Not that anybody ever doubted the authenticity, but former Prince band member Micki Free has confirmed Charlie Murphy’s epic Prince story.
With both Charlie Murphy and Prince dying within a year of each other, the classic Chappelle’s Show sketch about them playing basketball against each other has become even more legendary. Now, one of the people mentioned by name in the story has come forward to confirm it.
You may remember Murphy speaking on one of Prince’s bandmates named Micki Free. In the sketch, he described Free as being a former member of Shalamar that a lot of dudes thought was a woman, but was actually a man.
“When he joined the group, I heard mad cats saying ‘Yo Shalamar got this new girl in the group, that b*tch fine like a muthaf*cka,” Murphy hilariously said.
Well, Free has resurfaced for an interview with Esquire on the anniversary of Prince’s death. In the interview, he was asked if the story that Murphy told really happened the way it did. He says it all happened exactly how he described it.
Charlie Murphy wasn’t lying. Everything that happened in that [“True Hollywood Stories” sketch] was for real. We went back to Prince’s house after the club. It was 1985, and there was a bunch of girls with Eddie [Murphy], myself, Charlie—rest in peace—and some other guys. And out of nowhere Prince says, “Do you guys want to play basketball?” Me and Charlie and Eddie are looking at each other like, what the hell? And Prince goes, “Me, Micki, and Gilbert against you, Eddie, and Uncle Ray.”
We played three-on-three. I don’t remember if we changed our clothes, but I know for certain that Prince did not change his. He didn’t gear up to play. If anything changed beyond the blouses, it was his heels. Prince changed into some tennis shoes. All I remember is when Prince made that first shot, it was all-net. I’m looking at him make shot after shot, like, “What the hell?” Then at the end they really did make us pancakes—blueberry pancakes. And they were good! Hanging out with Prince was magical.
Read the rest of Free’s interview where he also talks about how Prince could show every member of his band how to play their instruments, here.
Photo: NPG Press Photo