Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Celebrate Dave Chappelle’s birthday by watching him rap about AIDS in a 1990 PSA

As any child of the ’80s can tell you, nothing was cooler than when your teacher would roll that big TV on a cart to the front of the classroom, pop in a shoddy VHS tape, and make you watch a video put together by some older people who just heard “Rapper’s Delight” for the first time and thought, “Hey, that’s easy!” As a result, countless children were subjected to public service announcements carefully crafted to appeal to a young demographic, acted out by people in their teens and twenties who looked as though they’d rather be anywhere else. But it wasn’t until now that we learned one of those people who would rather be elsewhere was Dave Chappelle.

Appearing in a PSA about the dangers of H.I.V. and AIDS, Chappelle delivers a halfhearted rap alongside two compatriots, one beatboxing, the other just waiting until Chappelle finishes the verse so he can launch into a Jamaican-inflected refrain. (And really, we can agree “Control your jimmy, control your jimmy, or AIDS gonna take over your society” are words we should all live by.) But even better is the short skit that opens the video, with Chappelle’s characters essentially saying that getting AIDS would be worth it if it meant having sex with an attractive woman. This video sends all the right messages.

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