In one of his more famous lines from his hit 2015 song “Fragile” featuring Kendrick Lamar, Tech N9ne best summed up the burden of creativity with the line “I’m an artist and I’m sensitive about my shit.”
Comedians, on the other hand, are often marked by their inability to be offended by anything. Sometimes the two worlds don’t blend so well (see Ricky Gervais hosting the Golden Globes for a prime example).
Gary Owen has been famously in tune with Hip Hop, and for that matter Black culture in general. Remember, his big break in comedy was a set on BET’s ComicView.
On his new Showtime special #DoinWhatIDo (which is already the most viewed comedy special on Showtime this year), the Ohio-born comic talks about everything from his friend Kevin Hart to living in a world where being offended has become a way of life.
In an exclusive conversation with HipHopDX, Owen said that while no rappers have ever taken exception to any of his jokes or social media posts, there was one series of tweets that were not received too well by singer/actor Tyrese.
“I’ve never had a rapper get upset at me for anything I’ve said. Even when I did the Tekashi thing on The Breakfast Club, I dressed up like him and I acted like him, but at no point did I say he wasn’t a good rapper or anything like that,” remembered Owen.
“The only person that ever got upset with me over something I said was Tyrese,” he admitted.
The joke seemed fairly innocuous at the time, but needless to say, the Fast & Furious star did not find it funny at all.
“I tweeted two things: One, I said I went and saw Transformers and I kept waiting for Tyrese to give the Decepticons relationship advice on how they could get along with the Autobots, and then I followed it by tweeting that ‘I’m lost if Tyrese such an expert on relationships why is he divorced?’ said Owen. “He didn’t really feel those. Now, if I’m on stage and I say those things it’s funny. That’s how I look at it. I guess that’s just an example of how things come out different on social media.”
Tyrese famously had a short feud with Michael Blackson, which ended up with the two doing a video together on Instagram. Owen speculates that Tyrese was not too receptive to being name-checked by someone he didn’t consider to be an A-lister.
“He got mad and my thing, the reason that when he got upset I didn’t really back down was because the thing I said, if Kevin Hart or Chris Rock or Chappelle would have said the same thing he would have laughed at it,” said Owen. “I think because I said it, in his brain – this is just my guess – he felt that I wasn’t at a level that I could make fun of Tyrese. I don’t have anything bad to say about Tyrese.
“I don’t think he’s a bad guy, but when he came back at me over those tweets I was like ‘you’re really mad about that?’ A tweet that didn’t really get any traction. You’re actually the only one still upset about it.”
Gary Owen’s #DoinWhatIDo is available on Showtime OnDemand or the Showtime app.