Friday Fire: What Soundtrack Do Ya Movie To?

Menace II Society

Remember, these are mine. Please list yours without prejudice. Educate me. This has been fun the last few weeks. I’ll finish up when I get the chance later on tonight or early tomorrow after I return from Sixers/Clippers.

Let me start this off right. Back in 1993 the music world was all the way live. I had a black Acura Integra with gold spoke BBS rims that shined like a … and whatever I had in the cd player knocked loudly out of the sun roof. Then Menace II Society hit and I had to cop the soundtrack. O Dog and Kane were on a mission just to survive the cops, their moms and pops, cats slingin’ rocks and their own block. One will always wonder what this movie would have been had Tupac not got into it with the Hughes Brothers, but in the end, the movie was still a classic. It was a perfect documentation of West Coast life in the hood. Hardcore, vulgar and a straight up menace.

The one I banged the most was that Lynch Mob track. Especially when Cube said Boom Ping Ping!

Da Lynch Mob rock this joint. The West Coast was kicking the most hardcore rap available at the time and being in my twenties, I had to have it. The soundtrack was sick for the brothas. You had everyone from Marvin Gaye, Spice 1, George Clinton, Pete Rock and CL Smooth and Brand Nubians to KRS-1 Too Short (Yeah, Short Dawg was in the house), Cube again, UGK, Roger and Zapp (Uh huh, the long version that defined the slow dance in the club at the end of the night), Hi Five NWA and Al Green

Mz. Kilo (that beat used to knock crazy with bass) had the most slept on and rawest female rapper track until Boss dropped Deeper. Ant Banks was as smooth as Smooth was on You’ve Been Played.

Oh no, I didn’t forget about Mc “Who got some snaps on the petrol” Eiht.

Purple Rain

When Michael Jackson was wrecking shop in the eighties, he had only one competitor and that was Prince

Rogers Nelson. And the only reason Mike didn’t run off with everything was the soundtrack to the ground breaking movie, Purple Rain.

I wasn’t enamored with the title track as most folk. The Beautiful Ones was the alternative to the mainstream’s admiration of Purple Rain. Look at it like this: Janet Jackson’s Funny How Time Flies had what I needed compared to Let’s Wait Awhile.

Figadeal me?

But nothing had anything on When Doves Cry. Oh my goodness. That track was genius because anyone could claim it.

“How can you just leave me standing…alone in a world that’s so cold. Maybe I’m just to demanding. Maybe I’m just like my father too bold. Maybe I’m just like my mother…she’s never satisfied. Why must scream at each other? This is what it sounds like when doves cry..

Now there are soundtracks listed below that hit me harder in my adult years, but Purple Rain came along at a time when I needed a respite from the ties that high school bind. I remember after football games when we used to pack into my boy Barry St. John’s caddy and ride all over the place with the sounds of Prince blaring. R.I.P Barry. We miss you bruh.

Love Jones

Yeah I’m a sucker for Nia. Sorry, that’s just how it is. Larenz Tate makes his second appearance on this list as writer Long’s love interest who just so happens to also be a writer. Hmmm, maybe there is hope for this brothaman. GIve me a mic and let me deep voice swoon them on stage spittin’ sensual fireisms of smooth straight laced soul to that smiling siren wanting similar solace after the solitude. I’ll…

Oh my bad I’m dreamin’ again. Sigh, oh well. Damnit man!

This soundtrack has it all. It has my temptation, Amel Larrieux, the queen who is gone, Lauryn Hill, the track that eases my mind when I do get sleep, Coltrane’s In a Sentimental Mood. Not that one, but this one. Sorry, I miss Phyllis bad. Melky Sedeck, Me’shell N’Degeocello and Marcus Miller, the lovely You Move Me by Cassandra Wilson–You know my secrets, you know the curves and the lines–damn, Dionne Farris’ Hopeless and many more.

For the ladies:

Beat Street

Do you hear that scratch? Yeah that one. The one that in my mind put the DJ on the mainstream map. Grand Master Melle Mel and the Furious Five hit big with Beat Street Breakdown. This was the movie that let the world in on the culture of Hip Hop. You felt the essence of the MC, the DJ, break dancing and graffiti in Beat Street. It was a constant party even though you didn’t know the name of the song. Crazy but my cousin Bill Warren, this cat named Vince and I would drive all over the place on Saturdays and bang Beat Street and He’s the Dj, I’m the Rapper. Vince had this El Dorado and the whole car shook when we hit forty. The first time this happened Billy and I laughed the hardest I’ve probaby ever laughed. The steering wheel shook so much that Vince’s glasses used to fly off.  We couldn’t wait to pay 1 dollar to see the movie. That’s when you had dollar movies.

The Battle between the NYC Breakers and the Rock Steady Crew?

Check out the Treacherous Three and a young Dougie Fresh…

Beat Street Breakdown…

New Jack City

New Jack Swing was in full effect, brothas were selling each other out, pimples on the booty were getting popped, Pookie was punkin’ cracked out prom queens and cats were getting rocked to sleep in broad daylight by chicks. Guy, Christopher Williams, Queen Latifah, Troop and Levert put it down. Even Color Me Badd added to the New Jack dimension (You know you used to sing that shit, don’t even front).

Crooklyn

Yeah boy…this gives me a chance to post one of my favorite videos from the Crooklyn Dodgers–the original and the remix with Jeru the Damaja–but it wasn’t the new school that made this soundtrack, it was all the classics. People Make the World Go Round, Respect Yourself, Pusher Man, ABC, Oh Girl, Ooh Child, Mr. Big Stuff, Everyday People, Signed, Sealed and Delivered, I’ll Take You There, Never Can Say Goodbye (this song had me emotional before my Mom died), Tears of a Clown and Shaft–that’s not all of them. This movie was the epitome of the Black diaspora. From the lights going out and “tenderheaded” to Delroy Lindo and Alfre Woodward breaking up to making up. Classic.

Dig the Soul Train line at the end

From Clockers not Crooklyn, but still apropos

Mo Better Blues

A Terrance Blanchard score is all I need in a movie. His talent screams then chills you through a range of emotions while not losing site of what is visually before you. Mo betta makes it mo betta. Lennox Ave. I miss you and don’t even know you.

Gang Starr’s Jazz Thing

Say Hey

Tell ‘em Bleek

Sing it Cynda

Sugar Hill

The whole score just had a sick jazzy vibe fronted by again, Blanchard.

24 Responses to “Friday Fire: What Soundtrack Do Ya Movie To?”

  1. michelle says:

    Miz,

    Wow! You mentioned a lot of my favorites. Love Jones being my all time favorite. Here are a couple more I like. Disappearing Act, Car Wash, Love and Basketball, Soul Food, Top Gun, Last American Virgin, Waiting To Exhale, The Preachers Wife, and Life to name a few. After doing a double and almost killing myself driving today in the snow this is fun. Come on you guys take me back in time with some classics like Shaft.

  2. michelle says:

    Romeo Must Die is also one of my favorites.

  3. michelle says:

    Pretty in Pink and St ELmo’s Fire

  4. delinda says:

    Ah…Shaft makes this girl move…Pretty in Pink always gives me reason to smile…Jaws still scares the hell outta me even when I’m on gool ol terra firma…Carlitos Way-possibly the only soundtrack I listen to regularly-great 70′s mix…and of course, I may not ‘groove’ to it, but Pink Floyds the Wall need to be mentioned here somewhere…and ditto on Purple Rain fo sho.

  5. michelle says:

    delinda,

    Jaws?? I couldn’t take a bath for weeks after that movie. LOL!

  6. Eric Daniels says:

    My list depends is pretty much 70′s and 80′s with some of the modern era because I listened to those soundtracks as a small kid in the 70′s and a teenager in the 80′s.

    1. Superfly
    2. Car Wash
    3. The Spook Who Sat By The Door
    4. Let’s Do It Again
    6. The Warriors
    7. The Wiz
    8. Wattstaxx (2 album set))
    9. That’s the Way of the World
    10. Black Ceasar

    80′s

    1. Eddie and the Cruisers
    2. Purple Rain
    3. Breakfast Club
    4. Under the Cherry Moon (aka “Parade)
    5. Beat Street
    6. Breakin
    7. School Daze
    8. Choice Tonight (Vandross, Pendergrass)
    9. Streets Of Fire
    10. Do the Right Thing

    90′s

    1. That Thing You Do !
    2. Mo Betta Blues
    3. The Crow
    4. Kansas City
    5. Love Jones
    6. The Wedding Singer
    7. Malcolm X
    8. Batman Forever
    9. Alan Smithee
    10. Girl 6

    honorable mention

    The Rutles
    Hair
    5. Trouble Man

  7. michelle says:

    Eric,

    That’s a great list.

  8. TheLastPoet says:

    Many of my favorites have been listed, to which I’ll add only two: The Mack by the immortal Willie Hutch (“Brothas Gonna Work It Out,” “I Choose You,” etc); and The Wiz by legend Quincy Jones, with Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Lena Horn, and many others (I can’t recall the artist who portrayed “Evilene, the wicked witch of the east,” but she was phenomenal).

  9. TC says:

    I love the Crooklyn and New Jack City soundtracks….also gotta say I enjoyed Sister Act. Another couple I really liked were LA Confidential featuring great jazz cuts from the ’40s and ’50s. Also liked Good Will Hunting which had some good indie cuts. The Insider (with Al Pacino and Russell Crowe (for which he SHOULD have gotten an Oscar – not for Gladiator)) has a dope, moody, soundtrack made by one of the key members of Massive Attack – Lisa Gerrard. I liked the soundtrack to Heat because it was moody and edgy, in keeping with the vibe of the movie. Another soundtrack I love love loved was Dead Presidents….some great funk tracks bringing back some of the best from the early ’70s. Loved the soundtrack to Flash Gordon coz it was done by Queen….also enjoyed Last of the Mohicans soundtrack. Oh yeah, and Kill Bill was all over the map with Quentin Tarantino’s eclectic taste and Pulp Fiction also.

  10. Eric Daniels says:

    Thanks Michelle for the great compliment and last poet the lady with those powerful pipes singing “I don’t wanna hear no bad news” is Mabel King of “What’s Happening” and TC you can’t go wrong with the RZA on those Tarratino “Kill Bill” scores. He also did ” Ghost Dog” soundtrack and the Grindhouse movies. But there is one Soundtrack I forgot to mention and that’s the “Cotton Club” soundtrack where Lonette Mc Kee and the Himes Brothers sing some of the songs.

  11. HarveyDent says:

    Love all the ones listed here so far and the ones I want to mention are ‘Above The Rim’, ‘Boyz N Da Hood’, and ‘Black Caesar’ (because you can never have too much James Brown),

  12. Miranda says:

    If you’ve never listened to the soundtrack to “Roots” (produced by Quincy Jones) please do…and yes, you’ll cry. The last song on there makes me cry every single time I hear it – Many Rains Ago.

  13. vleeflo says:

    I’ll add one.
    Claudine

  14. vleeflo says:

    another one.

    Cooley High

  15. You forgot the classic soundtrack from the mid-90′s…

    I’M BOUT IT featuring Master P and the No Limit All-Stars

    truly a classic album, don’t act like you wasn’t riding to it back in the day, it was the shit!

    -Ed.

  16. TheLastPoet says:

    Mabel King!!! Yesssir, thanks Eric.

    TC, if you like RZA soundtracks, try Ghost Dog, an indie flick starring Forrest Whitaker. It may have been his first soundtrack, and it’s full of that classic Wu sound.

    And yeah Harvey, I had Black Caesar, too, but Eric already mentioned it ahead of both of us.

  17. TheLastPoet says:

    Also, if you would allow me to expand yalls horizons a little, consider The Harder They Come, a reggae soundtrack featuring Jimmy Cliff; and Sarafina!, yeah the joint with Whoopi Goldberg, but forget about her. Cat named Mbongeni Ngema with an assist from Hugh Masekela – both highly regarded musicians in South Africa – produced the tracks. Great sounding freedom music.

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  19. michelle says:

    Miranda,

    Thanks for the suggestion.

    Vleeflo,

    Cooley High, OH YEAH!

  20. michelle says:

    The Eagles are officially done this year. How the hell does Ed Reed go like 108 yards without anyone tackling him??? Just SAD!

    Sports talk radio here in Philly will be off the hook this week. The question now is, where is Donovan going to be traded? Or if he’s released, where is he going to go?

  21. Damn when I think of soundtracks Superfly and Menace II Society come to mind.

    Lick ‘Dem Mutha#hu@as by Brand Nubian is a classic of that piece. Sadat X catches wreck on his verse.

    Purple Rain, Do The Right Thing, Mo Better Blues, Crooklyn, Ray, Ghost Dog w/the RZA is a slept on soundtrack.

  22. KevDog says:

    Wow, what a cool topic.

    I don”t have much to add. Just to point out to Mizzo that the pianist on that Coltrane cut was Duke Ellington and I think that Superfly was tr greatest soundtrack ever.

  23. TC says:

    Thanks for the reminders about Ghost Dog. Yeah, love that one. Also Coffee and Cigarettes features RZA and GZA. Jim Jarmusch is a bad man.

  24. “Cakes” w/Kool G Rap and RZA.

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