How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
The soundtrack for the movie Blade II attempts to match heavy hitters from the electronic world with various hip-hop rhymesayers. The results fluctuate between brilliance and mediocrity. The tracks that work best build on the qualities that are unique about both producer and MC. Mos Def and Massive Attacks’s collabo is executed perfectly – Mos matches the moody, resounding bass with emotionally taut vocals on “I Against I”. Likewise BT flips a meaty breakbeat on “Tao of the Machine” for Black Thought to spit over and The Dub Pistols let their hip-hop-centric roots loose with a bottom heavy break laced by Busta Rhymes and Silkk The Shocker. Thugged out rappers Fabolous and Jadakiss adapt and elevate to Danny Saber’s funk on “We Be Like This”. Less can be said for “Right Here, Right Now”, Paul Oakenfold’s sub-par, rock-influenced hip-hop debacle with Ice Cube. By the same token, the butchering of Roni Size and Moby’s beats, dealt by Volume 10 and Mystikal respectively is equally painful. Overall the album’s concept is a good one, and proves more enjoyable than previous soundtrack concoctions attempting to merge rock with hip-hop and electronica. When the fusions here on Blade II spark, they open hip-hop up to a new level, and flex the production skills of electronica’s best.