Today in Hip-Hop: Dave Chappelle Plays Lil Jon on ‘Chappelle’s Show’
On this day, Feb. 25, in hip-hop history...
Comedy Central had a hit on their hands with Chappelle's Show, a nighttime sketch comedy show helmed by none other than comedian Dave Chappelle. The show was Dave's playground, where he was free to try out all sorts of unique ideas, all for the sake of humor. It was always hip-hop influenced, with performances from Kanye West, Common, DMX, and more. Dave took his love and knowledge of the music and used it for comedy. Putting his own spin on Lil Jon's larger-than-life persona made too much sense.
Chappelle first impersonated Lil Jon on this day, in a sketch called “A Moment in the Life of Lil Jon.” For this particular go-round, Chappelle plays Lil Jon at an airport, decked out in fake dreads, a fitted cap and wielding a pimp cup. Lil Jon is just like anyone else, trying to check in for his flight, but things go awry once he misunderstands the teller assigned to him. She asks if he's checking in his luggage, and various other questions, to which Chappelle responds with a not-so exaggerated version of one of Lil Jon's signature ad-libs, "YEAH!!!" He answers with "WHAT??" and "OKAY??," humorously highlighting the Atlanta's producer's personality. He even calms down and goes into a distinguished King's English accent, and responds normally, before heading back into the ad-libs.
The Lil Jon sketch was a hit, and even lead to the producer becoming a fan of it and imitating Dave's version of him. The skit continued throughout the season, and became a pop culture moment almost immediately.
Dave's Chappelle's "A Moment in the Life of Lil Jon" created memorable moments for both parties, and is a fond memory of comedy and rap fans alike.
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