Affion Crockett Speaks On In the Flow, Dave Chappelle & More + Footage of Him Impersonating Jay-Z and Drake Live!

I actually spoke to Affion Crockett at one of the Charlie Mack Party 4 Peace events in Philly not too long ago. Now, we have Affion on the phone chatting about his hilarious new show, In the Flow, being an army brat, Dave Chappelle, impersonations and more. Plus we have video footage of him impersonating Jay-Z and Drake live in Philly, hilarious! I definitely respect this man a lot more after talking to him; his grind and hustle are unmatched in comedy right now and you can tell he's passionate about what he does. Audio, transcripts, and video after the jump!
iSocialite's Jasmine Whaley on the phone with Affion Crockett:
iS: In coming up with the concept of creating the show, what was your primary goal or focus with your skits? Is there a purpose or was it just for laughs?

AC: It depends on the sketch. Like sometimes, I wanna have a purpose and a message or other times I wanna be straight funny. The most important thing to me is to make sure my audience is satisfied—my true fans. Not the new ones that wanna come on and just 
criticize. The fans that’ve been rockin' with me since Wild’n Out, throughout the internet..i just wanna make sure that voice is still there and it’s not watered down. 

iS: What is the key to your comedic strategy, like what makes you go "ahh, this never fails?"

AC: If it makes me laugh when I first think of it, it’s pretty much “Oh I’m gonna do it.” That hasn’t failed me to date. If I laugh out loud when I think of an idea, then I’m doing it. Like one of the ones I did that with was Highlight, the twilight parody. And I said okay, this really makes me laugh, I wanna do it. And then, we did it.

iS: Do you think there's some sort of universal concept that makes people laugh?

AC: Yeah. I don’t care what race you are, what age you are, we all laugh at stuff that’s based on reality, that’s relatable, that’s based on truth, or familiarity. 

iS: You always mention that you were an army brat, how does that whole lifestyle play a role in your comedy?

AC: It helps you learn people. All you do as an army brat is you move around every 3 or 4 years to a different place and you gotta meet new people all the time. In doing that, you gotta learn what makes people tick and how to relate in different cultures and different environments and so I think that’s what helps me relate to a mass amount of people.

iS: So how exactly did the show come about? I saw that Jamie Foxx is the executive producer, that’s a major co-sign.

AC: I went to Fox independently of Jamie, well actually [we both went to Fox individually], we both had the idea to do a sketch show. I actually had the content and the material to show the network and Jamie just had an idea. He didn’t know exactly what it was going to look like though. So when they saw me come in with all the material, they were like "oh okay, we should just merge the two ideas together and have Jamie put his name on it." So I ended up producing the show, and he's the executive producer—it’s like a partnership.

iS: You're pretty much the king of impersonations. Have you ever done an impersonation of a rapper and thought “aww man, maybe I shouldn’t have messed with them?” or even any celebrity that you've impersonated.

AC: Nah, I pretty much try to keep it respectful for the most part when I do impressions of people. Most of them love what I do. So, I just do it.

iS: So how do you come up with which celebrities to impersonate? The celebrities you do impersonate are perfect, pretty much.

AC: [It's usually] based off of if I feel like I can look like the person. Cuz to me, an impression is cool if you just do the voice, but it’s even better if you can transform into the person and actually look like them--that actually takes people into a different level of the impression. I feel like if I can get the look down packed and the voice, then that’s what i'll do.
iS: In the first episode we saw hilarious cameos from Donnell Rawlings (Ashy Larry), Sam Jackson, Russell Simmons, what was it like working with those guys in this type of setting?

AC: It was natural and very supportive. To know that I got support from guys that I look up to and respect and i'm a fan of, it just gave me more confidence to just keep doing my thing and it let me know that this show is much needed and it’s a hit. I knew the fans would love it. To see those guys on the show, it was really the ultimate co-sign.

iS: Is there anyone that you haven’t done an impressation video of that you wanted to?

AC: No not yet, I pretty much study people as I go and if I feel like there's a new person that I wanna nail then I just try it. But pretty much everyone that I wanted to do so far, i've done it.

iS: In the show, you had a skit where Dave Chappelle had called you to support your show. Did you actually have a talk with him at all?

AC: No, never. Well, not never. We met back in the day when I was doing standup, but no. What I did with that sketch was I wanted to address the comparisons people were going to give between my show and his. I wanted to imagine what that phone call would sound like. I would imagine, it’s kinda like the song “Light Up” with Jay-Z and Drake. Where Jay-Z starts giving Drake some things to look out for. “Watch for the traitors,” and all that kinda stuff. So I wanted to imagine that as a phone call from Dave Chappelle telling me what pitfalls to look out for-- but of course it has to be comedic. So I had him say some crazy stuff.

iS: When you began doing your YouTube videos, was having your own show your long term goal or were you just doing it for fun at the time?

AC: No, it definitely was a goal of mine to do it. The reason I went to YouTube so heavy was because people were telling me no, they didn’t wanna give me my own show so I just went ahead and started producing my own stuff online and that’s what got me the show.

iS: Have you faced any challenges so far with being a mainstream comic with his own TV show?

AC: Uhm, no. It is what it is. I don’t get caught up in what critics say. All I know is, the minute the show aired on the east coast, Twitter was on fire; that thing was trending, people were lighting me up like "Yo! this [show] is hilarious," and they enjoyed it. Too often people are focusing on who's hating on you. I’m like "nah, I’m not doing that." There are true fans that I have out there and those are the people that I cater to—as long as I’m feeding them and they’re loving it, that’s all I care about. It was crazy! Twitter was crazy the whole time and when it got to the west coast, same thing happened; it started trending again. People were like "Yo I can't believe this, this is a great show." So, no challenges for me.

iS: Are you working on any other side projects besides the show?

AC: Well I’m writing films, and I plan on tackling that whole medium, but right now we’re just pushing the show. Making sure we have the best look on that.

iS: What kind of legacy and impression do you want to leave behind with your comedy and this show?

AC: I just wanna be known as a guy who's a great artist and really appreciates the comedians and sketch actors that came before him and that I did it at a top level. I kept it true—I didn’t sell out, I didn’t water it down. I just wanna be respected for what I do.. and that’s it.

iS: Anything else you wanna let the fans know?

AC: They have to watch the show live! They gotta watch it every Sunday, the next 4 Sundays at 9:30. It shouldn’t be too hard to do. It’s only 4 more shows left, we only had 6. DVR is cool, but it’s better to watch it live so I can get them ratings.

iSocialite: Affion Crockett Interview with Jasmine Whaley by isocialitemedia

Affion Crockett imitates Jay-Z as part of the,"That's Rocawear," campaign.

In the Flow comes on Fox, Sundays at 9:30PM est.
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