Dave Chappelle was a guest on The Tonight Show Friday, and among the many topics he and Jimmy Fallon discussed – Chappelle’s nine-show run at Radio City Music Hall, being mistaken for a member of The Roots – it’s Chappelle’s recollections of the first time he met Kanye West that are getting passed around, largely because of how perfectly Kanye-esque they are.
Chappelle actually provided West with his first appearance on television, in 2003. (The episode aired in March of 2004.) At the time, West was an unknown, but that didn’t stop him from behaving like the Kanye we all know.
Jay Z‘s Black Album had just been released, and Chappelle, Common, Talib Kweli and West were listening to it at Chappelle’s studio. On track 12 of the album (“Lucifer”), Jay says, “Kanyeezy, you’s a genius. You did it again!” At that point, Chappelle says, “Kanye stood up. First time he spoke all day, and he goes, ‘Stop the record! And rewind that.’ ”
Later, Chappelle invited the group to watch some unaired sketches, and he recounts overhearing the following exchange when West answered his phone.
“‘Hello? No, I can’t. Because I’m at the edit for the Dave Chappelle Show, watching sketches that no one’s seen before.’ ”
“‘Cause my life is dope, and I do dope sh––.’ And he hung up,” Chappelle finishes.
That story is almost 11 years old, and it sounds like it could have happened yesterday.
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