Original Soundtrack

Beat Street, Vol. 2

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Although it hardly seems possible, Vol. 2 of the Beat Street soundtrack contains even less actual hip-hop than the first, which barely had any -- and this from a movie that purported to be showcasing hip-hop culture. But the music was still in its commercial infancy at the time, and Hollywood figured that cramming the soundtrack with electro-funk from L.A. session hacks, like Juicy's "Give Me All" and La La's "Into the Night," was a more salable alternative. Despite the involvement of Afrika Bambaataa's camp -- Arthur Baker produced the decent "Battle Cry" for Rockers Revenge, while Jazzy Jay offers the similarly listenable "Son of Beat Street" -- things get bad here in a hurry, reaching a nadir with Ralph Rolle's ridiculous "Phony Four MC's -- Wappin," the sort of opportunistic novelty song that suggested anyone could rap (and simultaneously proved that wasn't so). Not coincidentally, the sole bright spot happens to be the one authentic hip-hop song included: the Treacherous Three's wonderful "Santa's Rap," which features Kool Moe Dee and company taking on St. Nick about their sorry Christmas in the ghetto.

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