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
Oh no, I didn’t forget about Mc “Who got some snaps on the petrol” Eiht.
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.
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.
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:
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).
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
Tell ‘em Bleek
Sing it Cynda
The whole score just had a sick jazzy vibe fronted by again, Blanchard.