Tuesday, March 07, 2006

It's Bigger Than Hip-Hop: Block Party

*** I have found a loophole that allows me to properly place this review on this site. In the movie, one of the bass players is wearing a retro Wayne Gretzky Oilers jersey. The theatre buzzed when people saw that. It was like Bret Hart waving the Canadian flag on RAW. Went over HUGE. The only problem was that the guy was also wearing a New York Mets baseball cap. Sure the colours match, and the hat was on backwards, but it still violates a fundamental sports attire rule: you can never, EVER, wear clothing or accessories from two different teams at the same time. It's even worse when it is two teams from the same sport. Thankfully, this was not the case in this instance, but it was still a major sporting faux pas.

I know this is a sports blog, but I have to recommend that everyone go out and see "Dave Chappelle's Block Party" as soon as possible. I am sorry; I currently have no other outlet to express my utter love of this movie. Filmed about a month after Chappelle recieved his $50 million dollar contract with Comedy Central, "Block Party" is an uplifting and hilarious attempt to recreate not only the community block party, but the major motion picture releases of iconic stand-up comedians like Richard Pryor. Not only is Chappelle at his finest, but the cast of musicians is a veritable orgy of hip-hop and R&B talent. Almost every single one of my favorite hip-hop/R&B acts perform in this movie: The Roots (whose drummer, ?uestlove, was the musical director for the movie), Mos Def, Common, Kanye West, Talib Kweli, John Legend, Jill Scott, Dead Prez, Erykah Badu, and a reunited Fugees. I suppose if you aren't a fan of hip-hop this might not be your cup of tea, but I think the music, enthusiasm and sense of community will transcend personal tastes. Personally, my only complaint was that the movie ended. I wanted these artists--and it is very clear from watching this movie that these people take their art very seriously--to perform forever. Seeing and hearing the Central State University marching band belt out Kanye West's "Jesus Walks" (I am dying for an audio file of this one), Erykah Badu and Jill Scott interweave their heavenly voices on "You Got Me", Mos Def and Chappelle work the crowd like Martin and Lewis, Dead Prez drop the beat for some serious science on "Hip Hop", along with a still-fragile Lauryn Hill bringing tears to people's eyes with "Killing Me Softly", made my heart soar. It's too bad that Chappelle has disappeared from the pop-culture scene, but he can be damn proud of this movie. I am sure to watch it about another hundred times, and I hope you find the time to check it out, too.


At 1:50 PM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

I have been formally reprimanded for posting this here. I feel I should admit my shame for posting this now, so as to prevent Abboud from posting a running diary of an entire season of "Save By The Bell."

At 3:17 PM, Blogger Alex said...

As fun as that would be (especially if it was Saved by the Bell: The College Years), you don't have to worry about that surfacing on this site. I was mostly giving you a hard time just to be an ass.

However, if you do it again, look forward to another 2500 word post about the Toronto Maple Leafs.


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