Dave Chappelle reveals that he hosted Saturday Night Live to honour A Tribe Called Quest

The decisive factor had a lot to do with Prince, Phife Dawg and A Tribe Called Quest

In a rare interview with CBS News, Dave Chappelle sat down with co-host Gayle King to discuss his reasons behind hosting an episode of Saturday Night Live in December. 

Hip-hop’s most loved comedian reveals that his last-minute decision to host was made after “a perfect storm of circumstances”.

As it turns out, A Tribe Called Quest‘s Q-Tip had persuaded him to commit to the gig out of respect for the late Phife Dawg.

Chappelle tells King, “There was a week a few weeks prior where we were all together and it was a sad occasion. It was Phife Dawg’s funeral. Phife had passed, we all went to the Apollo for Phife’s funeral and the next day, we went to Q-Tip’s house to pay respects. And it was a really warm night. Jack White was there, the RZA from Wu-Tang and D’Angelo.”

He goes on to explain, “That night after Phife’s funeral… Tip played some of the album and it was real moving and hearing Phife’s voice. It was a powerful night. Unbeknownst to us, the night we were altogether, Prince was doing his last concert in Atlanta. A lot of us had tickets to Prince’s show… we’ll just go see him next time. And then there wasn’t a next time.”

On Q-Tip’s influence, the comedian says, “So the album had this idea that we’re all getting in the age where we all lose one another sometimes. So when Q-Tip decided to do this show, he said he wanted me to host… this is the last Tribe album ever. And that was the tipping point. If you really want to honour someone’s legacy, you know…”

Chappelle’s two Netflix exclusives Dave Chappelle: The Age of Spin and Dave Chappelle: Deep in the Heart of Texas will be released on 21 March. In a teaser trailer for both specials, Netflix have used Tribe for the soundtrack.

Watch the emotional video above and read Crack’s feature on Phife Dawg.