barnes, Tony Woods, Mike Troy, Mike Yard, and Rory Albanese are among the 18 jokesmiths that hit the stage in NYC.
In this new interview with AllHipHop.com, Cipha Sounds provides details about his comedy career, working with Tidal, getting support from Jay Z, and more.
How did you first get involved in the comedy scene?
I used to say a lot of funny stuff when I was on the radio. People were reacting more to the funny stuff I said than the music, so I started doing it for real.
Which profession do you think is harder to break into, stand-up or radio?
I think radio is harder to get into. There are but only so many radio stations in a market, but you can find comedy shows everywhere. They might not be the greatest, but you gotta get on stage to get better.
What has been the response from viewers for No Small Talk?
So far the viewers have given me nothing but great feedback.
A video posted by Cipha Sounds (@ciphasounds) on
You’ve talked about how you hand picked the comedians to appear on the show. What do you look for in a potential comic when selecting the line-up?
I look for the type of comedians that can work in any type of room. I like comedians that appeal to all audiences. Oh, and ones that also wanna be my friend… I don’t have many friends.
In your opinion, what are the benefits of having No Small Talk run exclusively on Tidal?
Tidal is a dope ass platform. The quality is amazing. I feel like I am in an exclusive club on Tidal. It’s the new wave. Look, Tidal has Beyoncé, Kanye, Rihanna, and then me. You see me?
Your show is available on Tidal and you’re currently managed by Roc Nation. How involved is Jay Z in your career?
Jay is my mentor alongside OG Juan. They looked out for me numerous times in my life. They take my word in that comedy is a world they need to be in. It’s not their main focus yet, but I will make it a huge part of the ROC soon.
Do you have any interest in returning to radio in any form?
As of right now I don’t. I don’t have anything against it, and I miss certain aspects of it, but I like living on the edge. Leaving a great career to start at the bottom of another is exciting. Excitement is my drug… Adrenaline b-tches!
Stand-up comedians often move into the film industry. Can we expect to see Cipha Sounds in a comedic movie in the near future?
Oh yeah, that has always been a dream of mine. I don’t want to be a movie star. I want to be that actor that’s in everything and when people see you they say sh-t like, “Yo, you’re that guy that slapped J. Lo’s ass in that movie.” Then they start saying the sh-t you said in the movie. You know, real annoying sh-t in public.
A video posted by Cipha Sounds (@ciphasounds) on
Who would you put on the Mount Rushmore of stand-up comedians?
Dave Chappelle. He can rock any crowd. He still loves the art form 100%. He can rock for hours and hours on stage. He will take a regular conversation you have had and go on stage and make that sh-t the funniest comedy bit ever.
Patrice O’Neal, R.I.P. He would spit the truth in the funniest ways possible. He would make a comedy club almost uncomfortable at times with the truth, but then bring it all the way back from the depths of uncomfortable and make it the funniest show ever.
Louis C.K. The guy is a killer on stage and was coming up with new hours every year. That is very hard to do. But I also like him cause he doesn’t give a sh-t about being the “man” in the industry. He does what the f-ck he wants. It’s impressive.
Jerry Seinfeld. We all know the obvious things that he’s done to change the game. What I like about him is that even though he is rich and famous, he still wants to get on stage all the time and tell jokes – write jokes from scratch, get on stage and tell them, fix and edit them, and then try them again.
From your experience, which rappers do you think would make great stand-up comedians?
Rappers that would be great stand ups are obviously N.O.R.E., Ghostface Killah, Styles P, T-Pain, Lil Jon, Action Bronson, Cam’ron, and Biggie… R.I.P.
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Stream Cipha Sounds’ The No Small Talk Comedy Series on Tidal.
Watch the trailer for season 2 of The No Small Talk Comedy Series below.