Interesting enough as an extra but not good enough to capture the significance of the party
On the 18th September 2004 Downing Street in Brooklyn was shut off to host one of the biggest block parties hip hop has seen. Organised by Dave Chappelle for those from the area and his own "block" in Ohio. In the drizzling rain the crowd of thousands spend the day listening to music from artists including Blackstar, Kanye West, The Roots, Dead Prez, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Common and others.
I had just watched Block Party itself and after a few days watched this documentary. In reviewing the film itself I lamented the way that the interviews and contributions didn't add much value to the film but also served to take screen time away from the music. However with the documentary the opposite is true here where there is no music and the focus is the story behind the party. Although it isn't deep or insightful it is actually pretty interesting and it moves slickly enough so that the lack of detail or major incident isn't a problem. The film follows the party from concept and then goes quickly through planning to delivery. In this way it serves as a nice companion piece to the film itself.
All those involved in the film are here although ?uesto has a lot to say and gets the credit here that the main film perhaps doesn't give him enough of. If anything, I almost wished that more of interviews had been stripped out of the main film to allow for more music and that this documentary had been expanded as more contributions and memories were pulled together. Although interesting, fans will question where the sense of wonder and magic is regarding so many artists all getting together suffice to say this is no "great day in Harlem" documentary.
Interesting enough to sit alongside the film as a DVD extra then but sadly not good enough to serve as a snapshot of this famous day in thinking hip hop.
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