Dave Chappelle says Prince ‘only person’ who cared after show departure

Dave Chappelle shares how the late musical icon supported him in liner notes for Prince's upcoming 'Sign O' The Times' re-release.

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In the liner notes for Prince‘s upcoming “Sign O’ The Times” super deluxe edition, Dave Chappelle shares how the music legend supported his decision to walk away from his sketch comedy show.

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In 2005, the comedian left the Chapelle’s Show, his widely popular series on Comedy Central before its third season despite a $50M offer. The then 31-year-old told Time he made the decision to quit due to a loose definition of creative differences though he had, according to the article, complete creative control.

“My personal feeling is I didn’t like the direction of the show. I was trying to explain it to people, and no one was feeling me. There’s a lot of resistance to my opinions, so I decided, Let me remove myself from this situation. You hear so many voices jockeying for position in your mind that you want to make sure that you hear your own voice. So I figured, Let me just cut myself off from everybody, take a minute and pull a Flintstone—stop a speeding car by using my bare feet as the brakes,” he said.

Celebrities At 2007 NBA All Star Game
Ludacris, Prince and Dave Chappelle watch the game during the 2007 NBA All-Star Game in Las Vegas.

Since then, Chappelle has addressed the career-defining moment. He told CBS NewsGayle King, “Chappelle’s Show’s’ like breakin’ up with a girl and you still like her. But in your mind, you’re like, ‘That bit*h is crazy. I’m not goin’ back,'” he said during a 2017 interview.

He says now that Prince was one of the few people who supported him during the aftermath of his decision to quit the show.

Vulture reports the liner notes to the super deluxe album slated for a September 25 release include Chappelle’s comments as well as commentary from Lenny Kravitz, author Duane Tudahl, and Prince’s longtime engineer Susan Rogers.

“When I left Chappelle’s Show, not only was Prince the only person I could relate to, he was one of the few people who truly cared about what was happening in my life,” Chappelle writes. “The mere sight of Prince reminded me that I’m not the last sane man on earth, and I’m not crazy.”

Rock Legend Prince Dies At Age 57
Tributes and memorials dedicated to Prince on the fence that surrounds Paisley Park on May 2, 2016 in Chaska, Minnesota. Prince died on April 21, 2016 at his Paisley Park compound at the age of 57. (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)

He continues, “He was the first person I knew who didn’t question my choices. In fact, he didn’t even ask me about them. He just told me, “Whatever it is, you’re right…He helped me understand that it might not be over and that there might be another side to it … and whether or not there is or isn’t, at least you’re free. Or, as he would say, “U gotta B free.”

Prince’s archivist Micahel Howe tells Vulture the new edition of the classic album contains 45 never released tracks and includes two full live performances – one from Utrecht, Netherlands, and a New Year’s Eve show from Paisley Park featuring Miles Davis, all of which represents just a fraction of the material considered.

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“I hope it brings people joy and that it has the same kind of emotional resonance that I think Prince viewed as most important in his art,” Howe said to Vulture. “And the other thing I hope is that people see how wildly creative the guy was and how he was able to do pretty much anything he wanted to.”


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