It’s been almost a year since Dave Chappelle released “8:46” online in the wake of the murder of George Floyd. Chappelle’s surprise stand-up set was filmed on June 6 of last year, amid the protests and demonstrations against police brutality and systemic racism that had spread throughout the country over the prior week, and during the first few months of a pandemic that is still not entirely over. The half-hour video was posted to Chappelle’s Instagram page and Netflix’s YouTube page on June 12, and despite his own hesitance at sharing it due to how hastily it was put together, it instantly became one of the comedian’s most important works. It’s an angry, solemn, but hilarious rumination on Floyd’s death and the larger societal problems that it’s indicative of, and feels raw and unguarded in a way rarely seen from Chappelle’s stand-up. It was also released as a benefit for the Equal Justice Initiative, a more-than-worthy cause.
Everything Chappelle said a year ago is still valid today, so it makes sense that the comedian would finally do an official commercial release of “8:46.” Today it was announced that Jack White’s record label Third Man Records will be releasing a limited-edition vinyl record of “8:46.” The run will be limited to 846 copies, in red, black and green, and are available as of today at Third Man’s stores in Nashville and Detroit; it was also available through the label’s site, but it’s already sold out. If you missed the limited edition, you can still preorder the standard pressing, which will be out on October 29, 2021.
Chappelle’s set takes up the entire A-side. On the flip are two poems by Amir Sulaiman, “My Insides Out” and “We Must Win,” which, like “8:46,” were also recorded live in Ohio. The whole package features photos from Matieu Bitton, taken both at Chappelle’s original performance of “8:46” and at various Los Angeles protests from the time period. All vinyl sales will benefit the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C., which is Chappelle’s alma mater.
If you haven’t watched “8:46” yet, it’s still up for free on YouTube. Here’s an embed.