Review: The Wackness Soundtrack

The Wackness-Music from the Motion Picture
3.0 Stars

If you didn’t know, The Wackness is a semi-biographical “coming of age” flick starting Ben Kingsley, Josh Peck, Mary Kate Olsen, and Method Man, set against the backdrop 1994-aka the “golden era of hip-hop.” The film, which opened this month has been getting rave reviews even though its premise seems a little contrived. Even if the film is a dud, the soundtrack is at least a decent look, even though most of y’all probably have all of these songs already.

Even though the movie is set in ’94, the tracks are all over the map. It’s all good though–the early nineties was a great era in hip-hop, before Bill Clinton* killed it. The selections range from the obvious (Fresh Prince’s “Summertime,” and BIz’ “Just a Friend”) to the less known (the ska flavored “Long Shot Kick The Bucket” by the Pioneers). It is nice to hear Craig Mack and Illmatic era Nas again and the uptown swing of Total’s “Cant Ya See,” brought back memories.

Is it worth a purchase? Probably not, unless you don’t have these tracks on an old cassette (damn!) or CD collection. To be quite honest, most of these tracks have had permanent “Party Mix” status on my hard drive for almost 10 years.

It has peaked my curiosity about the movie however, so either way, they’ll probably get my money.

*Bill Clinton signed the Telecommunications Act of 1996, opening the door to major radio industry consolidation severely reducing the number of locally owned radio broadcasters and limiting outlets for up and coming hip-hop acts.