Soundtrack Albums

Movie Soundtrack Review – New Jack City

Year of Release: 1991

Record Label: Giant Records

It has been quite some time since I have done anything for this site. My own personal life got in the way, enough that I was started to lose touch with doing this. Luckily for me, I am usually conscious of my own habits, and a lot of the time I try to fight it when my interest wanes a bit, enough that I have to give myself a push.

So what led me to do a review on the soundtrack to New Jack City? Well, recently, I had been in the mood to watch the movie, which I may cover soon as it does relate to the hip-hop culture, as well as Ice-T starring in it, which then also caused me to listen to the soundtrack CD.

Brief history lesson, I first watched New Jack City back in 2001, which was 10 years after it had come out. I remember looking up the soundtrack on Amazon back then and noticing the lineup and thinking that it was stacked some popular artists, as well some who were not known (I’ll get to that). I remember I was intrigued by the soundtrack, especially with its early 1990’s vibe, which also showed signs of the late 1980’s (It really was fresh off of that, if you really think about it).

According to some sources, this was at number 2 on the Billboard 200 back in 1991, which indicates that this album was a hit back then. Hell, a lot of the songs from the soundtrack were released as singles.

The album kicked off with “New Jack Hustler” by Ice-T, who also starred in the movie. Remember, there was a time that whenever a recording artist was in a movie, whether as a character or playing himself/herself, the soundtrack was featured on the soundtrack. Anyway, the song was subtitled as “Nino’s Theme,” as it felt like it related to the villain of the movie, whose name was Nino Brown. The song was about the drug game and a drug dealer gaining success in it. It really describes the movie pretty well, too, and Ice-T did a damn good job on the song. The beat really went with the fast-paced verses that Ice-T delivered.

The second song on the album came from another guy who was also in the movie. Well, one who played a character, I mean (Because some other artists actually sang in the film). Christopher Williams, who had a decent career at one point, had a hit single with “I’m Dreamin’.” His strong vocals were good, but what made this song stand out as well was the New Jack Swing sound that it had. It even had rap verse put in, though I don’t know who it was from.

Of course, that was not the only New Jack Swing song that was on the soundtrack. The song, “New Jack City” from Guy is definitely a good example of it. It’s definitely one song that can get you get moving on your feet.

A lot of the songs on here, actually, are not without merit. Two of the slower R&B songs on here, “I’m Still Waiting” from Johnny Gill and “There You Go Telling Me No Again” from Keith Sweat definitely hold up now. I could be biased because I have always liked Keith Sweat, but Johnny Gill definitely made his song shine with his powerful vocals. Plus, both songs definitely could help you get in the mood for some alone time.

In my personal opinion, the song that stood out the most on the soundtrack was “For The Love of Money/Living For The City” from Troop and LeVert, as well as a rap verse from Queen Latifah. Now THIS song totally describes the movie to a T, especially when watching that sequence in the film when the CMB takes over that apartment building and it had Troop and LeVert harmonizing the songs and singing them acapella. Queen Latifah did a damn good job with her rap verse.

Another song that was a hit at that time was “I Wanna Sex You Up” from Color Me Badd. On a personal note, I remember hearing this song as a young child and having NO CLUE WHATSOEVER what the song was about. Now with that out of the way, one thing that I will note is that there were two versions of this song. There is the one that was on Color Me Badd’s album, “C.M.B.,” and then there was the one on this album. Either way, both versions have their merits.

I think it’s time that I should talk about the songs from the less-than-well-known artists on here. After hearing “Lyrics 2 The Rhythm,” I really wonder what happened to Essence. She actually showed some promise as a rapper, but it seems that this is the only song that she actually had released. Plus, this song was produced by the legendary Grandmaster Flash. “Get It Together” from F.S. Effect also had some good qualities to it. I am not sure if F.S. Effect was a rapper or a group, but the rapper did a good job on his part, not to mention it had a good message behind it. Also, Al B. Sure did a good job in the production on this track. I also cannot complain about Danny Madden’s “Facts of Life.”

The album closed off with “In The Dust” from 2 Live Crew. One thing that stands out about this track is that song was different from a lot of the songs that 2 Live Crew was known for. This song had a positive message behind it, especially when you hear Luke giving a brief interlude about drugs. I am not too familiar with a lot of their catalog, aside from “Me So Horny” and “Banned in the USA,” so it’s possible that they may have done other songs like this.

There was a reason why this album was such a hit back then. Even nearly 30 years later, it still holds up well. I cannot imagine someone blasting this album without skipping a track while doing something. You had a good mix of rap, R&B, and New Jack Swing. You really can’t go wrong with this one.

5/5

Top 5 Tracks:

  1. For The Love of Money/Living For The City
  2. New Jack Hustler
  3. I’m Still Waiting
  4. There You Go Telling Me No Again
  5. I’m Dreamin’

Honorable Mentions: “In The Dust” and “New Jack City.”

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Review of the I Love the 90’s concert

ilove90tour001

It has been a while since I have last updated this. I am trying to get back to this, but what better way than to write a review of a show that I had attended recently.

When I saw an add for this a couple of months ago after attending a show at casino that is close to my area, I knew that I had to go see this show.

I have gone to a lot more concerts in more recent memory than before, particularly rock concerts and also some shows from tribute bands and also of a local act from my area. However, there are very few rap concerts that I have gone to. The first one that I went to was the Anger Management Tour in 2002 for my 16th birthday. That was my first concert ever and I remember having a good time that day. The only other one prior to this one was when I saw MC Hammer perform at a state fair, which I will admit was a very entertaining show as Hammer still knew how to get the crowd going.

With this show having been the third hip-hop show that I have gone to, this may have been one of the best shows that I have been to in recent memory.

At this show, the following acts had performed, in this very order, too:

  • Young MC
  • Tone Loc
  • Coolio
  • Color Me Badd
  • Rob Base
  • Vanilla Ice

Young MC kicked the entire concert off and really got the crowd fired up. Apart from “Bust A Move,” I haven’t really heard too much from him, and part of me wonders if he was one of rap’s one hit wonders.However, he obviously had to be known enough to perform on this tour. He definitely has a lot of charisma and it showed while on stage. I liked the other two songs he did before “Bust A Move,” particularly “Feel The Love.” Great opener to the show.

With the crowd on fire, there was no putting it out because once Tone Loc hit the stage, the place started going up in flames even more. It got a lot more interesting when he did “Wild Thing,” as several women from the audience went on stage to dance. For someone who had only done two albums in his rap career and more acting than that, there was no denying that he certainly knew how to work the crowd.

In the third act of the show, Coolio took the stage got everyone more pumped up than before. What made this part different than what was shown that night so far was that he had some assistance as well. I forgot to mention that Tone Loc also had someone on stage with him, but Coolio had three other guys with him. One was a backup singer, another was a guitarist and the other was saxophone player. It was very nice to hear him do “C U When U Get There” as he paid tribute to a lot of fallen celebs who have passed on throughout the years.  With the other guys on stage, I liked how each of them had solos. But that wasn’t it, as after the last song, Coolio got off the stage to go to the audience. He walked by me and I got to shake his hand. My girlfriend and her friend even got to take a picture with him, and more people kept crowding around him to get a picture with him.

I am surprised that nobody got hurt when that happened considering how crowded it got at that moment.

After those three acts, we now go into R&B territory with Color Me Badd. The main thing that I noticed is that this group originally had four members and now it’s only down to three. That is nothing new in the music world, but then again I had not heard much from them since their heyday in the 1990’s. What really stood out the most was when they did two of their biggest hits, “I Adore (Mi Amor)” and “I Wanna Sex You Up.” There is no doubt that they really killed it when they did those two. Many people in the crowd were on their feet and sang along to those songs. Another thing that surprised me is they performed a cover of BLACKstreet’s “No Diggity” after they did their songs. Their cover was actually good, so I can’t complain.

Right after that, everyone in the crowd was possessed by the sounds of Rob Base. Base mostly worked the crowd while on stage with beats from other rappers’ songs, but when it came to do one of his songs, shit got real. People really got on their feet when he did “Joy and Pain.” The other guy who was on stage with him really nailed the chorus part. But that was not the only thing that tore the house down, as Rob Base just flat out murdered it when he did “It Takes Two.” He made it go right and made it out of sight. 😉

Right before the final act came an intermission. It seemed that there was a stage setup for when Vanilla Ice came on, which added some uniqueness to what had been seen so far that night. Though Coolio had a band to back him up, Vanilla Ice had some other people backing him up like a guitarist and a drummer, not to mention a guy dressed as a clown and some other guy dressed as some kind of dog-looking clown (I could not tell what it was). People can say what they will about Vanilla Ice, but he had a way of getting the crowd going and from what I saw that night, it was no exception. Like the Tone Loc portion from earlier that night, a lot of people came on stage to dance when he did “Ice Ice Baby.” When that song ended, the show didn’t seem over as other performers from that night even went on stage to dance and get the crowd going.

I felt that this concert was really worth it. Though their heydays are long gone for these acts, their charisma and presence are not. Not by a long shot. They still have it and I was happy that I got to go to this show.

5/5

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