In a few years’ time, Druski has ascended from your favorite rapper’s favorite Instagram comedian to budding actor and mogul in the making. With more in store for 2024, he continues to get the last laugh.
Interview: C. Vernon Coleman II
Editor’s Note: This story appears in the Spring 2024 issue of XXL Magazine, on stands now.

Sometimes, one doesn’t have to be a rapper, producer or record exec to be a popular hip-hop figure. Enter Drew “Druski” Desbordes, a social media comedian-turned-multihyphenate entertainer who’s become a massive figure in the culture. It all started in 2017, when the Atlanta native first began pumping out LOL-inducing skits on Instagram. He soon gained a modest audience, which included an assortment of rappers, who chuckled over Druski’s sketches before reposting them to their vast followings.

Over the next several years, the comic grew his online fan base, garnering fame while also befriending some of rap’s biggest names. He ended up making cameos in Drake’s “Laugh Now, Cry Later,” Lil Yachty’s “Oprah’s Bank Account” and Jack Harlow’s “Tyler Herro” videos. Druski even joined some artists on tour as a stand-up act opening for Jack Harlow, J. Cole, Lil Baby and Chris Brown. The funny guy also began putting rappers in some of his sketches.

In between touring, video appearances and creating comedy content, Druski founded Could Been Records, a fictional label he created to get his kicks off playing the role of the sleazeball music exec in sketches. Over the years, it has turned into a talent-finding venture and imprint that is the driving force behind Druski’s brand 4Lifers, including a sports agency. Druski has also amassed over 7 million Instagram followers and collaborated with big-name companies such as Amazon, American Express, Pepsi, Meta and more.

2023 was a banner year for the 29-year-old entertainer, who made his acting debut in the films Praise This and House Party. He also embarked on his sold-out nationwide Coulda Woulda Shoulda stand-up comedy tour. His reality show, Coulda Been House—which is basically Diddy’s Making The Band on laughing gas—debuted this past February and features cameos from Snoop Dogg, Chris Brown, Birdman and more. A second season of the zany talent show is in the works.

XXL spoke with Druski in early February via Zoom, in which he discussed his relationship with hip-hop, his Coulda Been empire, new reality show, acting career and more.

XXL: Starting a little early with it, you grew up in Atlanta.

Druski: I was born in Maryland, but I lived there for one year as a baby, and then we moved to Gwinnett County, Ga., man. So yeah, same place where the Migos from.

How do you feel that the Atlanta scene has molded your comedy?

I feel like Atlanta definitely had a lot to do with it, man. I think being from here and especially in Gwinnett County, it’s so multicultural and there’s so many different ethnicities. Like, being out there, and like Gwinnett County, it’s like half of it damn near the hood, half of it damn near the suburbs. So, it’s a good mixture of everything. I had friends that were more well-off than others. And then I had friends that were living at extended stays. So, it was really...I got to see the best of like both worlds.

Obviously, the Atlanta music scene is big. Did that play a part in helping your comedy coming up as well?

Yeah, that definitely played a part because a majority of the Black success you see coming from Atlanta is in the music industry. I would hang out with a lot of the successful Black people in Atlanta that were in the music industry. They also helped me with a lot of my comedy as well. Just supporting me and reposting when I was on the come up. Without the help of Atlanta in that aspect, I don’t know where I would be.

Going on tour with Jack Harlow early in your career was big for you. You guys also became genuine friends. Why do you think you guys bonded the way you did?

I hit him up like 2019, and I was like, “Bro, you’re hard.” He was like, “That’s crazy, man. I’m moving down to Atlanta. Me and my friends in Kentucky are big fans of your work.” And I was like, “Yeah, when you get here, send me the address.”

I pulled up over there, and we were all chatting. He was like, “Well, I’m going on a small tour.” I was like, “Damn, I actually wrote my goals that I was going to host a tour this year.” He was like, “Nah, that would be perfect. You should host mine.”

We got on a small little tour bus. We were like, taking showers at truck stops and s**t. I even thought about quitting that tour. I’m glad I thugged it out, for sure. I’m glad we made that connection early on. Now, we did magazine covers together, plenty of videos together and we’ve had a lot of success.

You also went on tour with J. Cole, Lil Baby and Chris Brown as an opening act doing comedy. What was the main thing you learned from touring with those artists?

The main thing I learned from those big artists that I went on tour with is work ethic and just having to do it yourself. You know, one day, I always wanted to do my own tour, and I did.

Why do you think you get so much love from the hip-hop community?

I’m a real person, bro. I don’t know. I’m more comfortable around [rap] artists than I am around comedians. And I don’t know if that’s because it’s a competition thing with the comedians and it doesn’t feel like that when I’m around artists. I do feel like I have more of a friendship with a lot of bigger artists and just that community. It just is a natural thing. And I think Coulda Been Records also is one of those things they find so funny that they always want to talk to the CEO.

So, you don’t consider yourself a student of rap?

No. I enjoy all different types of music. I like country music. I like rap. I like R&B. I wouldn’t say like, a student of rap. I don’t sit and watch battle raps. I don’t listen to deep lyricists and stuff.

I used to always watch like Making The Band with P. Diddy, I used to always watch American Idol. That’s kind of like how I developed Coulda Been Records was through watching Making The Band and Simon Cowell on American Idol cussing muthaf**kas out. I always enjoyed the funny parts of both of those shows.

Is Coulda Been Records an official record label?

Yeah, this is very official, man. One of our top things at 4Lifers Entertainment right now is cooking records. That’s the main source of income right now, man. Other than Druski himself with commercials. We went on the Coulda Woulda Shoulda Tour and brought Coulda Been Records to every city right now. We’re doing auditions in every city. And I think we’re going to do some overseas auditions this year on YouTube.

We also shot the TV show Coulda Been House, where I put all the contestants in a house, kind of like Making The Band and American Idol kind of combined. They got to meet a lot of heavy hitters, like Snoop Dogg and Chris Brown. They got to work with some of the top producers. What’s been so special about it, even though as much as it is a joke, we also give an opportunity to people to be seen and also give them money. The next season we’re doing probably Atlanta or Miami. It’s going to get treacherous. It’s going to be funny, man.

The second season is in the works?

Yeah. I think we want to do the reunion first. Maybe. OK, I don’t know if I want to do a reunion, though. I don’t know if I want to, ’cause it was chaos in the house, man. I ain’t trying to have no Bad Girls Club type s**t going on.

You are getting into more acting roles. You’ve been in the new House Party film and Praise This. Were you a little apprehensive at first or did you walk into it like fully confident?

I walked into it fully confident just ’cause it’s like, I seen a lot of like, my peers who are also in comedy do the same thing. Like, just to get to that next level, you have to adapt and learn how to get into these big-time movies and TV. Of course, I’m doing all this stuff on social media, but there’s a whole crowd that may not even know who Druski is that watches movies and television and is not really in tune with the phone world.

Like Chris Tucker, Rush Hour made him become a superstar, even though he had Friday, which was like a hood hit. But he went and did Rush Hour, which was like, people in other countries know him because of that. He’d get off the plane in Asia and they treat him like he Kobe Bryant. That’s really what I’m working towards now. And it’s a process.

You were recently in the 21 Savage: American Dream trailer that everyone thought was for a real film, but it turned out to just be promotional. How did that part come about?

His manager had hit up my people and they just like pretty much casted me for it because they knew that I would be great in it. Just being from Atlanta, they tried to get people that were of the culture to be involved. It ended up being dope. I think it was a great album rollout for him. Donald Glover was in it as well. And the dude [Caleb McLaughlin] from Stranger Things.

He’s a hell of an actor, dawg. They told this dude to act like he was distressed when I was taking his jacket. And he forced himself to cry in like three seconds. When you get around some of these people that are good at what they do, it’s like, Damn, this s**t is real. That kind of like showed me like, OK, when you have that moment, you got to give 110 [percent].

What was the feedback you were getting from the role? Obviously, you’re the bully in the trailer.

People was like, “I was not expecting Druski to be the bully in this,” for sure. And then they were just like, “I don’t know what I would think if this dude was the one holding the gun.” Everybody on Twitter just was talking crazy. And that was the first time I did something serious like that.

Do you see yourself taking on more serious roles?

I don’t like doing no serious s**t like that. I lowkey hate when I see some of my favorite comedic actors do serious s**t. I think my boundaries are definitely staying within the comedic realm.

You’ve been on Forbes 30 Under 30. Do you consider yourself a mogul at this point?

Hell no, not yet. I ain’t achieved enough yet. I think I’ve done some great things, but I have so much more to accomplish, bro. This is still only the beginning, man. I got so much more that I want to do. Like, I can’t even pinpoint what will happen. I don’t know. Only God knows, you know.

Where do you think you stand among the comedians that have come from Instagram and have gone on to do big things?

Best quote I took from Ricky Bobby, I even tatted it on my body: “If you ain’t first, you’re last.”

druski photo
Abiel Garcia

Read Druski's interview in the Spring 2024 issue of XXL Magazine, on newsstands now. The new issue also includes the cover story with Gunna and conversations with Metro BoominDanny BrownTeezo Touchdown42 DuggJim Jones and Maino a.k.a. Lobby Boyz, That Mexican OT41BabyDrillRapsody, actress La La AnthonyBigXthaPlugRob49Reuben Vincent, singer Tyla, actress La La Anthony and producer Tate Kobang. There's also a look at how social networking has a chokehold on rappers' feelings, how hip-hop in 2024 is experiencing more wins than losses, and the ways in which kid rappers are thriving thanks to social media.

See Photos of Gunna's XXL Magazine Spring 2024 Issue Cover Story