Kanye West surprised Dave Chappelle‘s crowd at Radio City Music Hall on June 20, when he performed a brief hits medley of “New Slaves,” “Jesus Walks” and “Gold Digger.” Chappelle had booked musical guests for later dates in his nine-show stand-up run, like Nas on June 23 and The Roots the next day. The night West showed up, however, was left wide open. Cue up the loud cheers once Ye made his brief cameo.
Of course, Chappelle and West have a long history together. They met on November 14, 2003, the day that Jay Z‘s The Black Album dropped. Chappelle remembers this well, because those two and friends like Talib Kweli and Common were all listening to the LP when West heard Jay shout out to him on record (“Kanyeezy, you did it again! You a genius!”), then said, “STOP THE RECORD and rewind that!”
West would drop his debut The College Dropout three months later, then become the hottest thing in rap by the time Chappelle booked him to perform his Block Party in September 2004. There, he performed “Jesus Walks” with Common, a baby-faced John Legend and Central State University Marching Band. Watch Kanye West’s surprise Radio City Music Hall cameo, then revisit his Block Party performance below.
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