ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt, emboldened by legends like the late Stuart Scott, has always infused his sports commentary with hip-hop references. After hearing the unfortunate news of the death of the A Tribe Called Quest great Phife Dawg, Van Pelt shared a story on Twitter that illustrated where his love for hip-hop and Phife Dawg’s love for sports intersected in a heartwarming way.
Van Pelt met Phife in 2013 in New Orleans during the weekend of the Super Bowl and took the chance meeting as an opportunity to share with the five-footer that, for his entire television broadcasting career, he used his verse from “Buggin’ Out” (“Yo, microphone check one, two, what is this? The five-foot assassin with the roughneck business…“) to check his microphone levels. Every time.
Fast forward to Phife performing on stage in front of throngs of fans. “Buggin’ Out” gets cued up, and he calls SVP out on stage to perform with him, making a lasting memory that will likely never fade. Van Pelt had the opportunity to return the favor — read the tweets below for the full story — but it is clear that this gesture meant a great deal to him.