Menace II Society (Soundtrack Spotlight) 1993

Menace II Society (Soundtrack Spotlight) 1993 was the debut film and directorial debut of Allen and Albert Hughes.  The twins premiered the film at the Cannes Film Festival and the success of the film led to other movies such as Dead President (1995), American Pimp (1999), From Hell (2001), The Book of Eli (2010), and Broken City (2013). The movie revolves around Caine Lawson and his best bud Kevin (O-Dog) Anderson and takes place in South Central Los Angeles.  It takes us through life in the tough neighborhood and shows how violence, drugs and street status all play into their everyday lives.  Even though you can make choices to try and change your future, your past can always come back to haunt you.  The film casted Jada Pinkett as Ronnie, Larenz Tate as O-Dog, Samuel L. Jackson as Tat Lawson, MC Eiht as A-Wax, Too Short as Lew-Loc, and Tyrin Turner as Caine.  Originally Spice 1 was set to play Caine, MC Ren was A-Wax, and Tupac was playing the muslim gangbanger Sharif but the three were fired by Allen Hughes who claimed that Tupac was causing issues on the set.  Tupac was upset over his character being a muslim but also a gangbanger.  He said that he refused to play a character who does not exist in real life.  Things escalated on the set of one of the music videos when Tupac & his entourage (who was rolling around 30 guys deep) were all seen beating up Allen.  Shakur was later found guilty of assault and battery on the director.

The Soundtrack was released by Jive Records and and went certified Platinum with production from R.Kelly, Ant Banks, Brand Nubian, Cold 187um, The Dangerous Crew, DJ Premier, DJ Quik, DJ Slip, D’wayne Wiggins, E-A Ski & CMT, Mc Eiht, Pete Rock, Pimp C, QD III and Guru.  “Streiht Up Menace” by MC Eiht  was produced by DJ Slip, MC Eiht himself, & Quincy Jones III and used samples from “N.T.” by Kool & the Gang & “Night Crawler” by Bob James to create the hottest track on the album.  The lyrics were based around the characters from the movie and acted as a plot summary for the film.  The smash hit is widely known as MC Eiht’s best track to date.

Spice-1 adds a couple tracks at #1 & #16 which are essentially the same song.  “Trigga Gots No Heart” is just a clean version of “Nigga Gots No Heart”.  Too Short jumps in on the 5th track titled “Only the Strong Survive” produced by The Dangerous Crew.  It’s no “The Ghetto” “Blow the Whistle” or “Blowjob Betty” but its still a dope Too Short song.  Brand Nubian uses a William Bell sample from “I Forgot to Be Your Lover” in “Lick Dem Muthaphuckas” which is classic Grand Puba, Sadat X & Lord Jamar song.

Hi Five drops “Unconditional Love” produced by Art & Rhythm which flips back to the R&B side of the soundtrack.  The song was later included on the final song from the groups third studio album “Faithful”.  It peaked at #92 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1993.  “Pocket Full of Stones” (Port Arthur Remix)” by UGK samples “Give It Away” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers and was produced by Pimp C.  Bun B and Pimp C tell stories about doing anything necessary to get by more specifically slanging crack rock.  Business is good in the first two verses but ends with Bun B killing an officer, serving his time in jail for it and then getting released back into the same streets which brings him back and square one

.DJ Quik, J.F.N. & KK come together on “Can’t Fuck Wit a Nigga” which has samples from “Words 2 Tha D” by AMG and “Deep” by DJ Quik.  Other notable tracks are “Packin’ a Gun” by Ant Banks, “All over a Ho” by Mz. Kilo, Cold 187um, & Kokane, “Guerillas Ain’t Gangstas” by Da Lench Mob, & ““P” is Still Free” by Boggie Down Productions.  The Soundtrack charted as high as #11 on the U.S. Billboard 100 in 1993, and #1 on the U.S. Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums.  Listening to the soundtrack I realize how well it compliments the movie.  Most soundtracks are just a bunch of songs thrown together by various artists, but this one stays true to the movie and brings home the realness of the struggles  growing up in South Central Lon Angeles.

TRACK LISTING:

#1 Nigga Gots No Heart by Spice-1

#2 “Streiht Up Menace” by MC Eight

#3 “Packin’ a Gun” by Ant Banks

#4 “Top of the World” by Kenya Grove

#5 “Only the Strong Survive” by Too Short

#6 “All over a Ho” by Mz. Kilo, Cold 187um, & Kokane

#7 “Guerillas Ain’t Gangstas” by Da Lench Mob

#8 “You Been Played” by Smooth

#9 “Lick Dem Muthaphuckas” by Brand Nubian

#10 “Death Becomes You” by Pete Rock & CL Smooth

#11 “Unconditional Love” by Hi-Five

#12 “”P” is Still Free” by Boogie Down Productions

#13 “Stop Lookin’ at Me” by The Cutthroats & Guru

#14 “Pocket Full of Stones” (Port Arthur Remix) by UGK

#15 “Can’t Fuck Wit a Nigga” bu DJ Quik, J.F.N. & KK

#16 “Trigga Gots No Heart” by Spice 1

Written by Johnny V 5/25/15

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