Original Soundtrack

More Than a Game

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A pair of aspiring filmmakers working on a school project follow a group of up-and-coming teen hoopsters in Akron, OH, and just happen to capture the King (LeBron James) in his earliest days ruling his home city's courts. The resultant movie, More Than a Dream, released in 2009, is much more than that -- an inspiring Hoop Dreams-style reflection of the boundless drama in the true tale of young athletes in the inner city banding together to follow a dream (it's mere subtext that one of them would evolve into a larger-than-life icon by the time of the film's release). Street "basketball" and hip-hop date back to the music's earliest days (one of the first crossover hits was Kurtis Blow's "Basketball"), and Music Inspired by the Film More Than a Game features an all-star lineup of 2000s rap. The record hits a high point early on the six-minute epic "Forever," a convention of rap's wordsmiths as Kanye West, Drake, Lil Wayne, and Eminem pass the baton over a dark, soulful, slightly mournful beat, separated by an echoing modern R&B Auto-Tune hook. LeBron seems to bring out the best in the MCs as some of the best (Jay-Z, T.I.) bring their A game on what essentially is one of the world's glitziest mixtapes, while Mary J. Blige adds a nice change of place early on with the soulful ballad "Stronger."

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