Release date: August 15, 1995
This soundtrack right here is my favorite soundtrack of all time, no question. Not only does it have a who's who of hip hop artists up and down the lineup circa 1995, this also brings back SO many memories and the nostalgia is SO strong that it's a complete understatement. Before I dissect this one, allow me to share a story. This was released in the summer of 1995, and I recall being with dad on a particular day; can't recall the actual day, but I know it was a weekday. He was playing the cassette in his ride, and as I was listening to it, I recall really liking what I was hearing. He then asked, "you like this don't you?!". I nodded in complete agreement before I loudly said "yep!" "Want me to buy it for you?" Again, I replied, "yep!" So we went to Circuit City, he bought me the cassette, and words couldn't express how EXCITED I was to have it; an impromptu gift of sorts from my dad, plus my love for hip hop music created a memorable experience. I held on to that tape and played it CONSTANTLY, yes indeed. It didn't pop at all, surprisingly. To this day, I can't remember what exactly happened to it, but I know I didn't lose it. Now that I got the sentimental side out of the way, let's get in the soundtrack itself!
Kid Capri, Kid Creole, & Ecstacy- "Hip Hop Is.... "
Standard intro here. Kid Capri's statement of "this is hip hop music and this is all we got" is SO true and he said it a point in time when it MEANT something. This is something that needs to be mentioned a lot today.
This song is on their "All We Got Iz Us" album, also released in '95, but the version on this album is SLIGHTLY different towards the end. 3.5 out of 5 (Not sure why I gave this a 3.5 out of 5 rating. The more appropriate rating for this dope song is 4 out of 5.)
Slick Rick- "Move On"
Words of wisdom from Slick Rick during this very brief interlude.
2Pac- My Block
Oh yes. At the time of this release, 2Pac was incarcerated and had the #1 album in the country, "Me Against The World," also released in '95. This is one excellent song, but that's what you normally got from Pac. 5 out of 5
Suga- What's Up Star
Apparently she was a protege of the late Jam Master Jay at one time, but after this good single, we never heard from her again. Still a memorable single though. 3.5 out of 5 (5 for nostalgia, but an overall "4 out of 5" sounds quite right.)
Method Man- "Headbanger Boogie"
Meth's brief interlude leads us into the next track.
Method Man & Redman- How High
Although it wasn't referred to as such as the time, this was an Erick Sermon remix, and it's just as good as the original. We got our first taste of the awesome chemistry between Meth & Red, plus Redman's show stealing, closing verse was one of the best verses fom '95. 5 out of 5
Dr. Dre- "It's Entertainment"
Well, Mr. Andre Young states the obvious on this interlude. When it comes to what you hear on record, it's all entertainment.
Bone Thugs N Harmony - Everyday Thang
Another tight song here. This group was on a roll in '95, thanks to the hot single "First of the Month" and their best album "E. 1999 Eternal." 4 out of 5
Mary J. Blige- Everyday It Rains
Probably the best Mary J. song you never heard. It's great. I liked it a lot, and this was at a point when I couldn't stand R&B, but whatever Ms. Blige did WORKED. 5 out of 5
The Notorious BIG- "It's All I Had"
Biggie tells a story about his mom getting him a Run DMC and a Fat Boys tape for Christmas back in the day.
Issac 2 Issac- Ol Skool
Another apparent protege of Reverend Run, and while this song is ok, it's a RARE forgettable moment on this soundtrack. 2 out of 5 (Wow, even after all this time I was a little hard on this song. Not forgettable or anything, just decent. 3 out of 5.)
Domino- Domino's In The House
Remember "Ghetto Jam" from '93? I do, and with hindsight being 20/20, while the beat was catchy, Domino was NEVER special on the mic. This song was good, thanks to a decent beat and hook. 2.5 out of 5
The Dove Shack- Summertime In The LBC
Smooth G-Funk on this one. I recall my cousin Shamika really liking this one, probably more than me. I bet she hasn't heard it in a LONG time too. 4 out of 5
Treach- "The West Coast...."
Naughty By Nature's Treach details briefly the differences between the East and West Coast, leading us into.....
South Central Cartel, Treach, MC Eiht, Jayo Felony, Spice 1, and Sh'Killa- Sowhatusayin
Although Treach was the only East Coast artist on this song, this is probably the most gangsta track on this soundtrck, and when paired with the likes of SCC, Spice 1, and MC Eiht, you almost have no choice but to have the gangsta brought out in you. 4.5 out of 5, minus one point for the a small portion of the hook. (Yeah, I still feel the same about that hook. Inserting words like "pass gas" and "farting" on a song like this took away from it just a bit.)
Jayo Felony- Zoo Zooms and Wam Wams
Look at the title of that song and tell me you're not laughing right now! That title is one of the most unique titles in history. I was never a fan of Jayo Felony, but this song was ok, nothing special. The hook is horrible here too. 3 out of 5
Tray Deee & So. Sentrelle- Droppin Bombz
You may know Tray Deee from the group "Tha Eastsidaz." So. Sentrelle was practically never heard from again after this song. Fairly decent for what it was. 3 out of 5
Snoop Doggy Dogg- "Save Yourself"
More words of wisdom, this time from Snoop. Save Yourself, because you don't have to grow through what they went through in the past.
Warren G- Still Can't Fade Me
This dope song comes with an uncredited appearance from The Twinz. 3.5 out of 5 (Gotta up this rating to a 4 out of 5. "You can never fade the G's that's so crazy/When they start to blaze after dark!")
LL Cool J- Papa Luv It
LL was in "Mr. Smith" mode here, probably the smoothest song on this soundtrack. 4 out of 5
A Tribe Called Quest- Glamour & Glitz
Dopeness from Tribe on this one. 4 out of 5
Russell Simmons- "Nuttin But A Drumbeat"
Kali Ranks- Kill Dem All
Dope reggae song here, and after this, well, that was it for Mr. Ranks, outside of a BRIEF appearance on Black Rob's "The Black Rob Report" album. 4 out of 5
The Notorious BIG f/ Puff Daddy- Me & My B**** (Live From Philly)
A rather energetic performance from Biggie on this one, plus he rapped over the instrumental version of Roger & Zapp's "Computer Love." 4 out of 5
Kid Creole & Ecstacy- "It's What I Feel Inside...."
Stanley Clarke- The Show Theme
After so much GOOD hip hop and R&B, Mr. Clarke closes this soundtrack out in a smooth fashion. The only flaw is that once it begins, the song ends.
Rating- 4.5 stars. A few missteps on here means I can't go the full monty and give it 5 stars, although I would love to. (On nostalgia alone this would be an automatic 5 stars, but objectively, the 4.5 star rating still stands, respectively.)
5 favorite songs- How High, What's Up Star, Papa Luv It, My Block, & Live
ONE HELL of a soundtrack! I MISS these days!! (Ah, yes, these sentiments remain, lol.)