NEW YORK, June 15 (UPI) -- Dave Chappelle knew Kanye West would be famous well before the outspoken Yeezus rapper became one of hip-hop's most recognizable faces. The 40-year-old comedian, who recently returned to the spotlight to promote upcoming stand-up dates at Radio City Music Hall, told Jimmy Fallon on Friday night that he hired West for his first-ever TV performance in 2003.
"It was Muhammad Ali in Olympic Village. He just knew he was gonna get the gold," Chappelle said.
He was listening to Jay Z's recently released Black Album with Common, Talib Kweli and West. On one song, Jay Z raps, "Kanyeezy, you's a genius. You did it again!"
Chappelle said that West heard the shout-out and spoke up for the first time that day: "Stop the record and rewind that!"
When they were watching the edit for the Dave Chappelle Show episode, West responded to a phone call with his now-famous sense of self-regard.
"I'm watching sketches no one's seen before. Cuz my life is dope and I do dope sh**," West reportedly said.
The Kanye anecdotes starts at mark 4:03 in the video above.