What Happened to the Great Movie Soundtrack?

What happened to soundtracks?

Do you remember how soundtracks used to be extreeeeeeemely dope? The movie would come out, but half the time, the movie went to another level because of the soundtrack. Obviously, y’all know I have a great affinity for the Belly soundtrack. But then there was the Jason’s Lyric soundtrack, which justifies it’s very existence off the strength of “U Will Know” by Black Men United and “If You Think You’re Lonely Now” by K-Ci.  Forget the fact that the soundtrack included Mint Condition, Brian McKnight, Spice 1, Scarface, and Oleta Adams. You can even forget the fact that I’ve already called out K-Ci’s rendition of “If You Think You’re Lonely Now” is one of the great song snatchings of all time. Just think about one thing– “U Will Know” by Black Men United–and how it’s the only song they ever made. It’s like “We Are the World” for the neighborhood. Look at the names: D’Angelo, who wrote it when he was about 19 or 20 years old, plus Aaron Hall, After 7, Silk, D.R.S., H-Town, Gerald Levert, El Debarge, Johnny Gill, Joe, Lenny Kravitz on guitar, Stokely from Mint Conditon, Tevin Campbell, Keith Sweat, Boyz II Men, Al B. Sure, and some more people who are totally underrated. There was Christopher Williams, Intro, Portrait,  Damion Hall, and Silk (whose “Meeting in My Bedroom” was >>>>. I don’t know what happened to that CD.) Thin about how great that was, then think about how today, there are no R&B groups–everybody wants to be solo. And think about how BMU was a group of groups, a choir full of all stars. It’s like when you’re playing NBA 2K and you can draft whoever on your team, so you have a team with Michael Jordan and Shaq and Kobe and Lebron and Magic Johnson and everybody…the team’s so good you have Bill Russell and Larry Bird coming off the bench. Well, that’s what Black Men United did with “U Will Know.” You’ve got stars singing background, just to be a part of this. It’s unfair. Not only did they get people there to record it, but they got them all together for the music video. And they did all this for a soundtrack. Excuse me, I’m going in:

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The Endorsement: Talking Interludes on Songs

Let’s start with a definition, courtesy of Urban Dictionary:

read (verb):

1.To tell someone about themself (sic), mostly used by gay black men.

“That was a read honey!”
“Don’t do it honey, I will read your ass”

 

2.(noun). a taunt or mockery. A phrase or word used to mock someone in a humorous way.

When she said that you should have taken the receipt with your haircut, that was a read.

 

I start with this definition because read in this usage is not in my every day vocabulary, and also because there is probably no better word to use to accurately and precisely describe what Oran Jones did at the end of this video. I also confess that I am a fan of what I call “talking songs.” You know, songs in which someone decides to have a conversation or a monologue at the beginning, middle or end. There are so many great ones when it comes to talking on songs, including one of my favorites, “Woman to Woman” by Shirley Brown. She’s so superb that when she calls Barbara on the phone, you don’t even think about the fact that you never even hear Barbara talking. But then again, if Shirley Brown calls you up laying everything straight out like that, you probably would just be quiet and listen for a minute too. Continue reading