So the first “Blade” movie featured a score largely dominated by techno music, yet the soundtrack contained mostly hip-hop music – figure that one out. Corporate big-cheeses are obviously willing to sacrifice the sanctity of a movie and its music to make a buck or three attempting to appeal to all audiences when it is otherwise inappropriate, this being the reason that we often find music on soundtracks completely unrelated to the movie itself.
For the “Blade” sequel soundtrack, someone came up with the brainchild of having hip-hop artists collaborate with techno artists. While such a large-scale move is a pivotal first in both genres of music, the soundtrack successfully proves that certain collaborative efforts were never meant to be.
Even the most finicky of hip-hop heads will find an artist to appreciate on the album – everyone from Eve to Bubba Sparxx to The Roots make appearances. In addition, the finest of techno and dance, from Moby to Roni Size and The Groove Armada, do their damn thing as well. Sounds like the best of both worlds, right? Well, much like the upcoming Jay-Z/R. Kelly collaboration, the whole thing should have been left dead on the cutting room floor.
Otherwise strong lyricists find themselves altering their styles in order to complement the music. The Roots’ Black Thought hooks up with video game music guru BT on “Tao of the Machine,” only to have his powerful grass-roots flow tainted by overpowering production and a truly shit-laden hook. Ice Cube, continuing his high-octane descent into obscurity hell, makes dance god Paul Oakenfold sound bad on “Right Here, Right Now.” Ruff Ryders’ Eve and Fatboy Slim should both be drawn and quartered for the all-around hideousness that is “Cowboy.”
There are a number of bad lyricists on the album who don’t do regular rap beats justice, and they sound even worse over techno. However, there are a couple of pairings that actually allow the artists to complement each other’s personalities. “Gorillaz on My Mind,” featuring a teaming of the buckwild Redman and the Gorillaz (the ones with the ill video), actually works out some. Busta Rhymes’ voice sounds like it belongs on techno sometimes, so his team up with Silkk the “no I’m not dead yet” Shocker and Dub Pistols is one of the better ones on the soundtrack.
It is not that one genre is lesser than the other, it is simply an issue of them not complementing each other. Lyricists should not have to switch up their style and sound “techno” as a result, though it occurs all too much on this soundtrack. Rock and hip-hop have often fused together with mixed results, but this soundtrack should be used as an example of what doesn’t go together. A valiant effort with a deplorable result.