Kevin Hart

Let Me Explain

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Usually when a standup comedy concert film comes with a soundtrack it's a direct rip of the comedian's performance, but not so with Kevin Hart's Let Me Explain. There's just the littlest bit of Hart's concert performance, and it's mostly the bit that transfers the theater audience from backstage party to the stage, but past that, this is a collection of Hart's recent favorite hip-hop tracks, a perfectly acceptable thing to do in a world of "music from and inspired by the film" soundtracks. Think of him as a street-level, younger, and more forward-thinking version of Tyler Perry and the whole thing plays out as a compilation with Hart's great taste in control. The opening title track/posse cut is pleasingly golden age with the killer trio of Snoop Dogg, Erick Sermon, and Method Man proving they still know how to party, while later there's the veteran rapper Krayzie Bone, bringing that Bone Thugs quickness to the aptly titled Southern-flavored stomper "I'm a Monster." Most everything else is the 2013 season's hopefuls, with Driicky Graham leading the pack as he lists off his swag and creates an earworm with the party starter "Snapbacks & Tattoos," and then there's Rocko, who turns a playground joke and a minimal DJ Spin production into the hooky "Nachos." Big surprise comes when American Antagon1st hits with his stately, downtrodden highlight "The Narcissist" ("I'm not a pirate, I don't listen to birds/I'd rather keep quiet, with a fifth and some herb"), but the biggest has to be Hart's executive producer credit. Judging from the streetwise and sound selections on this set, he'd be a great asset to any hip-hop label's A&R staff -- just don't let him anywhere near the interns.

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