The elusive stand-up comic with worldwide exposure known as Dave Chappelle recently produced a film that is part music-video, part documentary. Using his fame to give back to the community, Chappelle commissioned several buses to load up people from his semi-rural community and take them to New York City for the block party of a lifetime. Chappelle provides food, hotel stays, and transportation for the invitees, and the look on their faces as he invites them really can put a smile on your face. No tickets were on-sale for the concert; Chappelle kept it largely underground, only informing a few of the local neighborhoods about the performance.
Headlining artists at the super-secretive show included such hip-hop heavyweights as Kanye West, the Fugees, the Roots, and several other notable artists. The concert was provided free of charge by Chappelle to help give back to the people that supported him throughout his career, as well as providing a means for racial cohesion through the cross-section of races and ages of the people whom he invited.
The movie follows Chappelle as he gets the show together, handing out golden tickets to the show like a modern-day Willy Wonka. Part of the humor provided by the film is the expressions on the faces of some of the older white women who agree to make the trip to New York to experience something new. And that is exactly what Chappelle was hoping for; exposure of his favorite music to those who would not normally give it a second’s listen. The film provides a message of unity and hope, giving a very positive outlook on racial relations. Chappelle is his usual goofy self, providing one-liners and humorous allusions that keeps the audience in stitches between acts.
Those who love Chappelle’s sense of humor but are not fans of the hip-hop genre may not get what they were expecting in this film; while Chappelle puts laughs in throughout the film, the focus is clearly on the music. The artists themselves put their best foot forward, showcasing various talents in the genre with their finest works. All in all, the film is well-suited for those already familiar with the artists that are involved or those who have an open mind towards new musical tastes. It provides an introspective look at the cultures and communities that separate us, and how our differences can help us to bind together.