UPDATE: Some people were having trouble listening to Boom! because it was in .m4a format. I am deeply saddned by this, as the song is absolutely incredible, so i have converted it to .mp3. You can download it HERE or below.
Those of you who haven’t gone out and seen Dave Chappelle’s new documentary, Block Party, are really missing out. I have seen the movie twice, both sober and elevated, and I enjoyed it both times (which is impressive). The documentary, directed by Michel Gondry (of Eternal Sunshine and the White Stripes videos fame), is incredibly well put together, and is a truly insightful look into a completely different side of hip-hop, R&B, and soul music. Dave decides to organize an all-day block party in an unsuspecting neighborhood in Brooklyn, which features some real characters (like the owners of the Broken Angel). He goes to Ohio and gives out free tickets to the show to people who wouldn’t normally come to a concert like the one Dave is putting on.
Too long have horrible rap artists been dominating the hip-hop scene. Many people who dislike the hip-hop genre do not realize that not all the artists create commercial crap like Mike Jones, Paul Wall, 50 Cent, or Sean Paul. The artists featured in Block Party stray in a quite different direction. These musicians promote awareness, and have messages in their music, rather than rapping about ho’s, ice, and grillz. The music in Block Party is a different brand altogether, and is truly enjoyable for people with different music tastes.
The concert features performances by some of Dave’s (and my) favorite artists, including Kanye West, The Roots, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Cody ChestnuTT, Common, Dead Prez, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, and most especially, a reunited Fugees. Highlights include Lauryn Hill’s stunning rendition of “Killing Me Softly”, Kanye’s “Jesus Walks” (with the Central State Marching Band playing the bassline), and Talib Kweli and Mos Def (known together as Blackstar) performing their masterpiece, “Definition”.
Those looking for Chappelle’s Show Season III in this movie will be sorely disappointed, as this movie shies away from Dave’s skit style of his famous TV show, and shows Dave in a more real light. That being said, don’t think this movie is all serious, as Dave is way too funny for that. I’m not a frequent movie-goer, but Block Party was well worth the money, and I can’t wait to purchase the DVD, so I can hear the soulful performances of these underappreciated artists whenever I want.
I have put up a few songs that are featured in the movie (and are some of my favorite songs), but not the live movie versions (Which you can listen to on the official Block Party site HERE). I recommend you check out all the music that these fine artists have to offer.
The Roots – Boom! (ft. Big Daddy Kane & Kool G Rap) (now in .mp3 format) [download or die]
The Roots – You Got Me (ft. Erykah Badu & Jill Scott)
Dead Prez – Hip Hop
Black Star (Mos Def & Talib Kweli) – Definition [download or die]
Mos Def – Umi Says
Common – The Light (ft. Erykah Badu)
Kanye West – Get Em High (ft. Talib Kweli & Common) [download or die]
ALSO, in other Bloc(k) Party related news, Derek at GWFAS has created a megapost, compiling every B-side and remix of Bloc Party’s. I recommend a hidden gem, the Banquet Apathy Remix.