Y’all know the deal with soundtracks; great line-up of artists, one or two good songs and the rest ‘C’ material, good for a disappointment every time. One look at the “8 Mile” tracklisting and that protocol seems impossible. It is. You can safely refer to “8 Mile” as a very dope soundtrack. A collection of hip hop’s elite combined with some up and comers. Did you ever think you’d hear Eminem, Jay-Z, Nas, Xzibit, Guru and Rakim on the same album?
Eminem leads the way with 3 solo tracks, one just as ridiculous as the next. Much like “Lose Yourself,” “8 Mile” and “Run Rabbit Run” is Eminem at his best. His flow is at the point that he isn’t riding beats anymore, he is inside of them. No one can touch him these days. Em does a dark (really dark) posse cut with Obie Trice and 50 Cent that is very well done. Obie goes for dolo on “Adrenaline Rush” and proves that he is one of most abrasive emcees around. 50 Cent lends 2 tracks, “Places To Go” and mixtape fav “Wanksta.” After multiple listens, I like them both, despite the fact that neither are my style. D-12, of course, contributes as well. If you liked “When The Music Stops” then you’ll love “Rap Game.” Each member steps up their games, as they rip over a beat so rugged it would make Necro jealous. Em gets the line of the album here; “I’m all for America/fuck the government/tell that C. Delores Tucker slut to suck a dick.”
While Xzibit’s “Spitshine” is rather mediocre, Jay-Z and Freeway’s “8 Miles And Runnin'” is certainly not. Jay flips a style that he hasn’t in years and talks some shit to his naysayers. Nas does much of the same on the simple “You Wanna Be Me.” The question is; are the darts directed towards Jay? Rakim makes his long awaited return with “R.A.K.I.M.” The beat isn’t spectacular, but Ra is. Outsidaz…remember when Em used to shout them out. I guess Em hasn’t forgotten about his Jersey crew as Young Zee comes through with the dope “That’s My Nigga Fo Real.” All I will say about Gangstarr’s “Battle” is that if they don’t drop their LP soon I’m going to D&D and stealing the masters.
For once, a soundtrack that doesn’t disappoint! There was just too much talent on this album for it to suck. Not everyone brought their A game, but they didn’t phone it in either. At least I know that even if I don’t like the movie there will be some ill tunes playing through it.