Chris Rock. Picture: Netflix
“When you’re in a relationship, you are in a band,” says Chris Rock. “And when you’re in a band, you have roles that you play in the band. Sometimes you sing lead and sometimes you’re on tambourine.”

“And if you’re on tambourine, play it right. Play it right. Play it with a f*****g smile. ‘Cause nobody wants to see a mad tambourine player. That’s right. If you’re gonna play tambourine, you play that motherf****r right. You play it with your ass like: ‘tambourine, motherf****r, tambourine!’”

At this point, Rock is shimmying on stage and the audience is in stitches. But that is possibly, to paraphrase 2Pac, the realest stuff he ever wrote. In his latest Netflix special, Rock waxes lyrical mostly on why his marriage didn’t work out as well as racism (obviously), fatherhood and more.

For a little over an hour, he lets the audience in on some very personal moments of his life. His struggle with porn addiction, competing with his wife, the size of his ego. All of that is in Tamborine.

And is it worth the reported $2 million payment? Most people are saying yes.

It’s difficult to watch this now with the way that Netflix allegedly mistreated Monique because the money conversation invariably comes up. But perhaps the tambourine analogy explained above also applies to the comedy industry. Maybe one day, the men who are being offered millions will pause their lead singing to play tambourine for their comedy counterparts.  

Catch Chris Rock’s Tamborine on Netflix now.