Fade to Black (2005) More than just another show, Jay-Z's rap-star-studded gig at Madison Square Garden in November 2003 was also his alleged retirement from live performance. Likewise, the…
Movie on DVD Review

Fade to Black (2005)

Jay-Z, Beyonce Knowles, ... | CRAZY IN LOVE Beyonce grooves Jay-Z
CRAZY IN LOVE Beyonce grooves Jay-Z
EW's GRADE
B+

Details Release Date: Apr 05, 2005; DVD Release Date: Apr 05, 2005; Movie Rated: R; Genre: Documentary; With: Jay-Z; Distributor: Paramount Classics

More than just another show, Jay-Z's rap-star-studded gig at Madison Square Garden in November 2003 was also his alleged retirement from live performance. Likewise, the beautifully shot documentary of the event, Fade to Black, is more than just another concert film. In between cameos both electrifying (girlfriend Beyoncé, who dances as much as she sings) and amusing (R. Kelly, before he and Jay-Z became nemeses) are fascinating scenes from the making of The Black Album. See tough customer Jay-Z shop for beats from Pharrell Williams, Timbaland, and other producers, and watch them gulp as he rejects one track after another.

EXTRAS The ''Story Behind Fade to Black'' doc is mostly a series of gushy testimonials to Jay-Z's greatness from music-biz insiders. Skip instead to the one deleted scene: Under pressure to finish the album on deadline, various associates stress out and scream at one another. Thankfully, no weapons are pulled.

Originally posted Apr 04, 2005 Published in issue #814 Apr 08, 2005 Order article reprints