Fear Of A Black Hat Review

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This mockumentary follows the band NWH (Niggaz With Hats) as they search for fame, fortune and probably bling as well


If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then director Rob Reiner must be feeling one flattered bunny. Not only did "rapumentary" CB4 nick Reiner's Spinal Tap concept to parody the world of hip-hop, but "rapumentary" Fear Of A Black Hat does, well, pretty much the same thing.

Lampooning everyone from Public Enemy to Vanilla Ice, this debut feature from Cundieff has documentary maker Nina Blackburn (Kasi Lemmons) following hip-hop stars NWH (Niggaz With Hats) on tour. Along the way we meet band members Tasty Taste (Scott), Tone Def (Lawrence) and Ice Cold (Cundieff) as they bicker, split up and inevitably reform for one last show.

CB4 fell down by broadening the Spinal Tap blueprint to include something that resembled a plot. This, on the other hand, slavishly copies the original, virtually to the point of plagiarism.

Despite this, Cundieff manages to slip in the odd original, and half-decent gag. A running joke about the band's controversial Kill Whitey track, for example, ("We were just talking about our old manager, Whitey De Luca!") just about stands up to its endless retelling. On the whole though, as Spinal Tap themselves discovered, there is a very fine line between clever and stupid.

Funny and occasionally original, this suffers only from too close a resemblance to its rock forefather.