Chris Rock’s “Top Five” has been on the edge of the awards conversation since its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival back in September. With the release of the first clip from the film, however, its clear that Paramount is diving headfirst into the awards race with the film.
Written, directed and starring Chris Rock, “Top Five” tells the story of a successful comedian, played by Rock of course, trying to reinvent himself as a “serious actor.” In doing so, he agrees to be interviewed by a smart, young writer from The New Yorker, played by Rosario Dawson.
In this clip from the film, Rock’s character, Andre, engages in a lively discussion about rap with some friends. Tracy Morgan makes an appearance in the scene and the two compare notes on who ranks among the top rappers of all time.
The clip may not make you laugh out loud, but it contains a great deal of interesting material for culture aficionados to unpackage. For example, why does Tracy Morgan designate Jay-Z as his “sixth man,” whereas Andre places him at the top of his list? What does this say about the legacy of rap and hip-hop and how its role in culture has changed over time?