Block Party

Before he flipped his lid and bounced to Africa on a “spiritual retreat,” Dave Chappelle threw a block party. But it wasn’t just any old block party where two police barricades block off the street entrance and exit or where the block’s five biggest stereo systems are blurting out 5 different genres of music to create one sound of confusion. It was a once in a lifetime bash that included some of hip-hop’s most revolutionary voices and the Richard Pryor of today’s generation, Dave Chappelle.

While the film’s main focus was the jump off that was the block party, the footage mostly consisted of why Dave put together the block party, where he was going to throw it and why he chose the all-star line up that he did: Kanye West, Dead Prez (dressed like they don’t have any dead prez), Common (only he can get away with b-boying in tight dress pants, and a button down with a V-neck sweater over it), Eryka Badu (had the ill wig piece…literally), Jill Scott (light skinned black rage!) , The Roots (real sh*t), Talib Kweli (incredible performance), Mos Def (He’s not acting!) and the long awaited reunion of The Fugees (Oh La La La, Lauryn Hill can still get it!).
I’m not gonna front, watching this flick kind of got me mad. And the only reason I was upset is because I forgot how much today’s society needs the realistic comedy of Dave Chappelle. He was right on time with his brand of in-your-face racial and social comedy, na’mean? I mean, part of the movie was dedicated to him gassing up older white people from around his way in Ohio to attend the rap concert/block party he was throwing in Brooklyn, NY. And while some people were hesitant, others were receptive and made the trip to the hood. Gotta respect that. White people that live in Manhattan wouldn’t dare come down to Brooklyn, but white people from Ohio will. How gangsta is that?
I personally loved the movie. I thought it was a good look at how Dave Chappelle thinks and moves. He explained why the artists at his block party were chosen and why they stand out amongst the rest of the artists in the current industry. There’s rarely a dull moment in the two hours that the movie lasted, as Chappelle was constantly in front of the camera, and everyone knows, when the camera is on, Dave entertains as a man true to his craft should. Whether he’s cracking jokes or freestyle battling a Mr. T look alike, DC is nothing less than pure entertainment. The industrial prostitute joke had me in stitches laughing.
Now as far as the performances, I was a little let down only because it felt like some artists didn’t get enough burn. Kanye’s segment came and went; Mos and Talib flew by and it seemed as if Common didn’t even get a turn to shine, feel me? These are artists that I’m a big fan of. I’m not gonna front though, they did they thing in the time that they did have. I personally think that Talib killed it the most. Now that’s an MC! Just straight spitting that fire without letting up. Gripping and choking the s*** out of the mic. And even with a wild wig, Eryka did her thing while Jill Scott turned the concert into Def Poetry Jam. Light skinned rage!!!! But of course, the high point of the night was the reunion of the Fugees. I got hype watching them on stage together rocking the joint. Damn I wish I was there for that concert.
Now this was a block party worthy of 4 Gangstas.
This picture was damn near a perfect combination of music and comedy. Something that according to one comment made by Dave in the movie, Jamie Foxx is incapable of combining (Let me find out Jamie and Dave is gonna be the comic version of Biggie and Pac). The jokes were tight, the movie was well shot and the performances were on point. It was one of those documentaries/movies that makes you wish you were a part of the making of it, na’mean? I only feel that way when I watch those movies that are found all the way in the back of the shop behind the curtain. Needless to say, this movie touched me, in a whole different way than the other movies I spoke on.
-Omar Mazariego