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Heavy Rotation with Brandon Wardell


Words by Daniel Isenberg (@StanIpcus)

“I feel like there’s a 70 percent chance that Drake knows who I am.” That quote pretty much sums up how popping Los Angeles-based comedian Brandon Wardell pictures himself at the moment—which seems accurate. His Twitter timeline is littered with viral memes and verified-to-verified interactions (most recently Jhene Aiko), he’s IRL friends with rappers like Heems and Asher Roth, and he’s been seen doing stand up on Viceland and Comedy Central (he also hosts a Hot Takes show on CC’s Snapchat channel).

So—if he hasn’t already—it’s only a matter of time before Drake catches wind of Wardell’s bit about What A Time To Be Alive or the OVO “Work” video sweatsuit style he served up at the MTV Movie Awards and deems himself a superfan across all social media channels. But until then, consider Brandon Wardell a rising comedic star with hip-hop head sensibility and a look that he’s jokingly described as “an anime character,” or even better, “What a Japanese businessman jerks off to.”

For this edition of Heavy Rotation, we connected with Brandon to discuss what songs he’s been listening to lately when he’s “extremely off the kush.” Coincidentally, he has his own “Heavy Rotation” Spotify playlist, and he was more than happy to share his faves from it. Read all about them below.

1. Owl City “Fireflies”

Brandon Wardell: “I was at a party a couple weeks ago where we were playing a lot of ironic cuts, and this girl mark Johns—she’s a singer who’s really good that’s signed to OWSLA—was like, ‘Play ‘Fireflies’ by Owl City.’ And I forgot how much that song goes. It’s like so corny that it’s actually fucking amazing. So I was listening to it that night and going off. And I started playing it every time I do a fake DJ set.*

“So I was playing it [the other] night, and I posted some dumb Owl City meme. And in the morning, I couldn’t stop thinking about ‘Fireflies’ by Owl City. So I kept posting Owl City memes. And then I posted a tweet:

“And Jhene Aiko replied to that, ‘Yes, Owl City has major major bars.’ [Laughs.] Then I retweeted it, and kept tweeting about ‘Fireflies’ by Owl City, like five tweets. Then she replied, ‘We’re best friends now because ‘Fireflies’ is the GOAT.’

“She followed me like two days [before that], and I was really excited. We DM’d a little bit, and then the ‘Fireflies’ thing happened. So basically, I’m in love. A first dance at a wedding to ‘Fireflies’ by Owl City with me and Jhene—that’s my dream.”

*ip’s note – In addition to comedy, Brandon sometimes “fake DJs” under the alias Teen Party.

2. Mac Miller ft. Anderson .Paak “Dang!”

“It’s just really smooth. It’s a good ‘day soundtrack’ song. I tweeted that ‘Mac Miller used to be a human snapback that made music for high school lacrosse kids, then he got sad and did drugs and started making amazing songs.’ And he retweeted it. He follows me on Instagram but not on Twitter. And I’m not mad, but it’s like, follow me on both platforms. Follow me on the platform where I thrive the most, follow me on Twitter. I don’t know what you’re doing Mac, follow me on both.

“I was a fan post-Macadelic. I would always dismiss him before. There’s sort of a thing that if you’re a white rap fan, you don’t want to like white rappers. I think it’s an insecurity thing. I think Action Bronson doesn’t really get any of that flack, but everyone else has to sort of do the ‘winning over’ thing. But I’m a big Mac Miller fan. And I want him to follow me on Twitter, not just Instagram.

“Oh shit! I’m scrolling through my mentions right now on Twitter, and talking about ‘Fireflies’ and Mac Miller, I didn’t know he did a remix of ‘Fireflies’ in the early days. Somebody just linked it to me. That’s wild. [Laughs.]”

3. Francis and the Lights ft. Bon Iver “Friends”

“I heard Kanye was in the video, so I was like, ‘I gotta watch this.’ And then I watched it, and it’s a beautiful song. I’ve been listening to it over and over. The interesting thing about Francis and the Lights is they were big in 2010, and they went on tour with Drake. Then, I didn’t hear anything from them for years. Then all of sudden they were on Chance the Rapper’s album, and then this came out, so it’s like they’re having a real renaissance right now.”

4. Ramriddlz ft. Nemesis “Call Me”

“He sings about sex in a very funny way. He’s super young, and he’ll use words like ‘weener’ and ‘ding dong.’ You can tell he’s a young kid who’s not jaded yet, and clearly started having sex within the past year. [Laughs.] He’s so obsessed with the idea of tits and pussies in a very funny way, like, ‘Oh, this guy just started doing this and he loves it.’ And it’s all super dancehall, and I’m just very down.

“The production value for the ‘Call Me’ video is up significantly [from ‘Sweeterman’], but he still has a huge shit-eating grin on his face, doing sensual stuff with pineapples—it’s just really silly. I appreciate him because he’s really fun.”

5. Popcaan “Love Yuh Bad”

“He says, ‘Your pussy’s pretty like the buildings in Canada,’ which is such a wide geographical range. [Laughs.] I guess Toronto has really beautiful architecture, but saying ‘buildings in Canada’ is so fucking funny. But it’s also an amazing song, and Drake samples it on ‘Too Good.’

“I was staying with Heems in Long Island, and I had three sets in Brooklyn that night. And he was driving me. So we were driving around talking about Views because it just came out, and he was like, ‘Have you heard the song Drake sampled on ‘Too Good?’’ He played it, and it was amazing. And one of the first lines was, ‘Your pussy’s pretty like the buildings in Canada.’ And I was like, ‘Okay, I’m in.’”

*Bonus* French Montana ft. Drake “No Shopping”

“In regards to ‘No Shopping,’ I was disappointed that the video wasn’t just the mustache part. The funny mustache golfing scene with the accents and shit. That shit was hilarious, then it cuts back into a ‘Pop That,’ Bad Boy style music video again, and it’s a bunch of butts. Which I feel like I’m pretty desensitized to butts. [Laughs.] I’ve seen enough butts to where it’s like, ‘This isn’t titillating.’ I’m not watching this video being like, ‘Oooh la la, butts! Very sexy, ah yes. I love these big booty bikini women.’ I’m just like, ‘Go back to the mustaches. Go back to this French Montana and Drake sketch comedy.’ I want the video to just be that.”

Follow Brandon Wardell on Twitter.


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One Response to “Heavy Rotation with Brandon Wardell”

  1. King James Says:

    Pic screams fuck boy

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