As rap has come up from the underground over the past few decades to become a ubiquitously accessible musical genre, people who once wouldn’t have been allowed to pick up a mic have whole-heartedly embraced the genre and have even gone on to make rap more than just a hobby.
Count among them The Lonely Island—a Bay Area-based comedy trio made up of Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone—who have parlayed their stint as writers and stars of Saturday Night Live to a now three-albums-deep music career. The guys, who built a fan foundation while at SNL by producing viral Digital Shorts, have gone on to work with heavyweight artists like Kendrick Lamar, T-Pain and Snoop Dogg, and producers like T-Minus, No I.D. and Needlz.
In light of the release of the trio’s third LP The Wack Album, which drops next Tuesday, The Lonely Island sat down with a roundtable of press outlets including XXL to talk about Bay Area rap, writing a song with Kendrick Lamar and respecting hip-hop.