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Thursday, September 10, 2015

Throwback Thursday - Bulworth Soundtrack



At this point, there are those of you who actually remember what a soundtrack is and when they were an insanely important part of the marketing effort of an album. Back in 1998 a 'fish out of water' movie named Bulworth which starred Halle Berry and Warren Beatty was released and while it was modestly succesful (maybe my memory fails me) and popular with some cinephiles, the soundtrack made way more headway in the circles which I belonged at the time. Produced by Dr. Dre, it had some interesting music and also featured a pre-Ruff Ryders Eve amongst the tracks.

The album started with the lead single "Zoom" which featured LL Cool J and Dre. Dre produced the bass heavy track with LL being his most LL as he brags and talks about his status but much like in Flava in ya Ear there are times he doesn't make much sense though there are subtle jabs at Canibus with whom he had beef with at the time. The most successful song by far was the Wyclef Jean produced "Ghetto Superstar" which featured singing by Mya and verses from Pras of the Fugees and ODB. Speaking of Canibus, his song "How Come" which was also created by Wyclef featured Haitian artist Youssou N'Dour on some really lyrical that talks about the heaven's and earth and is slightly political and philosophical. It showed the kind of thing Canibus was capable of although he never really was able to harness this talent.




Now Wu fans might have liked the RZA song ""The Chase" but I have never ever been a fan of his flow and rap style. The beat is also very different and just seems like someone was hitting buttons to find songs that fit for different areas. Mack 10 and Ice Cube collaborated on "Maniac in the Brainiac" on some classic Wets Coast shit but Mack 10 is so lackluster it's crazy. I have to wonder what happened to artist "Nutter Butter" whose song "Freak Out" is about his prowess with the ladies. A group you might familiar now is Black Eyed Peas with "Joints & Jams" which has some DNA of the hits they would later have along with their underground jazz influenced roots.


Cappadonna, long the bane of Wu-Tang fan's ire has a solo song "Run" which is better than the Rza's contribution. Female rapper D-Fyne reps for the West Coast on "Bytches are Hustlers Too". B-Real has a song and i am not a Cypress Hill fan so I can do without "Lunatics in the Grass".  It fits that in a Political satire soundtrack Public Enemy would have a song, "Kill Em Live".




Another region featured was the southern flavor of the Dungeon Family with Witchdoctor with "Holiday/ 12 Scanner" with a song about the hoods of Atlanta. The beat is cool and fits with the Dre style production that comes before it while still being original. The title track "Bulworth (They Talk about it while we live it)" features some great production by DJ Muggs and vocals from Prodigy and KRS-One who goes in on the magazines publishing about music and their lack of diversity, notably Spin and Rolling Stone but also the Source which was founded by Dave Mays. It also features Kam and Method Man. They finished up with Kam, who happened to be the weakest link. The album also had the unexpected at the time highlight from Eve on "Eve of Destruction" where she talks about being about to break out and not going back to Philly. Unfortunately, she was with Dre at the worst time during that early Aftermath time and ended up leaving the label, but just think about the fact Dre had both her and Joell Ortiz signed at the same time along with Rakim.

At the end of the day the Bulworth soundtrack was uneven yet it had points that were extremely interesting and the fact that Dr. Dre was involved was a huge plus. The other thing is most of the songs don't seem to go together or with the movie but it was a different experience.

Rating: 2/5

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