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Fade to Black (2004)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 815 users   Metascore: 59/100
Reviews: 7 user | 27 critic | 20 from Metacritic.com

Filmed during his "Black Album" era, Jay-Z looks back on his career as one of rap music's most successful emcees and entrepreneurs.

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Himself (as Farnsworth Bentley)
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Storyline

An intimate look at hip-hop artist Shawn Carter, Jay-Z, revealing the multiple Grammy Award winning artist as never before, from his background and rise to fame to the recording of his last album. The film chronicles the legendary concert of Jay-Z's performance at Madison Square Garden in November 2003. In an unprecedented event, a hip-hop artist sold out an arena in only two hours. Nearly one year later, fans and artists alike still reflect on this monumental musical night. The event was a spectacular culmination of Jay-Z's recording career prior to his self-proclaimed retirement from solo performing. Yet this one night also defined a musical generation, showcasing the evolution and reach of the world's most popular music genre. Guest performers included Jay-Z's closest friends and music industry colleagues: Beyoncé, Mary J. Blige, Missy Elliott, R. Kelly, Foxy Brown, Pharrell, and Questlove and The Illadelphonics along with appearances by hip hop icons Damon Dash, Rick Rubin, Slick ... Written by Sujit R. Varma

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The ultimate concert. Now the ultimate movie.

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Documentary

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive language including sexual lyrics | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

5 November 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jay Z: Fade to Black  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$449,331 (USA) (5 November 2004)

Gross:

$728,243 (USA) (17 December 2004)
 »

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1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

 
From Marcy to Madison Square
17 April 2005 | by (Middlesbororo, Kentucky) – See all my reviews

When "Reasonable Doubt" was released, it was an instant classic by one of the best rappers of all time.

Jay-Z's "Fade to Black" is two movies in one. The first is Jay's last concert at Madison Square Garden promoting his latest and last album, "The Black Album." The second film is recording sessions that go behind Jay'Z's making of said album.

Well, the concert footage is great. One of the best concert films I've ever seen. Jay-Z's performance on stage is nothing short of adrenaline pumping. The guests are always game, even, if only for a verse. Some get more screen time than others, such as Memphis Bleek. Twista, Kanye West, Memph Bleek and Beanie Siegel make an impression. Mary J Blige is excellent. Others, such as Missy Elliott and Foxy Brown barely make an impression.

In short, this is an excellent concert film and if you are a Jay-Z fan, you should buy this one, because you will not be disappointed.

Some minor quibbles. The making of the album footage, while interesting, because Jay-Z never writes his rhymes down, he memorizes them all, and kinda freestyles in the booth, that's very compelling. But, it does get a bit redundant.

This film would be a ten if it was just the concert from beginning to end.

Minor quibbles. Great concert film. Energetic, always entertaining and humorous, this is a good film, especially if you're a hip hop fan. If not, something may be lost in translation. But, if you're inclined to read this, you will not be disappointed. Thumbs way up.


5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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