In a surprising press release NBC announced Friday that Dave Chappelle will host Saturday Night Live on Nov. 12 with musical guest A Tribe Called Quest. This will be the first episode after the presidential election, and an SNL debut for both Chappelle and A Tribe Called Quest.
This news comes on the heels of another announcement from the influential hip-hop group: A Tribe Called Quest will be releasing its first new album in nearly two decades on Nov. 11, the day before the group’s scheduled appearance on SNL.
The album, called We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service, will also be the group’s last. One of the founding members – Malik Taylor, known as Phife Dawg – died in March of this year at the age of 45 from complications of diabetes.
A Tribe Called Quest was formed in 1985 in New York City by high school friends Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, and Jarobi White, who over the years has been a part-time member of the group. Their 1991 album, The Low End Theory, is widely recognized as one of the most influential hip-hop albums of all time. Muhammad was also co-host of NPR’s music podcast Microphone Check, which recently became independent of the network.
A handwritten note from Q-Tip was posted on his Facebook page in late October. He announced the new album, which had formerly been only rumored, and discussed its origins. Q-Tip cited the group’s performance on The Tonight Show last year – their first TV appearance in 18 years – as the beginning of the reunion. He writes, it was Nov. 13 – the night of the Paris bombings – an “unseasonably warm night in NYC.”
“As we left 30 Rock, I felt the need, we all did, to get back to the studio and start that cook up,” Q-Tip writes. He says the album was “coming along nicely,” when Phife Dawg passed away. “But he left us with the blue print of what we had to do.”
The new album will feature collaborations with artists such as Kendrick Lamar, André 3000, Busta Rhymes, Elton John, Talib Kweli, and Jack White.