Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Colors (1988 Film)
Genres: Pop, Rap & Hip-Hop, Soundtracks
Listen to Samples
Similarly Requested CDs
An actual review
R. Butler | 06/13/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Ok, having read the prior reviews, I'm taking time to write a quick-and-dirty yet actual review.
First, the ironic thing about this soundtrack is that the movie was supposed to be about the LA gang wars between various sets (painted in the broad-strokes of Hollywood as Crips vs. Bloods). In other words, the film is based in the west coast. Yet all but 2 of the tracks are done by east coast artists.
Why? Well, Warner, the studio owner, also owned a little label called Cold Chillin and chose to make use of their catalogue for a majority of the music rather than pay for a slate of original songs, which gives you an idea of how this movie was approached from day one. Suffice to say that there were several west coast artists who could've helped make this soundtrack both relevant to the film and long-lasting in value.
Okay, so the title track is done by Ice T, a west coast vet even at this point but unknown to most of the US (and by the way, on Sire Records, distributed by Warner). The track is amazing, capturing the mood of a driving with it's ominous synth chords. Ice T's lyrics are gritty and follows his usual formula of paint a picture, usually nihilistic (in this case, cold-blooded gang banger), and then weave in a social message (gangbanging won't stop till these kids are given better options for their life). Thematically this song is exactly the same as "New Jack Hustler" his theme song for another film, "New Jack City". For fun, compare both to "High Rollers".
From here, the soundtrack either a) goes downhill if you're at all familiar with hiphop or b) has great gems for you are somehow unfamiliar with the music these other artists.
The next cut is an indulgence of a Sean Penn project, Decadent Dub Team, and it sounds as ridiculous as you'd expect. Skip it like I'm skipping reviewing it.
Of the remaining tracks, you get several previously released songs from Juice Crew artists off the Cold Chillin label and a remix of a Rakim seminal cut (Paid in Full).
You also get a throw-away Salt-N-Pepa song that's actually pretty good but isn't better than "Long Live the Kane" from which the loop is lifted. None of these songs is particularly relevant to the movie and all have an east coast sound to them.
A song of real value on this soundtrack is Drums of Steel by a group called 7A3, the most notable member being DJ Muggs, who went on to become the DJ of a pioneering west coast group called Cypress Hill. The song, "It's a Mad, Mad World" is a social message song that's unremarkable lyrically, and no more relevant than most of the other songs. However, it's a great track musically, with Muggs using very creative samples, eschewing a chorus in favor of the emcee speaking over police and news broadcast samples. To really appreciate what Muggs did with this record, compare it to Biz Markie's Picking Boogers, which uses the same loop (notice a pattern?).
Finally, for those nostalgic for 80s post-funk R&B can check out Rick James' cut "Everywhere I Go" which has actually gotten better with age. It has a cheesy synth bassline that screams 80s. Rick's vocals aren't very compelling but are at least relevant to the film, and Rick delivers them strongly.
Colors Never Die
Steve | 11/11/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you like this soundtrack you should buy the book DO OR DIE. This book is the paper (and real life) version of the movie. As for the soundtrack It gives the flavor of street life, intermixed with a wishy-washy dont't gangbang vibe. But for true Ballers Ice-T and Big Daddy Kane don't dissapoint."
Old school, but timeless
Steve | Amesbury, MA. USA | 02/17/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Well, I don't agree with the "muthafucca" guy who wrote a review. I think he is what came out of the glory of gangsta rap Ice-T was trying to warn people about in his song. For the rest of the people considering this soundtrack, it's a must have for your collection."