In a bittersweet moment, De La Soul stopped by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Thursday, March 16th, to perform “Stakes Is High” from their classic 1996 album of the same name. They were backed by The Roots, with Black Thought standing in for the late Trugoy the Dove’s verses on the track.
Questlove and the rest of The Roots band’s instrumental prowess blended perfectly with De La Soul’s criticism of hip-hop culture in 1996. Posdnuos reminded fans old and new of his command of the mic and sharp lyrics during the nearly six-minute performance, while Black Thought recited Trugoy’s words to perfection. Toward the end of the track, Posdnuos went acapella with his final verse. Watch the replay below.
Prior to performing, surviving De La Soul members Posdnuos and Maseo opened up about the arduous, 15-year process of bringing their catalog to streaming services; reminisced about their early days in Long Island; and remembered recording their debut album, 3 Feet High and Rising, with legendary producer Prince Paul.
During the segment, Questlove also spoke about how De La Soul’s dynamic as a trio helped him bond with Black Thought. Toward the end of the interview, Maseo led the audience in cheering, “Thank you, Dave!” Check it out below.
David “Trugoy the Dove” Jolicoeur died just last month at the age of 54 after being diagnosed with congestive heart failure in recent years.