Directors: Patrick Paulson and Michael John Warren
Hov dropped The Black Album, then he backed out of the game, saying he'd retied... And we got an amazing documentary out of the (temporary) deal. Seriously, though, Jay-Z's retirement may have been been short-lived, but within the context of a "final performance" we truly get to see the rapper at his best and brightest.
The incredible energy behind his now-legendary show at New York City's Madison Square Garden in 2003 (which included the likes of The Roots, R. Kelly, Beyoncé, Mary J., ?uestlove, and Diddy, just to name a few) is brilliantly captured. There's also behind-the-scenes action featuring Hov and a fresh-faced Kanye West in the studio (Yeezy was mostly a beat-maker back then, remember?).
But perhaps the documentary's most fulfilling aspect is the insight we're afforded into the legendary rapper's meticulous creation process. But a farewell? The Black Album being his final record? We didn't believe that shtick for a second.