Throughout Jay-Z's Fade to Black, the rap superstar talks about the importance of making his final album great, and about how big his November 2003 concert at Madison Square Garden needs to be. Both are profiled in the film. It would have been nice if the man they called Jigga, put a little of that focus in helping to make an absorbing chronicle of those heady times. Fade to Black, for all of the cultural hoopla involved, isn't much different from a concert DVD with some extra footage thrown in.
I'm sure fans of Jay-Z will be enthralled as his improvised rhymes and speedy eloquence join forces with an array of talent from the hip-hop community, including Missy Elliott, R. Kelly, Mary J. Blige, and Pharrell Williams. Everyone else will feel like they're watching a movie that's perpetually halfway over.
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