Two things that I love unconditionally: 1) Stories about eccentric musicians, as told and/or reenacted by Dave Chappelle; and 2) Stories about Kanye West, as told or reenacted by anyone. In the first category, we have the famous Rick James and Prince sketches from Chappelle’s Show. In the second, we have lots, most notably Aziz Ansari’s story about the time he hung out at Kanye’s house and walked in to find him silently bumping along on the couch to his own album. (Posted below.)
But today is a great day because now those two things have been welded together by the gods and presented to us as a gift. At a recent stop in Illinois on the much-discussed Oddball Comedy and Curiosity Festival, Chappelle told this story about the time Kanye performed on Chappelle’s Show just as he was starting to blow up, and it is just perfect. Enjoy.
Last time I was in Chicago, Kanye gave me tickets to the Watch the Throne tour, now we’re even. He owed me that though.
The first time Kanye West was on television was on the Chappelle’s Show. It was the week that The Black Album came out. I’ll never forget. We were all sitting in the trailer listening to The Black Album, and Jay-Z says on the record, “Kanyeezy, you’s a genius. You did it again,”* and Kanye stopped the tape and pressed rewind.
He had that energy. You knew he was gonna be somebody. And then they did the show, him and Common did it. And you remember that song The Food? “You love to hear the story, again and again. About those two brothers from the City of Wind.”
The crowd, “EGHHHHHHHEEE.” Motherf*ckers go nuts. I said, “Hey Kanye, look, we’re going back to the studio. We got to edit some sketches, but if you want, you can come with us and check out some of the stuff we’re working on.” He says, “Oh that’d be great!”
He comes to the studio we’re all sitting and there watching all these crazy sketches. Nobody had seen any of this sh*t before. It was Rick James, all that sh*t. All on there. It’s on footage, we was all cracking up and then in the middle of it all, Kanye’s phone rings. This is when I knew he was gonna be famous.
He answers the phone, he goes, “Hello. Huh? What? Uh uh, I can’t. I can’t. Cause, I’m at Dave Chappelle’s show watching sketches that nobody’s ever seen before.”
And then he says, “Cause my life is dope, and I do dope sh*t,” and then he hung up the phone.
For those of you keeping score at home, this is now the number two Most Kanye West story ever, sliding in just behind this paragraph from his 2010 cover story in XXL:
“How many times have people taunted me because of a color that I had on or how tight my pants were? It’s nothing. I’m at the point now where I can go to ABC Carpet and spend five hours picking out sheets, ’cause I love colors, like teal and taupe and salmon … When I visited Wayne at Rikers Island, I had a suit on with some slippers, and the guard said, ‘Man, those shoes are amazing.’ And I said, ‘Yes, they are. I’m Kanye West.'”
The more I think about it, the more I desperately want that Kanye West version of Curb Your Enthusiasm.
(via Spin) (via Getty Image)