Andrew Yang Says He's a Jay-Z Fan, Awkwardly Raps 'Encore' Lyrics

Andrew Yang, who is bidding to become the next Mayor of New York City, rapped a line from Jay-Z's "Encore" in an awkward moment on camera this week.

Appearing on comedian Ziwe Fumudoh's show, the Democrat was quizzed about his taste in music.

Yang, 46, replied that he "listened a lot" to hip hop during the 1990s and 2000s, and named New Yorker Jay-Z among his favorite artists.

Asked to name his favorite song by the man who produced hits such as "99 Problems," "Can I Get A..." and "Izzo (H.O.V.A.)," he hesitated at first but then launched into a rap.

Here's the initial exchange:

Ziwe: "Do you listen to rock music by the way, like what are you vibing to?"

Yang: "I listened a lot to hip-hop during like the '90s and 2000s because..."

Ziew: "Like what, like what Andrew - I gotta know."

Yang: "Well, it was Jay-Z and a little bit of Nas."

Ziwe: "What's your favorite Jay-Z song? I mean he's a New Yorker."

Yang: "What is my favorite Jay-Z song? It's..."

A short clip of the exchange, shared on Ziwe's official Twitter account, has been viewed more than 1.2 million times since it was posted on Saturday.

In that clip, Yang appears to struggle to name a song. But in the full show, after a brief pause, the mayoral candidate rapped a line of Jay-Z's "Encore."

i asked new york mayoral candidate andrew yang what his favorite jay z song is pic.twitter.com/UV8tQJXta1

— ziwe (@ziwe) May 22, 2021

"Can I get an encore, do you want more?" he said, before clarifying that he specifically likes the mash-up with Linkin Park's song "Numb."

Asked if his favorite Jay-Z song is a rock song, Yang said it was "the first one that came to mind" and also cited Jay-Z's work with Kanye West, which was given the radio-friendly title "Fellas In Paris."

Some Twitter users pointed out that they too would struggle to name the title of tracks by their favorite artists.

However, Seth Rogen, the actor and cannabis salesman, commented on Ziwe's clip, writing: "I feel like he was literally asking someone else to tell him what his fav J song is."

Responding to the video on Instagram, filmmaker Jordan Fudge joked: "He said Jay Z and Nas bro def wears adidas and nikes at the same time."

While Benito Skinner, AKA Benny Drama, wrote simply: "Omg."

The exchange comes roughly a month before the Democratic mayoral primary on June 22 (ahead of the general election on November 2).

Yang, who also ran in the 2020 Democratic presidential primaries, is the bookmakers' favorite for the Democratic nomination and his celebrity has found him to be a frequent headline-maker.

With the race in the closing stages, however, he faces competition from Democratic rivals: retired police officer Eric Adams, Scarlett Johansson-favorite Scott Stringer, and activist lawyer Maya Wiley.

One poll in mid-May put Brooklyn Borough President Adams ahead of Yang by 3-points.

The survey, conducted by Change Research, found 19 percent of New York voters who took part supported Adams, while 16 percent sided with Yang.

Stringer was on 9 percent, while Wiley and former New York City Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia both received 7 percent.

More than one in five (22 percent) of those who took part in the survey said they were undecided.

Correction 5/23/21, 12:50 p.m. ET: This article and headline were updated to reflect that Andrew Yang rapped a line from Jay-Z's "Encore" and to better illustrate the full exchange between Yang and Ziwe.

Andrew Yang, New York City Mayoral candidate
New York City Mayoral candidate Andrew Yang speaks at a press conference in New York City on January 14, 2021. The former presidential candidate appeared to come unstuck when asked for his favorite Jay-Z song. Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images