What up yall. You ever hear a song and immediately think of a scene from one of your favorite flicks? I’m not talking obvious stuff like the Star Wars theme, but songs that got play on the radio. Am I the only one that hears “Sex You Up” by Color Me Bad and immediately think of New Jack City, or “Know the Ledge” by Rakim and think of Q, Steel, Bishop and Raheem? Classic joints that put you right back at Cinema 7 in downtown Glen Burnie when you originally saw the flick. It is in this spirit I present to you my Top Ten soundtracks of all time.
10. Berry Gordy’s The Last Dragon – This is my movie, and the music was just classic. I think I went to see this in the theater (Jumper, when they had new movies) for my 6th birthday with my cousin Boobie holding my Bumblebee Transformer I got for my birthday. The Willy Hutch joints on here are classic. I’m disappointed one of my favorite joints from the film, “Suki Yaki Hot Saki Sue” didn’t make the actual soundtrack. The crown jewel of the album was “Rhythm of the Night” by King of the Lightskin-deds El Debage, classic. Great joint, great movie, you saki to me I saki to you.
9. Belly – I saw Belly with my homeboys Jr and Atif in Harford Co. right after Atif…nevermind. This cult classic was really a long play music video, along with the music video quality acting. I’m still bugged out with that weird movie brother Earl aka DMX was watching with the white kids and the stinky rabbit. But the music…whooooo! “The Militia” remix from Gangstarr, one of my favorite Ja joints “Story to Tell”, “Grand Finale” with DMX Nas Method Man and Ja was CRAZY. The standout track was “Devils Pie” a D’Angelo joint with a beat from the production G.O.A.T. DJ Premier. I like the soundtrack better than the movie.
8. Soul in the Hole – I don’t know anybody who saw this one but the soundtrack was fish grease on a summer day. Front to back Hip-Hop. A who’s who of Loud Records at the time, it had some dope joints. Wu Tang had “Diesel” on there with the ILL INTRO from dirt, “Ride” from MOP; my favorite beat on there was the Cocoa Brovas joint “Won On Won”. The title track was also a banger, featuring the Wu-Tang affiliates. The standout track here was a joint called “You Ain’t A Killer” from a young MC from the BX named Pig Pun, he had all the dopest verses on the soundtrack on this song. One word to describe this album, smoker.
7. Menace II Society – I believe My Aunt Toni took my cousin Kendel and me to see this one. Dope flick, O-Dog was raw, but not as raw as the soundtrack. A bunch of west coast legends like Spice 1 “Nigga Gots No Heart”, Too Short “Only the Strong Survive and west coast triple OG Roger Troutman’s classic “Computer Love”. There was east coast representation her from BDP, Brand Nubian and Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth. The standout here was a MC Eiht over that piano on “Straight Up Menace”. Classic film, classic soundtrack, geeya.
6. 8 Mile – The most modern of the list, I saw with my wife. Good flick, GREAT soundtrack with 2 certified hit/classic records. Shady/Aftermath was represented well here. Obie Trice, D12, and Rakim (yall forgot about his Aftermath days). There was also a “More Music from 8 Mile that featured all the music from the film used to show the time period (1995), Google that one, you need it. Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” is a classic song along with 50s “Wanksta” two anthems, great movie.
5. New Jersey Drive – I honestly can’t remember when I saw this one with but I’m gonna assume Aunt Toni and Kendel again. Good flick, OK acting, DOPE soundtrack. Another one that came out near my birthday, weird huh? This one had two volumes. Vol. 1 has a bunch of legends and 2 classic songs. Ill Al Skratch, Redman, LOTU, ‘Kast, Heavy D, Queen Latifa, Keith Murray and Keith Murray. The 2 Classic records were “Before I let Go” by Maze feat. Frankie Beverly and “Can’t you See” B.I.G. & Total. Vol. 2 Naughty, O.C., Organized Konfusion, Jeru and Mad Lion. The standout here was my joint “Headz Ain’t Ready” by Black Moon and Smif-N-Wessun. Vol. 1 was better but Vol. 2 had the best song.
4. Above the Rim – If I recall correctly, this was another Bday flick, my father took me and my cousins (Shout out Kendel, Dennis, Chris and Eugene) in Columbia. This joint has some smokers. “Big Pimpin'” and “Dogg Pound 4 Life” by The Dogg Pound were my ish, “Anything” from SWV is a classic joint, these songs cancel out epic fails like “Hoochies Need Love Too” buy some chick named Paradise. You’re gonna expect me to say “Regulate” by Nate Dogg and Warren G as the standout but I won’t, while it is a classic it isn’t my favorite from the album. “Pour Out A Little Liquor” is one of my favorite Tupac songs.
3. Juice – I DEFINITELY saw this one with Aunt Toni and Ken. I’ll never forget the guy yelling out when Bishop *SPOILER ALERT* fell off the building, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” Another assembly of legends, Cypress Hill, Salt-n-Pepa, EPMD, Too Short and Big Daddy Kane. What rated this one so high was the fact that the R&B joint here were ILL. First Aaron Hall had “Don’t Be Afraid” which is a classic slow drag and then the up tempo joint from the record store heist “Is It Good To You” by Tammy Lucas and Teddy “Yup yup” Riley. Get a job why don’t you. Oh, not an R&B head? Then the Juice OST hit you in the head with two CLASSIC BANGERS. “Uptown Anthem” by Naughty By Nature and “Know The Ledge” by Rakim. Nuff Said.
2. Purple Rain – I know my mom and her best friend Debbie will love how high this one is. Not sure when I saw this one either. All I know is Morris Day was dope in this, so was Clarence “Mod Squad” Williams III as Prince’s daddy. The music though, classic, timeless, and jammin’. There was hit after hit on here. This album stands alone as one of the best albums ever without the movie. Prince put his foot in this one. No standouts, the whole joint was fire. You had “When Doves Cry”, Darling Nikki”, “Let’s Go Crazy”, “Take Me With U”, and the title track “Purple Rain”, can’t touch it. Well, one soundtrack did…
1. Superfly – This one was released July of ’72 I was a little late for opening weekend for this one, 8 years too late. I finally caught it on DVD in the late 90s. Curtis Mayfield was a bad boy. Even though Purple Rain has more “hits” that this, the musicianship and emotion of this album is unmatched. It was great music, with grit and a message. This was more than just music. Just the intros to these songs make you feel a certain kinda way. Ron O’Neal was a bad mofo but nowhere near as bad as Mr. Mayfield.
There you have it MY top ten soundtracks of all time. Honorable mention to waiting to Exhale, Jungle Fever, Mo’ Money, Soulfood, Beatstreet, Wyld Style, Boomerang, and Who’s the Man. All great soundtracks that just missed the cut here. I’m sure you will disagree and remind me of any I missed. That being said, there’s a tan horse on my shirt, a bright sun in the sky, and 57 days until Dallas Cowboy football. If you can’t get excited for that, Your Opinion Is Wrong. Peace