Dave Chappelle’s Block Party came in at number 7 on the top 10 movies last weekend. This movie was more of a concert than an actual scripted film. Dave Chappelle mixed comedy with great musical stage performances held on the streets of Brooklyn, NY. Many of our favorite artists performed including Kanye West, Talib Kweli, Common, Dead Prez, The Roots, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, John Legend, The Fugees, and Mos Def.
The beginning of the movie was a slight documentary narrated and hosted by none other than Dave Chappelle. His comedic style of recruiting people to attend his block party made for one of the most entertaining documentaries around. Chappelle invited any and everyone to his block party and even provided transportation to many.
Mos Def bestowed upon us another smooth performance on screen, however this time he was in the element that we are used to, on the stage. He performed “Two Words” with Kanye West. Kanye then collaborated with Talib Kweli and Common for “Get ‘Em High”. Talib came back with his long time partner Mos Def to grace us with “Definition” then they brought out Common for “Move Somethin” and Kanye returned with John Legend for a live rendition of “Jesus Walks”.
Dave Chappelle, chimed in before, during and after each performance with hilarious commentary. When it was time for Dead Prez, Chappelle brought some underlying seriousness to his statements about why Dead Prez doesn’t get much airplay. Dead Prez is too controversial, but bring to light many topics that are overlooked, like the death of 2Pac and Biggie and what goes on in the White House. I was pleased to know that although Dead Prez rarely gets airplay, Chappelle made sure they got some screenplay. Dead Prez came through to perform “Turn off The Radio” and “It’s Bigger than Hip Hop”.
Following Dead Prez were several other great performances. Erykah Badu came out with “Back in the Day” sporting a large afro that kept interfering with her performance so she removed it. Yes, Erykah Badu rocked the stage with her hair a mess. She then brought out Common to perform “Love of My Life”. Following Badu was Jill Scott with “The Way”, a blast from the past with Big Daddy Kane, then the Roots “stepped on the stage and took a piece of my heart” with “You Got Me”.
The highlight of the show was the return of one of hip hop’s greatest groups, The Fugees. Reunited and strong as ever, they performed “Nappy Heads” and “Killing Me Softly”. Dave Chappelle came out on numerous occasions to present some rehearsed skits and some freestyle jokes, but he gave us the laughter that we have all come to love from him.
To sum up the effect of so many hip hop icons on ones stage in a few paragraphs is an injustice. However, I could write all day about how moving each performance was, but no one would read my article. If you saw the movie, like you should have, you already know the exemplary work that took place on that Brooklyn stage. If you haven’t seen this movie, you shouldn’t be on a hip hop website. You can’t claim to be a hip hop fan without supporting the work of some real hip hop greats.