Chance the Rapper Confronts Batman’s Racist Policing, Dedicates Slow Jam to Barack Obama on ‘SNL’

By Sameer Rao Nov 20, 2017

Chancelor “Chance the Rapper” Bennett first performed on “Saturday Night Live” (“SNL”) nearly two years ago, becoming the first independent musician to do so. On Saturday (November 18), he took his first turn in the host position.

Here are a few of his most memorable sketches from the show:

“Wayne Thanksgiving”

This sketch stars Chance as an inquisitive Black teenager who attends a benefit event for underserved Gotham City residents with his mother (Leslie Jones). The teen asks Batman’s alter-ego Bruce Wayne (Beck Bennett) about the caped crusader’s “tough on crime” policing in their neighborhoods. “[Batman] broke my best friend’s jaw in two places, and all he did was steal a TV,” Chance says. Kenan Thompson and new featured player Chris Redd jump in with their own criticisms of Batman’s policing—most of which inexplicably involve breaking purported offenders’ jaws and suspending them from stone gargoyles by their underwear. 

“Come Back, Barack”

Chance, Thompson and Redd portray the members of De-Von-Tré—an obvious parody of R&B groups like Boyz II Men and Jodeci—as they sing a love letter to the first Black U.S. president. The satire includes all the hallmarks of ’90s slow jam videos: big suits, hundreds of candles, a pouring rain sequence and an extended low-voiced monologue by Thompson. “Look, it’s been a long time, Barack,” he says over the bridge. “Almost as long as since a guy talked over a record like this.”

“Rap History”

The aforementioned trio reunites for this short mockumentary as members of the Soul Crush Crew, an early and overlooked hip-hop group that resents young rappers like Lil Doo Doo (Pete Davidson) and their ahistorical, drug-obsessed approach to the art form. Their reverence of hip hop’s founding principles stands in contrast with their poorly constructed lyrics about smoking marijuana with crack cocaine. “They’re the only rappers I know that are pro-crack,” recounts Common, who appears alongside Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson in talking head segments. 

“Sports Announcer”

The host stars in this sketch as Lazlo Holmes, a basketball commentator for the New York Knicks. Holmes struggles outside his comfort zone when Madison Square Garden Network makes him cover a New York Rangers ice hockey game. He stumbles through his commentary about “lots of White dudes on skates, running into each other at full speed” while other commentators ask him confusing questions about a game that he clearly dislikes.