Dave Chappelle’s famed Brooklyn-based musical festival was held in 2004 and later released as a documentary (Dave Chappelle’s Block Party) during 2005’s Toronto International Film Festival. The concert featured the likes of The Roots, Mos Def, Kanye West and Talib Kweli, and was released in the U.S. shortly after Chappelle walked away from his wildly popular Comedy Central sketch show.
Things are very different in 2020. Block parties are admonished in the age of COVID-19, but despite recent social distancing protocols, Chappelle is back and busier than ever. In an effort to get that old thing back, the comedian held a July 4th block party-style music fest in Yellow Springs, Ohio, where attendees were tested for the virus onsite and social distancing was encouraged.
According to Spin, acts who performed at the celeb-studded event included Chappelle, Erykah Badu, Common, Talib Kweli, The Roots, and stand-up comedians Michelle Wolf, Tiffany Haddish and Michael Che. The entire event was six-hours long, and 400 people were present.
“During the night, Badu sang Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit,’ Chappelle covered Radiohead’s ‘Creep,’ Kweli and Common joined Chappelle for a cover of Eric B. and Rakim’s ‘Paid in Full’ and [Jon] Hamm sang Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believin’’ to the audience’s delight,” writes the publication. Brooklyn Vegan reports that the event was filmed and will be distributed at a later time.
“Drove 900+ miles to a hippie farm town, got tested 2ce & mask/rantined & got on a drumset for the first time in 4 months,” Questlove wrote on Instagram of the event. “To be honest a lot of us were afraid of how rusty we’ve become since March. This was missed & needed (the camaraderie (been a min since I’ve seen/had meaningful conversations w people I know in the flesh) worth the effort.”