May 1993 marks an extraordinary event in this planet’s history. The classic hood tale, Menace II Society was released along with the soundtrack. Albert and Allen Hughes went from directing music videos to their first feature length film. The film stars Tyrin Turner as Caine, and Larenz Tate as O Dog.
Unless you have been living under the Rock of Gibraltar, everyone is familiar with Caine from Watts, California. He is just floating through life trying to survive in the streets of Cali. The only thing on Caine’s mind is making money by drug dealing to impress his peers and the beautiful Ronnie (Jada Pinkett) and her son. He feels this is a debt that is owed to Pernell, an OG that Caine looked up to growing up. His murderous best friend who just didn’t give a fuck, O Dog, is determined to lead a reckless life and Caine follows him right up until it’s too late.
The soundtrack is the perfect match for such a violent and vulgar film. Spice 1 kicks off with “Nigga Gots No Heart” over an ominous piano track with some killer lyrics.
MC Eiht picks up where Spice ends with his biggest hit to date, “Streiht up Menace.”
The smooth beat featuring those stings is nothing short but classic. The music matched Eiht’s story about a kid trying to leave the ghetto….but is stuck, much like Caine. Perfect song accompaniment for this movie.
The soundtrack isn’t all murder and mayhem. Just when you are ready to go shoot a bootlegger, Kenya Gruv takes you a smooth ride on “Top of the World”. Track 11 (remember back when CD’s ruled the world? We knew songs only by track number) brought some more smooth heat courtesy of Hi-Five, “Unconditional Love”
I will climb the highest peak
Swim the deepest sea
I will cross the desert land
I would do anything for your love, yeah
Doesn’t sound quite like lyrics on an album soundtrack with the name “Menace to Society”, but Hi-Five crooned their way to one of their biggest hits.
No worries, there isn’t too much love here. The murder show must go on. Ice Cube’s 90’s group, the often forgotten Da Lench Mob ; shows up on “Guerillas Aint Gangstas”….a classic sounding 90’s West Coast track. The movie actually paid homage to Da Lench Mob when O Dog rhymed…”All on his nut sac.” Youtube it!
Pete Rock & CL Smooth, UGK and BDP all showed up to drop gems on this soundtrack.
This film and matching soundtrack will be remembered as a classic and timeless piece of work. The cast was phenomenal. I was legit scared of Larenz Tate’s performance as O Dog. MC Eiht as the OG Killa A Wax was a pleasant surprise.
Veteran actors Charles Dutton and Bill Duke only added to the authenticity of the film. And the soundtrack was the perfect co defendant to the movie.