Too soon? Not for Saturday Night Live! Rapper DMX, who died on Friday (April 9) after having a heart attack brought on by a drug overdose, came up early on in the show, during the program’s cold open segment April 10.
In the bit, Kenan Thompson, Ego Nwodim, Kate McKinnon and Alex Moffat played four Minnesota anchors discussing the Derek Chauvin trial for the death of George Floyd, and racial inequities in the justice system during a news segment.
Unable to come to an agreement after much back and forth, McKinnon’s Joanne changed the subject. “We lost royalty yesterday,” she began, referencing the death of Prince Phillip, who died at age 99 on Friday, the same day as the Ruff Ryders MC.
“Yes, the rapper DMX died,” Nwodim said to cheers from the audience.
“I was talking about the prince,” corrected McKinnon’s Joanne.
Flabbergasted, Nwodim informed her fellow anchor, “Girl, Prince been dead!”
Moffat’s Craig then informed her and Thompson that they were discussing Queen Elizabeth II’s husband of 73 years. Nwodim and Thompson were still confused, wondering if they were discussing “Megan Markles’ boyfriend” or a king.
Still not on the same page, the four anchors moved on to another topic they figured everyone could agree on: Congressman Matt Gaetz, who is being investigated for alleged sex trafficking. There were no disagreements, until Chris Redd’s weatherman chimed in to end the sketch.
Later on in the show, as the program returned from its final commercial break, a photo of DMX — born Earl Simmons — appeared on the screen, along with his stage name. After host Carey Mulligan said her thank yous, Redd held up a simple handwritten sign that read “R.I.P. DMX.”
The 50-year-old rapper last performed on the show in February 2000 during its 25th season, when Julianna Margulies hosted.
Watch the cold open below, and see Redd’s tribute.