Monday, March 13

Chappelle's Block Party

Finally went to see a's been a long spell.

Dave Chappelle's Block Party. I was afraid but hopeful. I wondered if this Block Party would have a plot, in the manner of most movies and what would it be. This was an official block party. A warm hug from a big loving southern Grandmother. That's what Chappelle's Block Party was for me. It didn't need a climax, beginning and end it just needed to be seen. It was a feel good about being black, about loving live music, about loving comedy, and embracing chaos that may surface in between. It was like being in a village in Africa, free to enjoy the things "we" (black folks) love without being made to feel predictable and petty for posessing the ability to find happiness through song, through drums, horns, percussion and piano. All the while eating fried chicken, watermelon and drinking malt liquor (kidding).

One of my all time favorite "things", "people" are black college marching bands. Chappelle's block party features a surprise performance by Central State University's marching band...thick sisters, with thick thighs stepping to the tunes of big brothers playing the tuba and drums, it's just too much wonderfulness to stand. And though regretfully I have to travel to the racist south to see them..... They are.....I can't really find the words. Just the feelings....they feel alive, vibrant, vivid, moving, inspirational and just plain out make you want to dance and celebrate and even worth the trip (except Atlanta) to the south.

Chappelle's block party made me homesick for New York, for Brooklyn, for little nameless holes in the walls with impromptu jam sessions and herbalicious filled air. We're talking......Erykah Badu, The Fugees, Common, Mos Def, Kanye West, The Roots, and Talib Kweli. With Dave Chappelle and all his hilarious glory offering laughter and comfort in between these incredible performances. I didn't even mind Jill Scott ,who, though I appreciate her existence in the music world, her overall demeanor annoys the hell out of me...she reminds me of a know it all annoying (big) girl in high school who was (or wished to be) the head of the Drama class. All these gifted passionate artist on stage together sans the top-billing ego's that usually go along with this kind of musician stage usually becomes a battle of who gets more time and blah, blah, blah, blah...these artists jammed on stage while the other's performed, waited in the background, hung out and chilled. It was a beautiful sight to behold. Now I can't say if little arguments broke out or not but from an audience member's looked as beautiful and loving as a harmonizing (baptist) church choir. You know how the choir rocks back and forth and claps while the soloist sings his or her heart that.

And I must address the resurfacing of my beloved Lauryn Hill, whose shirt I'm wearing today. No shame in my game, I have a Lauryn Hill hand-me-down shirt and it is one of my favorite shirts. Seriously. It's a simple black shirt with a donkey on it and I love it. And so does everybody else it seems, I get many compliments and comments when I wear it. And it has lasted through my harsh washings (everything must be wash and wear) for years. Thanks much Lauryn, if you see me on your front lawn it's because I'd like you to throw more wonderful used clothing down to me. :-) My point in bringing up Lauryn Hill.....Pras (the very fortunate third member of The Fugees) addressed in the movie how much of a fan he is of Lauryn Hill's despite the fact that he is in the group with her. Yes, Prakazrel (Pras), recognize. I guess he had to be left out in the cold, starving before the swelling of his ego went down enough for him to see the truth.....He and Wyclef are beyond fortunate and lucky for Lauryn Hill. Without her, Wyclef is a producer, not a featured artist....Producer, nothing wrong with that, unless you have a big head and think you are the S%^$ alone. Recognize boys that without the "Girl", and I mean "The Girl" not some stand in...The Fugees would NEVER make it, nobody would care. Wyclef should be sending fresh flowers of thanks to Lauryn, each and every day and Pras should be sacrficing goats to his God in deep gratitude.

I wait with bated breath for the soundtrack to Chappelle's Block Party to be released. I will conduct my own make believe jam session in Los Angeles.