I saw Despicable Me last weekend and I’m not the least bit ashamed. Steve Carell was his usual hilarious self, turning in a nice performance while those little minions were good for a few laughs. I’m not surprised that I laughed a few times. I am surprised, though, that I was doing a little two-step in my seat the whole movie thanks to Pharell’s catchy score.
Pharell really put his mark on the movie, creating a gritty bassline and rapping over the titular track. He also, as the movie gets more happy-go-lucky, throws in a few numbers fit for a N.E.R.D. album and top 40 radio spins. As soon as the movie was over, I hit the net to find the full soundtrack.
Of course, once I found out that Pharell would be on the score, I should have expected dopeness. It’s not the first time Hip-Hop has been asked to pitch in for projects geared or kids. And when these companies render the services of people serious about their craft, the results usually turn out stellar. Let’s examine.
Space Jam Soundtrack — This was mid-’90s Hip-Hop at its finest. Yes, the soundtrack had “I Believe I Can Fly” by the Pied Piper and “For You I Will” by Monica, but it also had the banger “Hit Em’ High.” The track featured B-Real, Coolio(!), Method Man, LL Cool J and Busta Rhymes. Though the track didn’t have any curse words, you still wanted to kick someone’s niece down the escalator when hearing the song.
The soundtrack is also responsible for one of the more peculiar songs in Hip-Hop: the last track, “Buggin.” Go find your hard copy of the Space Jam soundtrack. Don’t worry, we’ll wait. Now open up the booklet. Flip through the liner notes to “Buggin'”. Yes, it’s performed by Bugs Bunny. Now look closer. You got it: the song, as in Bugs Bunny’s lyrics, were written by none other than Mr. Shawn Carter himself. The same guy that once rapped about leaving condoms on the baby seat did in fact pen Bugs Bunny’s 16s.
In case you were wondering, this is light years better than Under Pressure. I said it.
Class of 3000 — This was treated like an event in the D household as I made it to Best Buy as soon as it opened so I could grab the soundtrack to Andre 3000’s short-lived cartoon. It’s the most work we’ve gotten from him in years and the closest thing to a Three Stacks solo album we’ll get any time soon. Though it’s mostly playful tunes of original material produced by 3000, people seemed to sleep on the fact the soundtrack had a few rapped bars from one half of the Kast.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Secret of the Ooze — Two Words: Ninja Rap. Okay, another word: Spunkadelic. No, I don’t know who they are, but “Spunkadelic” is a word that should be repeated as much as possible.