Monday, October 24, 2016

SUGAR HILL ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK (1993)


ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: October 24, 2016

Here comes another sweet throwback treat that I know is gonna make a lot of music lovers happy! The 1994 crime movie starring Wesley Snipes was highly and critically acclaimed for its raw and rugged portrayal of the harsh and grinding reality of inner-city operations. The accompanying soundtrack has been highly and critically acclaimed as well, and just like the "Made In America" soundtrack I featured less than 24 hours ago, it too was 'made' to be heard to its fullest degree. Of this particular star-studded bunch, I had only recognized and was familiar with exactly two artists before I tuned in: the r&b/new jack swing trio AFTER 7 and the legendary soul diva Chaka Khan. The former kicks this soundtrack off with already what should be nominated as the next 'Slow Jam Of The Night'; from the very moment they open up with their sublime vocal harmony in delivering the song's title lyrics during the acapella movement, you know you're in for a soulicious love affair! It's not the rock duo STEELY DAN, but rather a reggae singer named Screechy Dan performing a very lively and funky hip-hop cut called "Worries" that makes for an entertaining 4+ minutes. DEFINITION OF SOUND's "What Are You Under?" continues the funky trip-hop/reggae with a message to the songwriter's lovergirl, in my interpretation, of what's she's taking that's making her all messed up in the mind, putting a strain on what they have together. I love the groove and the rap flow to DIRT NATION's "Khadijah" (even more throwback memories were suddenly conjured up when I thought about the character that Queen Latifah played by the same name when she starred in the 90's sitcom, "Living Single") while I was all ears for the the smooth, jazzy groove to Simplé E's "Play My Funk" (this was a welcome change from the usual male-dominated old-school 90's hip-hop I'm so accustomed to listening to). But the smooth jazz on "Play My Funk" is nothing compared to the wild cacophony of jazz instrumentals that erupt on the TERENCE BLANCHARD QUINTET snippet called "War Council". The coolest of trippy, jazz-groovy beats keeps me all tuned in to the conceptually interesting piece that is FREESTYLE FELLOWSHIP's "Park Bench People", especially during the closing movements when the big band-style jazz party takes over. Besides the music, I was just impressed with the guy on lead vocals on this track, his quick tongue in flawlessly delivering the lyrics makes him a lot of fun to listen to. Back to the trippy hip-hop beats on D.B.C.'s "Hit The Boomz", AFRO-PLANE's "Afro-Desiac" and, a couple of tracks later, on Snoman's statement of truth about the material things that cash brings on "Money". From creating loan sharks and scapegoats to cooking leftovers and building military soldiers—the message that everything that we have and everything that we do takes some kind of money is an excellent message that we all need to remain mindful of in out day-to-day life. Then it's time for the soulicious Chaka Khan to shine on her elegant jazz piano offering of " Miles Blowin' ", which does indeed quite literally 'blow' my mind whenever she shows off that distinctively powerful voice of hers! Turns out that Chaka Khan's jazz offering serves as fine transition to the concluding piece entitled "Roemello's Theme". The same TERENCE BLANCHARD QUINTET, who had wowed my senses for just a few minutes before on "War Council", returns for a second time to flex its muscles out and entertain my ears with three nice minutes of epic orchestral music:

1. After 7 - Gonna Love You Right
2. Screechy Dan - Worries
3. Definition Of Sound - What Are You Under
4. Dirt Nation - Khadijah
5. Simplé E - Play My Funk
6. The Terence Blanchard Quintet - War Council
7. D.B.C. - Hit The Boomz
8. Freestyle Fellowship - Park Bench People
9. Snoman - Money
10. Afro-Plane - Afro-Desiac
11. Chaka Khan - Miles Blowin'
12. The Terence Blanchard Quintet -

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