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From The Digital Sweatshop
The Music, Art and Travels of Alan D. Oldham a.k.a. DJ T-1000.

Fade to Black.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Checked out the Jay-Z concert movie "Fade to Black." I'm not the biggest rap fan in the world, but if anybody can make me a believer, it's Jay-Z.

The documentary chronicles Jay-Z's sold-out farewell concert at Madison Square Garden in NYC. All walks of life were in the crowd; white, Black, Puerto Rican, everybody just a-freakin'. And all going crazy for their hero.

The show itself was a spectacle, featuring a live band led by ?uestlove of the Roots, and cameos by Mary J. Blige, R. Kelly (pre-meltdown), Foxy Brown, Missy Elliott, Ghostface, and more. Even Beyonce turned up to do "Crazy in Love" live with her boyfriend, Jay-Z. Man, that chick is sexy. With each entrance, the crowd got crazier.

Shots of the crowd revealed supermodels Naomi Campbell and Carmen Kass dancing to each track. You know you're the shit when you've got supermodels out in the crowd as fans, and NOT backstage!

The backstage action was heavy too. Usher, P. Diddy, Slick Rick The Ruler, and others held it down in the VIP.

Interspersed with the concert footage, we see Jay-Z criss-crossing the country in private jets as he assembles "The Black Album." As a producer, it was interesting to get glimpses into the studios of Timbaland (God, Tim got fat!), Rick Rubin, The Neptunes, Kanye West and others (all those guys are still running outboard gear to make tracks, using software only for laying down vocals; good to see!). Pharrell and Tim still sequence off the old-ass Ensoniq ESQ-1!

Oh, the movie wouldn't be any good without the songs. Jay-Z does all his hit singles, so don't worry. My favorite is "Dirt Off Ya Shoulders," that one is the complete shit.

"Fade to Black" is definitely a keeper. If you like music and the music business, you'll like this DVD. It cements Jay-Z's position as the post-Biggie & Tupac king of hip-hop, and the ultimate culmination of the aestethic P. Diddy started over a decade ago with his Bad Boy label; cinematic, widescreen, designer-label, New York City hip-hop.

It's too bad techno went wrong, especially in the USA. It could be guys like us making movies like this.

-AO :: 11:09 PM ::


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