In My Write Mind
4.09.2005

Mo' 'Tracks For Dat Azz...

Wow. Thanks to everyone for the comments on Part One. Some thought I forgot certain soundtracks, but rest assured, I didn't. I just didn't want that post to be of Titanic-length. I swear, I took a nap during that movie, woke up, and the boat STILL hadn't sunk. Yeesh.

Anyways, here's 5 mo' soundtracks that I've enjoyed over the years--and why. Also, please note that I didn't list any soundtracks past 1997. So THAT'S why The Best Man, Love & Basketball, et al., weren't included.

Respect.

Above the Rim (1994)


Two words: "Afro Puffs." WHATTTT?!?!? Lady of Rage was all the, um, rage that summer, snarling "I rocks ruff and stuff wit my afro puffs..." I had to get the soundtrack after hearing that song alone. Does anybody remember the bland SWV song "Anything"? Yeah, me neither, until they did the remix with Wu-Tang Clan. Straight fire!!! When ODB (R.I.P.) cuts into the monotony with his trademark yell, IT'S ON!!! One of the best remixes ever. I'm still mad they never did a video with da Wu participating. All we get is the corny ass vid with Coko (replete with 93 inch fingernails) pretending to play ball. *Yawn* The CD is topped off with the Sweet Sable classic "Old Times Sake" (hey, any song that blatantly promotes beer is fine with me), the Nate Dogg/Warren G. collabo "Regulate" and the H-Town whiner "Part Time Lover." Overall, a good CD.

And ummm, look out for this on Monday's post. I had a crush on the mother from that movie, Tonya Pinkins. Sigh. Moving.on...

Mo' Money (1992)


This soundtrack had EVERYBODY on it--which was necessary since the movie was pure sheeht (copyright, The Kajuana Show; Brutha: Coded, Zurich Daniel 2005). Sure, it was great being able to stare at Stacey Dash for 90 minutes, but really, is there a worse actress out there? Seriously. She and Halle Berry should get together, start their own company and call it PRETTIHORRIBLE, Inc.

But the soundtrack? Whoa. I just want to know who's bright idea it was to put Janet Jackson and Luther Vandross together...on an UPTEMPO SONG?!?!!! And make it work! "The Best Things in Life Are Free" makes you want to do the running man. I swear. LOL And it takes advantage of Luther's versatility while showing a side of him you'd never expect--singing over a somewhat hip hop track. The track also works to Janet's advantage since it somewhat overpowers her weak voice. WIN WIN!!!

Other songs that stood out on the track, in my opinion, are the Caron Wheeler mid-tempo track "I Adore You", the Ralph Tresvant cautionary tale "Money Can't Buy You Love" and the MC Lyte joint "Ice Cream Dream." It rounds the soundtrack out, giving it balance and a few certified hits. What more can you ask of a compilation disc?

Strictly Business (1991)


OK. I know, I know. The movie was horrible, forcing us to endure Joseph C. Phillips being transformed from geeky nerd to geeky-nerd-with-new-vocabulary. LOL But it also introduced us to Halle Berry's body (remember, she was a crackhead in that same year's Jungle Fever), which is always a great thing. Put the anorexic Anne Marie Johnson and the equally frail Tommy Davidson in the same film, and umm...let's just say that you shouldn't expect any Shakespeare-caliber performances.

So all we were left with is the music. Which, for the most part, was a great thing. Think about it: HERE is where you first heard Yonkers' own Mary J. Blige singing "You Remind Me" (her CD wasn't in stores til 1992). HERE is where you heard Jeff Redd's classic "You Called and Told Me." Sure it got annoying after a while, but it was still da hotness at the time. Where else could you hear Grand Puba re-doing a classic disco song with "Fat Rat"? With songs from Stephanie Mills, Jodeci and Leaders of the New School filling out the disc, it was good times all around.

Waiting to Exhale (1995)


"Everyone falls...in love sometime..." Those are the words that begin what will go down in history as one of the greatest all-female soundtracks of all time. Let's take a roll call, shall we?

Whitney Houston--present *SHOOOOP!*
Aretha Franklin--here
Patti LaBelle--HEERRREEEEEE! *stop yellin', Patti...damn. We hear you!*
Chaka Khan--right here
Mary J. Blige--here with my sec'raterry. *lawd*
Faith Evans--present
TLC--yup yup
Toni Braxton--here
SWV--present
Chante Moore--here I am
Brandy--chillin, sittin in my room

Produced by a chap from Atlanta by the name of...damn, who is it again? BABY-damn-FACE! Straight platinum. Is there really anything else that needs to be said? Classics include Mary's "Not Gon' Cry", Brandy's catchy "Sittin' Up In My Room" and, of course, Whitney's "Exhale (Shoop Shoop)". Just a great collection of talent, adding up to an unforgettable soundtrack. Too bad the same can't be said about the movie, which left loads to be desired.

Jason's Lyric (1994)


Not a great movie by any means. I mean, both Treach AND Bokeem Woodbine were involved, so how could it be? In fact, critics may argue that the sole reason Ray didn't win the Academy Award for Best Picture this past year is solely because Woodbine was in the cast. Just horrible, I tell ya.

However, with that being said, no young woman will ever forget where they were when Allen Payne showed his ass in that field while knockin da back out of Jada Pinkett. LOL Only a few songs from the disc are memorable, but because they still stand out in my mind, I have to add this soundtrack to my list. The K-Ci Hailey re-do "If You Think You're Lonely Now", Brian McKnight's take on the classic "Crazy Love" and the all-male, all-star "U Will Know."

I still play those songs today. Can't say the same about the film. The mangled Texas accents alone make me wanna chuck the DVD.

Love Jones (1997)


Here we go. The one that most everyone agrees is one of the most memorable CDs of the past decade. The movie, while not classic, is definitive because it was the first in a series of movies that showed young black people doing their thing. A black male writer riding a motorcycle in Chicago? Damn right. A young black female photographer? Yessir! A group of upwardly moving black folk who are apt to hang out at poetry night? Deal with that!

It was the first time that was displayed on film--and in the beautiful city of Chicago to boot. Great scenery, good acting from Nia Long, Larenz Tate, Isaiah Washington and Bill Bellamy (THIS is the tape that Bill should show whenever he wants to land a gig...his only good role to date). Solid movie. And the soundtrack? WINNER!

Ingenious move by the producer bookending the soundtrack with the definitive poems by Tate and Long. And inside are gems from Dionne Farris ("Hopeless"), Lauryn Hill ("The Sweetest Thing"), Maxwell ("Sumthin Sumthin") and Cassandra Wilson ("You Move Me"). Throw in a little Kenny Lattimore, Groove Theory, The Brand New Heavies, Xscape and Trina Broussard; the use of classic renderings from John Coltrane, Marcus Miller and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and mix well. Voila!

Damn. That's it. I'm done. I might just go home and watch this movie again. For the poetry, the black people...and the music.

Peace.

scribbled by Will at 4/09/2005 09:52:00 AM
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Mind Droppings

I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear. (Joan Didion)



The Write One


Will. Lefty. Since Summer 1971.
Over the next six months, I'll be saying some hellos, some goodbyes. Living, laughing, growing. Don't.miss.a.word.
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