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Thursday, January 20, 2000
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Volume 65, Issue 77


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Film Review: The Hurricane

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Soundtrack to The Hurricane an album befitting of the movie


The Hurricane Soundtrack

Various Artists
MCA/Universal Records
Release Date: In stores now

Grade: A


By Keenan Singleton
Daily Cougar Staff

To complement one of the most thought-provoking and socially conscience movies in recent history, the producers of The Hurricane Soundtrack sought out hip-hop's most thought-provoking and socially conscience rappers in recent history.

The Hurricane tells the story of the rise, fall and resurrection of Rubin Carter, a middleweight contender from the 1960s.


Ken Regan/Universal/Beacon Pictures


Denzel Washington portrays Rubin "Hurricane" Carter in The Hurricane, an inspirational, moving tale of a man wrongly convicted of a crime.

The 14-track record features revolutionary-minded anthems from the present and past.

Such classics as the deceptively simple bass line and spoken word of "The Revolution Will Be Televised" by Gil Scott-Heron, the mini-marathon, violin- infused, "The Hurricane" by Bob Dylan, the down-home bluesy "Hard Times" by Ray Charles and "In the Basement" by Etta James, shape the atmosphere and thoughts of the people of the time.

The first track is also titled "Hurricane," but this modern version features (hold your breath, this is long) lead rhymer of the Roots, Black Thought, Chicago poet, Common, the undeniable skills of Mos Def, Dice Raw, Flo Brown, the Jazzyfatnastees and the Roots.

Usually an overload of styles on a single track spells disaster, but in this case, the 10-plus artists meld together for the lyrically deep "Hurricane."

More akin to a poem with background music than an actual song, Me'Shell Ndegecello's "Isolation" purifies the mind with a superior understanding of words and rhymes.

The diamond in this gem of an album is undoubtedly "Little Brother" by Mos Def and Talib Kweli, known together as the Black Star.

For those familiar with Star from their debut album, Mos Def and Talib Kweli are Black Star or Def's solo debut, Black on Both Sides, you'll be accustomed to their jazzy, Afrocentric music under premium lyrics.

Other songs by established r&b artists include "Love Sets You Free" by Kelly Price and Aaron Hill and "One More Mountain" by K-Ci & JoJo.

Lesser-known artists Melky Sedeck (Wycelf Jean's siblings), r&b/gospel artist Clark Anderson and the jazz/classical music-influenced Christopher Young round out the album.

The Hurricane strays away from its contemporary counterparts and actually creates a soundtrack that pertains to the movie instead of just including big-name artists who lend their names to songs that don't deal with the movie's plot.

The overall jazz/hip-hip/rock/classical/blues feel gives everyone something to sit back with and feed their minds with knowledge.
 

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