De La Soul made their first televised appearance since last month's untimely passing of group member Trugoy The Dove on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Thursday night (3/16). Backed by The Roots, De La Soul performed "Stakes Is High" from their 1996 album of the same name.
Kicked off with a spoken word intro by Posdnous, the riveting live performance of the J Dilla-produced track featured Black Thought performing Trugoy's verses. In front of a background of rotating daisies, Thought and Plug One deliver a flawless performance of one of their most celebrated songs. Near the end of the performance, the lights went down and Posdnous delivered an acapella spoken word version of his last verse before the lights and band resumed to thunderous applause.
The already perfect performance ended with a short spoken message from Trugoy as his image appeared replacing the daisy backdrop.
On the interview segment of the show, Pos described De La's recent streaming victory as "bittersweet" while Maseo reminisced on his class-cutting days when 3 Feet High And Rising was created.
"I was supposed to graduate in '88, but I graduated in '89 because I cut so much to make that record," he shared. Mase also revealed that the group members met in summer school. "We were all failing English, we had to take an English class."
The Roots drummer Questlove shared the effect that De La Soul had on the members of The Roots. "For the first time, we saw ourselves," he remembered. "This is how Tariq [Black Thought] and I bonded. We saw three friends just having fun with each other, playing practical jokes and all that stuff, and we'd never seen that in Hip-Hop before."
After rallying calls to support the arrival of De La Soul's first six albums (3 Feet High and Rising, De La Soul Is Dead, Buhloone Mindstate, Stakes Is High, Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump, and, AOI: Bionix) on major streaming platforms after years of legal delays, the group's pivotal debut, 3 Feet High & Rising has re-entered the Billboard 200, landing at #15.
Check out De La's performance above and their interview below.