Knee Brace – [Eshu Tune] (Hannibal Buress)

If you clicked on this article because the figure in the cover art looks like the hilarious and always boundary-pushing comedian Hannibal Buress, you’d be right. Well, you’d be right to an extent because to my recent discovery, he has been making music under the moniker Eshu Tune, and while I hadn’t heard any music before today, I am just now realizing what I have been missing for way too long. Hannibal is from Chicago, but no matter where his home is, I would consider him one of my favorite actors/comedians, and since I knew he has always been a lifelong music fan, his introduction to rapping doesn’t surprise me even slightly.

I want to say his rap skills surprise me, but he is one of those people who just doesn’t stop exuding creativity, so his knowledge of the history of rap along with his artistic track record doesn’t shock me in the slightest. The song that put me onto his music career is called “Knee Brace” produced by Haile Supreme who creates a casual, jazzy foundation that is laidback and relaxed, just like Eshu. In turn, the spitter strolls along the beat with this effortless ease, boasting remarkable bars that I just couldn’t get enough of.

Sure, there are tons of comedic elements to these lines as he uses words I don’t think have ever existed in a rap song like “snollygoster” and “cattywampus”, but even with these laughable moments, he never takes them too far where they distract from his actual rapping abilities. It just feels like comedy is in his DNA and that won’t change, but that doesn’t mean he can’t crack jokes while also putting on an absolute clinic behind the mic. I’ve heard songs that are from meme rappers or comedians before this, but Eshu created this style I had never expected where I can play it and laugh, but I can also enjoy it as a separate musical entity as well.

I think it helps that the production is reminiscent of something Earl Sweatshirt, one of my favorite emcees ever, would jump on and destroy, so it wasn’t a stretch from the songs I’d normally listen to, it just had a unique spin that only Eshu (or Hannibal) could provide. At 39 years old, Eshu Tune proves that if you have a passion, it’s never too late to give it a shot, and when it’s executed as well as “Knee Brace” was, it’s a track I’m going to keep coming back to for as long as it takes him to release even more music like this!