Movie Review: Audiences ‘party’ with Chappelle

“Dave Chappelle’s Block Party” is a documentary that follows the comedian around Brooklyn and Ohio as he plans his concert. Although the movie didn’t make the top five last weekend, it was still worth $9 to see some fresh material from Chappelle.

Chappelle, stocked with Willy Wonka-style “golden tickets,” visited his hometown in Ohio and invited people who wouldn’t normally attend a rap concert to his Block Party in Brooklyn. He provided transportation, hotel accommodations and treated them to the event. The Block party was held Sept. 18, 2004. Artists featured included the Roots, the Fugees, Mos Def, Kanye West and others.

The movie combined scenes of rehearsal, live concert footage and concert preparations, including a visit to a daycare that allowed Chappelle to use its roof in the concert.

Chappelle also visited a hippie-esque couple celebrating their 46th wedding anniversary, who welcomed his concert to the front of their house, which the couple oddly named “Broken Angel.”

Chappelle took particular attention to the artists he chose for the concert.

“This is the concert I’ve always wanted to see,” Chappelle said in the film.

Chapelle originally wanted artist Lauryn Hill to close the event, but her record label would not release her songs. Instead Hill herself thought of an alternative. She reunited with her group, The Fugees, which included artists Wyclef Jean and Pras.

The movie, filmed on a $3 million budget was filmed documentary style.

Chappelle drove around in a mini-van and approached random people with a single cameraman. He was often seen yelling at people through a megaphone.

Overall, the movie provided in-depth interviews with artists, live concert footage, some stand-up and on-the-street comedy.

The abnormal characteristics of the random people that he met on the street kept the audience laughing consistently. However, contrary to the demographics that watch Chappelle’s show, “Block Party” was more inviting for an audience interested in the performers.

Alexandra Lozano can be reached at

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Journalism operations manager at the University of La Verne. Production manager and business manager of the Campus Times.

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