Dave Chappelle’s Block Party

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You could read the entirety of this concert doc as an essay in self-determination; it's the most color-coded movie in ages. Host and erstwhile Comedy Central star Dave Chappelle jokes about the racial makeup of the crowd (mostly black, some white, all looking for "the Mexicans"); Dead Prez raps about how Uncle Sam is the "pushaman" lockin' up young brothers; Fred Hampton Jr., son of the slain Black Panther leader, calls for the release of all political prisoners. And there are moments to make you smile: Chappelle's visit with kids from the school Biggie Smalls attended, and his hammy Vegas routine with Mos Def. But the music is what lifts you the most. Highlights include an Erykah Badu-Jill Scott duet, during which their voices intertwine like silken threads; the Roots' sonic "Boom!" that levels a street corner; Lauryn Hill killing them softly with Roberta Flack's song; and Kanye's way-out-West routine. Half the time you forget who's even throwing the bash, which is probably just how Chappelle wanted it.

 
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