Dave Chappelle Nearly Didn’t Perform At Show Because Of Prince’s Death, Calls It The ‘Black 9/11’
Prince Rogers Nelson is known for his incredible songwriting, unbelievable guitar mastery and his wild fashion sense. But one of the most iconic things that he is famous for doesn’t even physically involve him whatsoever. The infamous 2004 Chappelle’s Show skit “Charlie Murphy’s True Hollywood Stories” featuring Charlie Murphy’s crew challenging Prince and The Revolution to a basketball in the greatest shirts versus blouses ever brought Prince a new generation of admirers. Since that hilarious comedy sketch aired, Chappelle and Prince have always been tied as well as friends. In fact, in 2013, Prince dedicated the cover of his song “Breakfast Can Wait” to Chappelle and his skit. So when the stand-up comic found out that Prince had passed away, Chappelle was devastated.
Early Friday morning at around 2 am, Chappelle took the stage at The Chapel in San Francisco and admitted that they death of Prince nearly caused him to cancel the show. “I almost thought about not coming tonight, but my band was like, ‘Yo, Prince would definitely not condone that.’ And now there is no place I’d rather be,” the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
From Rolling Stone:
The four-hour set turned into a memorial of sorts for the Purple Rain icon as Chappelle’s backing band performed renditions of “Kiss” and “Nothing Compares 2 U.” With the venue bathed in purple light, Chappelle talked about his introduction to Prince’s music as well as his encounters with the singer.
Chappelle also revealed that he first learned of Prince’s death after being hounded by media inquires for comment; Chappelle forever immortalized Prince’s secret love of pancakes and basketball in a 2004 sketch that was based on an anecdote told by Eddie Murphy’s brother Charlie.
“I kept wondering all day, ‘Why are they calling me?,’ Chappelle said of the media inquiries. “I’ll tell you what: I didn’t know him well, but I knew him well.” The comedian added of the mood following Prince’s death, “This is black 9/11.” He noted, however, “It’s so much better that we grieve together.”
Chappelle went so far as to say this about Prince’s passing, “This is black 9/11” and “It’s so much better that we grieve together.”
Chappelle issued a statement to WCCO CBS in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Prince’s hoometown:
“As a city, they exported a musical giant. It says a lot about them that at the height of his fame he chose to stay in Minneapolis. His admirers are a community that spans the globe. His legacy is an immense offering of music, love and laughter. And a fight for fairness to artist. Nothing of this world will begin to fill the void of his absence except his memory. Scientifically a memory is almost neurologically identical to an experience. So remember your loved ones often. Forget their faults and remember the best of what they made you feel. In that way… all of us are immortal gifts to one another that keeps on giving.”
Let’s take a moment to remember Prince’s best live performances.