Free Daps & free laughs: rap comedians improvise

By Farah Bassyouni Sep 18, 2023

From killer rhymes to fun times, comedy skit group Free Daps delivered an entertaining experience last Friday, September 8 at the Hansen Student Center. 

Illinois Wesleyan welcomed Free Daps, a comedy rap group that utilizes improvisatory rap techniques. With free Insomnia cookies for audiences, two enthusiastic performers asked audience members to hold up miscellaneous objects before the performance began.

This show was special in the sense that it required an upfront explanation. Even though it was advertised as a comedy rap show, most of the audience didn’t know what to expect from the upcoming performance. 

Starting off with close interactions, the performers began to rap based on observations about the audience. Squeezing through the crowd, the rappers commented on people’s appearances. Poking fun at himself, one rapper said that a girl’s sweatshirt was the only thing in the room whiter than him. The other connected with an audience member with a beard that supposedly resembled Abraham Lincoln’s facial hair. 

Impressing the audience with their rhymes, the rappers wanted to prove that their free styling skills were genuine. After all, they claimed that they “could have generated  responses about the audience prior to the show while people were grabbing cookies and light refreshments.”

 To prove their talent on the spot, they asked the audience to hold up miscellaneous objects that would be included in the night’s content. Among the objects displayed were airpods that prompted jokes about wealth and lighters that implied having too much of a fun time. 

Other objects included cell phone cases, pens and Illinois Wesleyan ID’s that had names containing difficult rhymes. This led to another segment of the night: rhyming all of the audience’s names. The performers went up to onlookers, coining the phrase “What’s your name,” to which a response was muttered into the microphone. 

They even went to the extent of traveling to the second floor of Hansen Student Center upstairs to ensure ultimate audience inclusion. After walking up the stairs a couple of times, jokes about one of the rapper’s exercise regimens ensued.

Following the name section, a volunteer was brought onto the stage. An audience member /was asked a few questions about their life. Each response was recorded on a soundboard that repeated the answers back robotically in a hilarious tone, one that resembles the dog with the broken voice box in the Pixar movie Up.

The show shifted from audience participation to a rap battle, and then the rappers battled against each other. Asking the audience about their favorite food, the rappers competed the rhyming competition with the questions about the audience’s favorite food. Between chicken wings vs. chicken nuggets, cream puffs vs. pizza and sushi vs. potatoes, it was a tough decision to crown the victor. With the help of an audience member, it was determined that the rapper advocating for cream puffs, chicken wings and potatoes won.

More audience members were allowed to join the stage after the food wars. Four members from the audience were selected to join the rappers on stage based on their willingness to party. They were asked to dance until the music stopped. Then, the rappers riddled off jokes about the dancers’ paused positions looking like they were throwing their backs out, cleaning or rejecting an ex-boyfriend. 

The rappers asked an audience member to name their favorite animal: a dog. In their show, the “dog” had become a popular tik tok trend to which a fan would perform in front of everyone and have the four dancers on stage copy. Evan, the Abraham Lincoln-look alike, was invited to mimic the “dog.” He waved his hands in front of his face to mimic paws and those behind him copied the gesture.

Next, a final group of eight volunteers were asked to assist in the last activity of the night. Each of the eight had to list a word in which the rappers had to rhyme. They came up with scoliosis, potato, white board, envelope, recycle, batman, physics, and equality. 

With witty words on each topic, the rappers concluded the night rhyming “this” and “scoliosis.” The audience clapped, cheered and were welcomed to stay and chat while the soundboard played the performers off of the stage.

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