Rest In Peace, Movie Soundtrack


Words by Phlip

Who remembers when Movie Soundtracks didn’t suck? Me either.

By some odd phenomenon, I had both the ‘Belly’ and ‘The Show’ soundtracks on my iPod after synching on Sunday for Monday’s workday. “Cool, no problem! These are two of the best hip hop movie soundtracks,” I thought to myself, meaning I would be able to put them on and let them ride cover-to-cover when they came up.


Perhaps it was willful ignorance; perhaps it was creating something that just was not to be when listening to them the first time through, but movie soundtracks do NOT wear as well as a feature album. Sure, for what we remember about them – songs that either introduce, make or confirm someone’s star status – we love and will always remember them. The problem is that for every “Devil’s Pie,” we will have to sit through some insufferable version of “Never Dreamed You’d Leave In The Summer” or worse yet, a Drag-On song. For every “How High” or live performance of “Me and my Bitch,” we must make it through a song by someone named “Isaac 2 Isaac” or some of the laziest songs by names we knew well at the time.

I invite you to show me ANY soundtrack that has not checked in at 70+ minutes, be it hip hop or not. It almost feels like labels (Def Jam carried both of the ones that led to this post, by the way) will take on a movie soundtrack as a means of keeping artists whose albums will forever remain on the “coming soon” list quiet by putting them in one song that no one will admit to disliking on an album guaranteed to go at least gold, based solely on the success of the movie it came with.

You know that moment where someone has managed to make themselves angry by simply going through with something they were well aware they were doing? I am pretty sure that I have managed to do that to myself by putting my iPod in my pocket for the duration of this soundtrack instead of on the desk where I would have easy access to the Fast Forward button.

What is sadder is that while writing this, I have looked through the list of movie soundtracks that I remember enjoying to test whether I would be willing to attempt stomaching them again as my 33rd birthday approaches in a little under 2 weeks, and I came up with three… THREE.

•The Spook who Sat By the Door

Notice the common threads between those? (1) each one serves as a full-length album by one person – Isaac Hayes, Curtis Mayfield and Herbie Hancock respectively – and (2) none are hip hop.

This is not shots fired in on hip hop at large, so much as it is me having taken THIS long to notice how soundtracks are (or at least seemed to be) one of those hard-to-botch mediums that were shown as such until hip hop decided to get involved. An ever-eager audience waits in the wings to declare something as “classic” without full, fair or objective assessment of the project in total. In so much, we have movie soundtracks in hip hop that are touted as “classic” despite containing a full third of an album of wholly forgettable material.

Words by Phlip


11 comments on “Rest In Peace, Movie Soundtrack

  1. markdub7 says:

    Damn! This post reminds me that I once thought that the Who’s the Man soundtrack was that shit. Now…I just kind of think it was shit. Lol


    • Phlip says:

      When they were new, we got totally snowed into thinking they were the best thing since pants with pockets.
      Going back and listening, though? Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeit


  2. eazy_ says:

    I like Menace II Society and Boyz n the Hood. Both those soundtracks can be played with no skipping.


  3. Tony Grands says:

    Menace, Poetic Justice, Whos The Man? are classics by virtue. Maybe Above The Rim but only when chicks are around.

    Dead Presidents, tho? The best, Jerry. The best…


  4. Technique says:

    I’m only 25 so when Space Jam came out I was pretty young and it was the biggest shit ever to me, so I bought the soundtrack. There’s only one dope song on there, the Monstars anthem. Haa that joint had LL, B-Real, Coolio, Method Man, and Busta!


  5. Soulrise says:

    Menace II Society, Friday, I’m Bout It, Murder Was The Case, Above The Rim, and Rhyme & Reason are all classics with almost no filler to me. High School High, Sunset Park, and Set It Off aren’t 100% thorough but good enough that I still listen to them every now and then.


  6. DV says:

    Great White Hype was pretty good. So was Dont Be A Menace (and Menace). Of course Above The Rim, Rhyme and Reason,Sole In The Hole, Friday (both the hiphop one and the funk,soul,r&b one) Streets Is Watching, Nutty Professor, Nothing To Lose, RIDE, Jasons Lyric, Judgement Night, Bulworth, How To Be A Player, Players Club (just watched that for the first time in a looooong time Ronnie >Diamond) Rush Hour. I shudder to think what type of fuckery would be created today if movies still used hiphop to promote it like in the 90’s (given whats considered “hot” today). Those joints was like legal mixtapes. Damn I miss the 90’s.


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