For this week's Mahal, I was invited to see Slick Eastwood perform his comedy act in Bushwick, Brooklyn. A few days later, Slick and I met up again in Downtown Manhattan to lurk the streets and discuss his creative process.
VICE: Where do you find inspiration for your jokes?
Slick Eastwood: All my comedy comes from real-life situations. For example: dollar pizza. Have you ever ordered dollar pizza, eaten the dollar pizza, and it taste like a dollar bill? That shit is funny to me. Another one is Little Caesar's. I hate Little Caesar's. Everyone knows it tastes like cheesy board. However, when I'm high, I am like, "What the fuck? This shit is five dollars? Let me get three of them shits!" You have to take things from real life. Take panhandling. There was a point in my life when I was homeless, but I never panhandled. It's getting beyond the point where your just giving people money. Now, they will go up to you and ask you for a MetroCard swipe. What if the same person that you just swiped on to the train just killed a whole family at the neighborhood chicken spot? Now you go to jail. Why? Because you just swiped a getaway MetroCard. That's actually from a true story. I was sitting in an empty Subway car, and this giant panhandling man, dressed in the most fucked up clothes you've ever seen, came in and gently sat down on my lap and crossed his legs. He says, "The craziest shit just happened to me. A group of ninjas killed my family at the chicken spot. So, I need five dollars so I can take karate lessons." I come up with the stuff, tell it to my friends, and then write it in this little book right here.
Why Taylor Swift?
I'm not gonna lie. I am not usually into pale-skinned women, but she is top shelf. Not only is she young, but she always has the best stuff. She made a better album than Kendrick Lamar. Not even Adele did that. Plus, I just liked the notebook. It's peaceful.
How do you usually plan your sets?
Usually, when you do open mics, you get five minutes. I usually have about five subjects I want to talk about. So, crunching that down to five minutes, I have to be able to put the joke out there and move on to the next with transitions. It's not like Bill Cosby where they have 40 minutes to explain why the fuck their kids are getting beat. I just have to bust them out. I'm not Bill Cosby.
How has your Jamaican heritage influenced your act?
I can plug my Jamaican background into pretty much all of my jokes. One that I am working on right now is the way Jamaicans communicate with women. When a dude sees a girl, usually they will just label the girl and be like, "What up, you fat-booty bitch?" Then the girl will be thinking, Oh my god, I'm not a female anymore I'm just a booty bitch. But, when a Jamaican addresses you, you know he is talking to you. He will describe your whole outfit. He will tell you, "Miss, see you now in the pink shirt. Me see ya now." If you have a pink shirt on, a green bag, or your hair is fucked up, he will say all of that. "Babylove in the pink shirt with the fucked up hair though, hear me now." And he will tell you that you look good, even if you knew it already. But yeah, things like that and my mom having six jobs. You know what I mean? Typical Jamaican stuff.
You recently finished up college. What was that like?
For me, college was like a high school that you pay for. These are things that you probably learned in high school, but you may have forgot, so you have to learn again. But now they are charging you for it. I mainly went there to meet people. Nowadays, you can have ten degrees, but if you don't know anybody, you ain't getting a job. So that was what that was all about, but pretty much I just went to college to pick up a drug habit.
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
I'm about to go to Florida and put the comedy thing down for the summer and just learn Jiu-Jitsu and work on my new movie I am writing called, Bulletproof Du-rags. Look out for that one. And I am just going to be doing what I do. Nah'mean, nah'm sayin'?
Photos and words by Taji Ameen
Special thanks to Shafiq Hernandez
Taji's Mahal - The Serra Brothers