banner image

:: Dave Chappelle’s Block Party

I wasn’t sure what to expect of Dave Chappelle’s newly produced ‘Block Party’ and his collaboration with the who’s who of stellar R & B and rap artists but I was genuinely thrilled.

The idea of the film is based around well renowned comedian Dave Chappelle presenting a massive free party/concert set in one of Brooklyn’s neighbourhood blocks. The whole film was shot on location in Brooklyn and Ohio-Chappelle’s home town, where he invites locals who would not normally have the chance to attend a rap concert to come down to Brooklyn for the first time, transport and accommodation included. Some of these lucky invitees included Ohio’s Central State University Marching Band who he actually asks to help perform on the day to the ecstatic reception of its members.

The line up of artists for the day/night event is of the highest calibre including Kanye West, Mos Def, Erykah Badu, the Roots, Common, Dead Prez, Jill Scott and reunited for the first time in seven years- the Fugees featuring the stunning Lauren Hill as well as many others. These artists all present powerful performances and left the stage giving the audience the feel that their talent comes from keeping their creativity pure and not sacrificing what they believe in just to hear their hits played on the radio or for money. Chappelle comes out in intervals and entertains the crowd with his knack for comedy and all throughout the film he is shown sporadically doing stand up or making jokes in the lead up to the event.

Although the day is marred by rain, the energy of the crowd and the performers including Chappelle is so overwhelming that this is just a minor inconvenience for those attending. Private rehearsal footage leading up to the show is hilarious and raw combining the clever wit of Chappelle to see how entertaining a fusion of comedy and music can be when world class performers are put in the same room together!

Walking out of the film at the end you truly felt Chappelle had successfully managed to capture the energy and the soul of the featured music and the Brooklyn neighborhood it was held in. Definitely worth seeing if not for the easy laughs then just for the amazing soundtrack.