Music Reviews

Brown Sugar

Music From the Motion Picture Soundtrack


Brown Sugar, the movie, is apparently setting itself above all the other Boho detritus by actually having a script. I don’t know; I haven’t seen the movie. However, this soundtrack is leagues better than most of the fodder released in the genre. In an odd fit of taste, the producers assembled an impressive roster of neo-soul artists and rappers climbing the escalator from the underground to mainstream.

Jill Scott and Angie Stone contribute immaculate ballads. Erykah Badu’s “Love of My Life (An Ode to Hip Hop)” is an exquisite ballad with Common delivering a sly (and well-deserved) diss to Puffy. Rahsaan Patterson has been resurrected from anonymity to deliver his joyful celebration of love, “You Make Life So Good.” Even Mary J. Blige’s song isn’t too bad. Cassandra Wilson does another one of her mind-blowing pop song deconstructions with “Time After Time.” The Roots, Hi-Tek, and Blackalicious also appear. For you old hip-hoppers, Eric B. & Rakim’s “7 Minutes of Madness – The Cold Cut Remix” version of “Paid In Full” has been added, and it still rocks the hooooouuuuse!!!

There’s a lot of Mos Def. And, though it’s great that he and Talib reunite for a Black Star joint, he seems like he just phoned this bad boy in. I mean, to hear him do a booty song (the title track) makes you feel profoundly betrayed (as though the Nike commercial weren’t enough) but also exceptionally dirty. Remember Umi, brother! Remember Umi!

Though Brown Sugar is probably the best soundtrack to come out of the Boho crap factory in a long while, I have to warn you that the bastard’s copy-protected.

MCA Records: • Fox Searchlight:

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