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Soundtracks, Soundtracks, Soundtracks: Hip Hop Soundtracks

Sep. 28, 2012by:

There are many things that make a movie what it is. It all starts with a story (according to what every How-To book on screenwriting tells us), there is the director and his crew, there are the actors, who bust their asses to bring a vision to life. Then comes the wonderful world of post-production. What is one result of that? The music. Soundtracks enhance the movie going experience. They can make us cry, they can pump us up, they can make us remember the 80's. Whether it be a musical band or a composer, soundtracks help our favorite movies stay etched in our mind forever.

The theme of the week is the Hip Hop soundtrack folks. These soundtracks often accompany films that carry weight, leave us with a message and leave us to think, puts us in the shoes of the characters. A wide array of artists have signed on through the years to compliment these films well like Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, 2pac, Eminem, and many more. Here are a few that I feel have in a way transcended their films themselves, and turned themselves into a whole other animal!

1. LOSE YOURSELF BY EMINEM

Here is an example of how many ears this track has reached, my brother is not a hip hop fan in the slightest, but not only is the only song I can enjoy with him accompanying me in the vehicle...but he is blasting it through his computer speakers more than I do. Eminem is such a clever lyricist, that not only can this song apply to those who suffer from stage fright in particular, but can act as an anthem to anyone who is afraid to go after anything in their life on any level. The track captures the fears that can eat us alive perfectly, and inspires us to just say f*ck it and grab the world by the throat and go after what we want. If you have an opportunity in life, its your duty not to let it slip by. Now lose yourself in the music. Purchase the soundtrack here

2. KEEP THEIR HEADS RINGIN' BY DR. DRE (FRIDAY)

Dr. Dre supplies us with the only party atmospheric track well see in this list. A hardcore beat that we are all meant to dance too, I remember pumping myself up for the day by watching the music video for this bad boy in which Chris Tucker makes a comedic cameo. I find myself wishing that we had gotten an NWA reunion by Ice Cube making an appearance in Keep Your Head Ringin, a verse with Cubes style would have made this song a masterpiece. Ah well, Dre carried the ball just fine himself. Purchase the soundtrack here

3. STRAIGHT UP MENACE BY MC EIHT (MENACE II SOCIETY)

The lyrics to Straight Up Menace are simply an outline of the main characters arc, but the slow almost melancholy tune makes it hard not to get swept up in it. The rapper that brought us this little tale of tragedy (MC Eiht) also has a role in the film, and doesnt do bad himself. Menace II Society is a grittier tale than that of Boyz N The Hood, the message more subtle. Way less cathartic, there is no happy ending here. Just another victim of the ghetto indeed. NOTE: A more upbeat remix of this track made an appearance in the film during a certain carjacking. Purchase the soundtrack here

4. HOW TO SURVIVE IN SOUTH CENTRAL BY ICE CUBE (BOYZ N THE HOOD)

Arguably the shining star of this film brought his hard hitting lyrical style to the end credits of Boyz N The Hood, while this track was awesome in its own rightI might have liked a more somber track as in Menace II Society that I think Cube could have pulled off just as well as MC Eiht. The tone of the third act of the film called for it if you ask me. That said, at the same time this track may have served as levity from what we just witnessed. A perfect song to blast while strolling through memory lane while you cruise the streets, Cube has provided plenty of those. Purchase the soundtrack here

5. PAIN BY 2PAC (ABOVE THE RIM)

Above The Rim is an underrated film in my opinion, and that is thanks to the performance from legendary late rapper Tupac Shakur. I mean, this character had no redeeming qualities whatsoever but you cant help but sympathize with his feeling slighted by his older brother. There is one scene in the film where we see a hint of regret at the way his life turned out, followed by the mood setting beat from Pain. NOTE: In the beginning of the song, a soundclip from Star Trek V is featured. Listen on! Purchase the soundtrack here

6. KEEP HUSTLIN BY TERRANCE HOWARD (HUSTLE & FLOW)

The song Ive featured for this particular choice is not the song that won the Academy for Best Original Song, but it is the song I found the deepest and most moving of this films packed soundtrack. Excellent lyrics, in which DJay lets us all know he wont be letting his past dictate where he goes from here. He is one dedicated ex pimp, who will turn this new found talent into gold. Dont you wish it was that easy for all of us? But hey, in the hip hop game these days I believe any schmuck can end up as successful as we felt DJay would ultimately be. NOTE: This track was sung by the man himself Terrance Howard, dude can rap. Purchase the soundtrack here

HONORABLE MENTION: JUST A BABY BOY BY SNOOP DOG & TYRESE (BABY BOY)

Extra Tidbit: Next week is Rock N Roll soundtracks, folks! Submit your suggestions!
Source: JoBlo.com
Tags: soundtracks

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