Ness Lee On Being Tricked Into Battling Sacha Baron Cohen For 'Who Is America?'

Hip Hop made its way onto the political satire TV show.

(AllHipHop News)Who Is America? is comedic gold. Senator Bernie Sanders, former Vice President Dick Cheney, Georgia State Representative Jason Spencer, and vanquished Senate candidate/accused pedophile Roy Moore have all been victims of masterful pranks by Sacha Baron Cohen.

The British comedian's new Showtime series doesn't just go viral for faux interviews with politicians. In one episode, Cohen (as the character Dr. Nira Cain-N’Degeocello) took part in a battle rap event in Atlanta.

ATL spitter Jeron "Ness Less" Thomas was the person that faced off against Cain-N’Degeocello for John John Da Don's BullPen league. Apparently, the match was set-up as a legitimate battle.

"Showtime contacted [John John] about me battling. He said it would be a weird battle. I would be battling a college professor," Less told Vulture. "They said cameras would be following him around for the next few weeks as he delved into the urban culture. He’s a super-far leftist and he really wanted to indulge in a life with the people he fought for for so long. So I’m like, 'Okay, I guess we could do that.'"

Lee says the production paid him the amount he requested to take the battle. He claims they even "shorted" him around four dollars to keep up the appearance that the documentary was a college-related project that just happened to make it onto the premium cable channel.

A member of the Showtime staff, who was also a friend of Lee, saw an early screening of the Who Is America? episode. The staffer sent Lee a vague message that his lyrical clash with a "Jewish guy" was going to be a huge moment.

"The day that the show premiered, he hit me back on Twitter and said, 'Yo, it was Borat that you battled!' I was like, 'What!!!!'" recalled Lee. "I thought it was cool and dope. I’m a big fan of Sacha Baron Cohen. But I watched the first episode and I got terrified. Absolutely terrified."

Ness Lee continued, "I thought he was going to make me look crazy. But I came out looking okay. I don’t know the real answer as to why, so I’m just gonna make myself believe that Sacha’s actually a fan of mine, and that’s why I got a decent edit."

Who Is America? airs Sundays at 10 pm ET on Showtime. Past episodes can be streamed at Showtime.com.

Comments