Comedian DeRay Davis spoke with uInterview about hosting Hip Hop Squares, his favorite contestants, and living with Kevin Hart sleeping on his couch.


Hip Hop Squares was originally conceived and produced in 2012 as a licensed format of classic show Hollywood Squares. VH1 produced this new version with Ice Cube and with Davis as the host. “The major difference is it’s a lot wilder, I like to say,” explained Davis on how this show differs from the original. “It’s just amplified… It’s like if you took all of Hollywood Squares and put them in a rap video. Everyone is animated, everyone is there for the party of the show.”

The show has yet to air, and will be broadcast on VH1 on March 13, but Davis shared one of the best moments caught on film thus far. “I don’t know if I’m giving away too much of it, but Michael Blackson has on that same outfit [as Teyna Taylor in the “Fade” video with Kanye West], I’ll leave it at that.”

“I’m sticking with T-Pain,” he said when asked who the best contestant has been so far. “T-Pain and Young Jock have been by far a couple of favorites, ’cause they are themselves all day.”

Speaking about Ice Cube being an executive producer on the show, Davis says “he does not let anything slip between his fingers.” Davis says the show owes its major launch to Ice Cube. “Yeah, he’ll say, ‘DeRay, be funnier. Do it again, but this time be funny.'”

Davis also spoke about being roommates with Kevin Hart. “He slept on my couch, he was my roommate for about seven months, then he got really rich… It was amazing, he didn’t take up much space.”

Check out the trailer for Hip Hop Squares below, and be sure to tune in to VH1 on March 13 for the premiere.

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Q: How is 'Hip Hop Squares' different than 'Hollywood Squares?' -

The major difference is it's a lot wilder, I'd like to say. Especially the way we're doing it. People are traveling a lot more within the squares. But it's just amplified. It's Hollywood Squares amplified. It's like if you took all the Hollywood Squares and put them in a rap video, how would they act? How would their personalities be in that moment? Remember when Robin Williams was on Hollywood Squares? It's like everyone's animated, everyone's there for the party of the show. Everyone's having a good time. And I think another difference is people forgot how to play tic tac toe nowadays, definitely.

Q: What has been the funniest moment on set? -

I don't know if I'm giving away too much of it, but Michael Blackson. I don't know if you've ever seen Teyana Taylor do the "Fade" video with Kanye West? Yeah Michael Blackson has on that same outfit, in an episode. I'll just leave it like that.

Q: Who have been the best contestants so far? -

Sticking with T-Pain. T-Pain and Young Jack have been, by far, a couple of favorites, because they are themselves all day. Especially after they've been sipping on their favorite pastime. After they get a little loose, they're the two people at the founder's reunion you're like, "where are they at? what are they doing?"

Q: How involved is Ice Cube? -

He's hands-on. I don't know if anybody worked with him, but he does not let anything slip through his fingers, he wants everything perfected, which is why we're having such a huge launch, the way it is, because he wanted to make sure. If you know it's music, you know everything was worked out and mentally he was always ahead of everything else, so he's on the same thing with this. So he's been there. He's coaching, he's Steve Currin. Yeah he'll say, "D-Ray! Be funnier!" "Alright do it again, but this time, be funny!" That's my best ice-cube impersonation right there.

Q: What was it like to live with Kevin Hart? -

Kevin Hart slept on my couch! He was my roommate for about seven months, then he got really rich, and he sent me a couch. No, no, he didn't send me a couch. I want a couch, Kevin. It was amazing. He didn't take up much space.