Stakes Still High: De La Soul Honors Dave & Performs With The Roots On ‘Fallon’

Watch surviving members Posdnuos and Mase perform “Stakes Is High” with The Roots.

By Andy Kahn Mar 17, 2023 7:47 am PDT

Hip-hop legends De La Soul made an emotional appearance on Thursday’s episode of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Surviving members Kelvin Mercer (“Posdnuos”) and Vincent Manson (“Pasemaster Mase”) paid tribute to fellow co-founding member of the influential trio, David Jolicoeur (“Dave,” “Trugoy The Dove,” “Plug 2”), and performed “Stakes Is High” while backed by The Roots.

Posdnuos and Mase sat for an interview with host Jimmy Fallon and discussed the bittersweet nature of their catalog finally arriving on streaming and digital platforms just weeks after Jolicoeur’s death at age 54. Mase led the audience in expressing gratitude for their late friend, asking everyone to loudly proclaim “Thanks Dave.” The Roots drummer Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson was asked by Fallon about De La Soul’s influence and he explained the group was essential in inspiring him and The Roots emcee Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter to create their own music.


Following the performance of the title track to De La Soul’s 1996 album Stakes Is High, Questlove wrote about the significance of the collaboration. Calling it “one of my favorite moments doing what I love to do with the people I love,” Questlove wrote on social media:

“You are watching a 16 yr old art major & his 18 yr old best friend from high school (@capaHS) travel 34 years into the future.

“De La Soul bonded us. Solidified us. Inspired us to pursue our dream.

“I can’t think of a better moment in celebrating this institution for these high school nerds than this moment right now. I’ve checked many a bucket list artist in our 14 years here….but this one took everything in me to stand strong and celebrate the passing of Dave Jolicoer……watching it on tv? I cried like a baby.

“This might be possibly one of my favorite moments doing what I love to do with the people I love doing my art with alongside the people who inspired me to go the creative path that I’m still fortunate to do since my high school days.

“Eternal gratitude to the universe for this dream manifesting.

“’Well Tariq we just rocked on the Tonight Show w De La Soul to a song helmed by J Dilla….’


Posdnuos respond to Questlove’s post by writing, “Thank you Ahmir for allowing us to run it down beside y’all! I know Dave is proud.” Watch De La Soul’s performance of “Stakes Is High” with The Roots and their interview with Fallon below:

Stakes Is High


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