Block Party “Please, stop quoting my Rick James bit.”

Holy shit. I mean—seriously. Okay. So the amazing concept for Dave Chappelle's Block Party made news back when the actual event happened, in the summer of '04: Chappelle spent his own money to put on a free concert in Brooklyn, bringing together an unparalleled lineup of hiphop and soul acts. Only later did rumblings start about the scope of it all: Like that director Michel Gondry had been tapped to capture the event, or that the Fugees had played the gig—performing together for the first time since '97.

Block Party's unbelievable roster goes like this: Talib Kweli, Mos Def, Kanye West, Common, Erykah Badu, the Roots, Dead Prez, and Jill Scott. And then there're the Fugees, and then there's host Chappelle, who liberally scatters his comedy throughout, and then there's Ohio's Central State University Marching Band.

Is the music fucking amazing? Of course it is; to call this some of the best music of the past decade seems, weirdly, like an understatement. And is the comedy great? What do you think, Sherlock? (As they precede the abrupt cessation of Chappelle's Show by just a few months, Chappelle's Block Party barbs and wisecracks are given an even greater weight.)

But there's more here than killer comedy and jaw-dropping music. The one thing that's excruciatingly lacking in almost all concert films is the powerful sense of volume, vitality, community, and immediacy that makes live music what it is. Most concert films are shit, because it's nearly impossible to express the soul of a live performance on something as static as a movie screen. But Gondry captures Chappelle's party with an expert eye and ear. I'd have given my left nut to actually see this show, but Gondry's film actually lives up to the cliché—it is the next best thing to being there. (Indeed, the one disappointment about Block Party is its length. I mean, a show like this has to go for at least six or seven hours—yet Gondry pares it all down to a mere hour and 45 minutes? That's concise filmmaking, sure, but goddamn—I just saw the film, and I'm already sick of waiting for the DVD.)

As the concert's winding down, and in one of Block Party's quieter moments, Chappelle notes that the day of the show has been the best day of his career. It's easy to see why, and good for him. Even better for us.