Donnell Rawlings

Ashy Larry raps.

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His days at The Chappelle Show—as Ashy Larry and the voice behind its tag line, “I’m rich, beeyatch”—are long over, but Donnell Rawlings hasn’t slowed down. He did a dramatic turn on The Wire, created the Web series From Ashy to Classy, starring his favorite Chappelle character, and most importantly, performed stand-up every chance he got. He headlines Carolines this weekend, but we caught him considering another career.

Shall we get started?
You’re not recording, so I can’t start rapping.

Oh, no, it’s ready. Let’s do this.
This is Donnell, the boss of Time Out / If you didn’t take a fudge then there’ll be no doubt / I can flow like this off the top of the dome / Got the man on the mike in the...huh huh huh huh!

Damn, when does that shit drop?
When the real rappers decide they won’t do it anymore. Or once Lady Gaga tells everybody it’s Your Man Gaga.

You’ll have to go pretty glam to walk a mile in those platforms.
I don’t think that’s ’hood-accepted. Just to maintain my urban-ness, every once in a while I do the “keep it real drive-by.” I go to the barbershops, Chinese restaurants, I do a lot of “Yo yo yo, what up son”s.

You got your start heckling people. Do you still indulge in that?
I retired from heckling after my first time on stage. But I was just talking to Tracy Morgan about comics wasting stage time, who don’t have passion in their performance. So we’re thinking of breaking the rule that comics shouldn’t heckle other comics.

You could do a tour where you invite comics onstage and you two just sit in the front row.
We’ll bill it as the Take It in the Face tour. I think we’ve got a producer on the other line of this call.

Perfect; we’ll sign the contracts later.
You’re white, right? You’re already talking about the deal! I know you want a percentage, but give me the damn money first!

Come on, you can trust me....
I just sent you a link from TMZ. I was going to LAX and I saw them jump out of the car on me.

You look a little annoyed.
But I wasn’t! I had to act like I was cool and they were interrupting my privacy, but on the inside, I’m going, I’m TMZ’d, I’m TMZ’d!

Beyond fame, is there something you want to accomplish in stand-up specifically?
I just want to stay consistent and relevant. When people leave my show, I want them feeling that they hung out with me, that I was the guy at the barbecue who everybody knows can tell the best stories.

On the Take It in the Face tour, we’ll have a barbecue in the rider.
Good thought. I had a lotion rider for years. I requested 20 ounces of lotion on ice. And the funny thing about it was the promoters didn’t get upset; they wanted to racially profile me. They’d say, “Are you sure you don’t want Courvoisier?” I was like, “No, I said Jergens, man.” Then they’d be like, “What the fuck is the ice for?” And I’m like, “ 'Cause I’m ballin’, bitch!”—Matthew Love

Donnell Rawlings plays Carolines Thu 4--Sun 7.

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