Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Revisiting the "Friday" Soundtrack

The last time I revisited a soundtrack for the blog was 1995's "The Show." Also released that year was a soundtrack that'll be covered in this post, which happens to be in my ride as I'm creating it, and that would be the soundtrack to the classic "Friday," memorably starring Ice Cube and Chris Tucker. To make this one interesting, in addition to providing my usual breakdown/analysis and song ratings, I'm going to include a (very) brief summary of the scenes in the movie that coincide with the songs being played. Let's go back to my favorite year in hip hop history, 1995!!

Release date: April 11, 1995

1. Ice Cube - Friday
Produced By Ice Cube

*This opener to the soundtrack actually closes the movie after Smokey, played by Chris Tucker, famously says "I was just bullshittin, and you know this MAN!!!!" in reference to possibly going into rehab, lol.

It all goes down on the day just before the weekend!! In complete party mode with a true West Coast flava, Cube aimed to please the fellas and ladies with this banger and he succeeded. Great way to start the soundtrack and of course a great way to close the movie.
*5 out of 5*

2. Dr. Dre - Keep Their Heads Ringin'
Produced By Dr. Dre

*This plays during the scene in which Craig (Ice Cube) and Smokey take a trip to the store to get Smokey's mom some cigarettes. Ezail (Anthony Johnson) tries to get Smokey to let him wash his car, but gets rebuffed, lol. "Hell no, all you gon' do is smoke it up!", says Smokey, lol.

Man, if there was the slightest tension within Death Row Records at the time and Dre wasn't as inspired as before (told by Snoop in the "Welcome To Death Row" documentary), you would never know it by listening to this classic. This was one of the best songs of '95 and one of many that defined the Death Row sound at that point, complete with probably the second best lyrical performance by Dre, whether he wrote it himself or not.
*5 out of 5*

3. Scarface featuring CJ Mac - Friday Night
Produced By N.O. Joe

This was another banger fully capturing the Rap-A-Lot sound of the mid 90s, bringing their brand of Texas funk to Cali.
*5 out of 5*

4. Threat - Lettin' Niggas Know
Produced By DJ Pooh and Rashad Coes

As far as I'm concerned, this was the ONLY low point on the soundtrack. It's not great, it's not wack, but it's just ok.
*3 out of 5*

5. Cypress Hill - Roll It Up, Light It Up, Smoke It Up
Produced By DJ Muggs

*I can't forget this one playing when Smokey got Craig to smoke for the first time. Smokey said "he would get him high today" and he did, lol.

I'm sure the smokers all over in '95 and even today still love this one, and who better to provide a song like this than Cypress Hill. I can only imagine how this comes off listening to it while you're "high."
*5 out of 5*

6. Mack 10 - Take A Hit
Produced By Mack 10

*Remember when Craig came to Smokey's house? While looking all over his room, particularly at the posters on his wall, Craig says "all you do is smoke weed." "I know, that's my only problem," Smokey replied. Lol.

I've never been what you would call a big Mack 10 fan, but hot damn, in my view this one song is the best thing he's ever done, and that includes his contributions with Westside Connection. Such a dope song.
*5 out of 5*

7. Tryin' to See Another Day
Produced By Ron Isley and Angela Winbush

Next up, we get a few R&B classics in the middle of the soundtrack. This apply titled song opens the movie and it's VERY good.
*5 out of 5*

8. Bootsy Collins featuring Bernie Worrell - You Got Me Wide Open
Produced By Bootsy Collins and Ice Cube

Talk about a song where the male vocalist makes his feelings very clear and easy to understand for the woman of his eye. Bootsy Collins brought his nice, slick, and smooth style from the 70s into the 90s and it worked so well, definitely not out of place. And I can't forget, when I bump this one, I immediately think about the scene in the movie when Mrs. Parker (Kathleen Bradley) was bending over while watering her lawn, much to the delight of Smokey and Craig, lol.
*5 out of 5*

9. Rick James - Mary Jane
Produced By Art Stewart

It was only fitting that this classic was played when Smokey was "gettin' his smoke on" and acting a damn fool in the process, lol. Loyal reader, I'll admit that it took me a LONG time to realize exactly what Rick was talking about in this song, believe it or not. Marijuana aka "weed," for Rick, is the equivalent to a good woman and he makes that case very strongly here. He's so convincing that he almost makes you want to try it, but not me, LOL. This is one of many classics from Rick James.
*5 out of 5*

10. Rose Royce - I Wanna Get Next To You
Produced By Whitfield

Note to younger fans: If you want to impress your significant other by playing a nice song that details how you feel about her, throw this song on and avoid any R&B on the radio. Much like the earlier Bootsy Collins song, this was also apply titled and one of many old school R&B classics where the main theme was telling the other person how you feel. The content didn't have to be explicit or controversial at all, and most of the time being simple yet effective works ten times better. (Also during the movie, this song was sequenced well during the scenes where Smokey and Craig were watching Debbie, played by Nia Long, running down the street, and the end of the movie when Craig and Debbie link up after his fight with Tommy "Tiny" Lister's character Deebo.)
*5 out of 5*

11. Funkdoobiest - Superhoes
Produced By DJ Muggs and DJ Ralph M

Simply put, this is a good song that KNOCKS in the system. And remember when Deebo absolutely KNOCKS Red (DJ Pooh) on his ass after asking about his bike, lol? That's when this song comes in.
*4 out of 5*

12. Tha Alkaholiks - Coast II Coast
Produced By E-Swift

The 3-man team continued to show why they were so underrated at the time with this one.
*5 out of 5*

13. E-A-Ski - Blast If I Have To
Produced By CMT and E-A-Ski

This is the one that immediately starts playing in the scene which finds Smokey and Craig in a gun battle with Big Worm's (Faizon Love) crew, and if you like gangstafied hip hop with the all too familiar gunplay talk, then this one's for you, no doubt. It's a dope song.
*4 out of 5*

14. 2 Live Crew - Hoochie Mama
Produced By 2 Live Crew and Mr. Mixx

"Big booty hoes, come wit it!!!!!" Lol, when I hear that line, I think of Joi (Paula Jai Parker) hoping out of that car, lol. Songs like this were somewhat plentiful in the 90s, known more for the bass driven beats and catchy hooks rather than anything lyrical and more often than not they worked.
*3 out of 5*

15. Roger Troutman - I Heard It Through The Grapevine
Produced By Roger Troutman

When Smokey meets up with Big Worm to talk business, this one starts up.

Big Worm: "You smokin' my shit?"
Smokey: "Hell naw, fuck wit yo shit, hell naw!"

LOL. This is what I would call the vintage Roger Troutman sound, recalling a time when if asked about hearing something and where you heard it from, the reply was usually "I heard it through the grapevine," lol. GOOD way to close the soundtrack.
*5 out of 5*

Oh man, what a nice trip down memory lane this was. I almost forgot how DOPE this soundtrack was and I'm glad a random album to bump in my ride brought about this post. Much like the movie itself, this soundtrack has aged well and it's definitely my #3 favorite soundtrack behind "The Show" and "Murder Was The Case," respectively. It's a truly nice blend of dope hip hop and soulful R&B, which we really don't get anymore. 4.5 stars here, strong recommendation for a revisit if you own it.

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