When Music Makes the Movie
NPR posted an article about some so-called important Hollywood music supervisor lady’s “favorite films—with great soundtracks.” Of course there were no black films on the list, but this is to be expected I suppose. Since black film soundtracks weren’t acknowledged in the article, I decided that I would take the time to make sure we received our shine somewhere. That said, here are some of my favorite movie soundtracks:
“to reach that upper level / your mind, body and soul must be one / It’s a sacrifice, it takes hard work / It’s a way of liiiiiiiiiife”—“The Glow”
If you know me, any time somebody asks me about my favorite movies, Berry Gordy’s Last Dragon is always on the list (I’m not ashamed to admit it). Loved the soundtrack!
“if you feel the same for me / yeah / the way i feel for you / I’ll rush over / mmm / there’s no need /no / to be alone / mmm /my want for you is rushing over” —“Rush Over”
Oh man. The Love Jones soundtrack was my “mood music.” This CD was constantly on repeat and reminded me of the so-called love of my life at the time. This soundtrack is definitely on the ipod, even today. Can I add how everybody thought they were some kind of spoken word poet after this movie? You know it’s true.
“sweet thing let me tell you ’bout / the world and the way things are / you’ve come from a different place / and I know you’ve traveled far / now that you’ve told me what it is / I’d better point you towards the Wiz.”—“He’s the Wizard”
I guess I’m secretly a Diana Ross 1970s film fan. I had the original record for The Wiz as a kid and played it flat out. I have even seen the actual musical several times because I love the movie so much. And do we really need to mention that Michael Jackson is in the movie? Come on now…how can this soundtrack NOT make the list?
“woke up the next morning / Nikki wasn’t there / I looked all over and all I found / was a phone number on the stairs / it said thank u 4 a funky time / call me up whenever u want 2 grind” — “Darling Nikki”
Not necessarily a favorite soundtrack, but how could I not include a soundtrack that I know all the songs and words for? It would be crazy not to, right?
“props back up / suckers get smacked up / don’t doubt the clout / you know what I’m about / knocking niggaz off, knocking niggaz out / shaking em up, waking em up / raking em up, breaking em up / standing on shaky grounds too close to the edge / let’s see if I know the ledge” —“Know the Ledge”
Love the movie. Too bad Tupac wasn’t on the soundtrack.
“I ride wit the / I slide wit the / loccs and doggs from the LBC / All of the hoes wanna kick it wit me / cuz I run wit Warren G…” — “Summertime in the LBC”
I actually remember someone inviting me on a date to go see this movie. When I reviewed the songs from the soundtrack, I seem to be able to sing the lyrics to a few. It’s definitely worth a mention, but definitely not in my list of top 10 favorites.
“we’re comin with that G shit, that C shit that make a nigga sick / how does it feel to see a G from your clique / wake up, jumped out of bed wit my grin on (why?) / last night’s dice game got my win on / about a G and a half is what I came with / but twenty five G’s is what I left with…” — “What Would U Do?”
In the 90s I was a big west coast fan. Snoop, Dre, Tha Dogg Pound, Warren G, Ice Cube. Back then it seemed like you had to choose a side. West or east coast? I chose west, but still had love for the east. To this day I have yet to see the actual film for this soundtrack, but I loved it so much when I was in high school, that I replaced my copy a few years ago. I still bump it to this day.
“someday he’ll come along / the man I love / and he’ll be big and strong / the man I love / and when he comes my way / I’ll do my best to make him stay…” — “The Man I Love”
Back to my Diana Ross film fascination. This is still a movie that I will pop in and sing along to today. Without question. I think they should honestly consider remaking it. If they can remake Berry Gordy’s Last Dragon and Karate Kid, why not Lady Sings the Blues too?
Honorable Mention: Waiting to Exhale, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, The Bodyguard, New Jack City, Menace II Society, Life, Above the Rim, Dead Presidents, Soul Food…
Did I miss anything? I’m sure I did.
Happy reading, y’all.