Original Soundtrack

Rush Hour II [Soundtrack]

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Many things can be said about Def Jam's Rush Hour 2 soundtrack, an album that is both impressive yet at the same time disappointing. The 17 songs here essentially function as a sampler, giving nearly every artist from Def Jam and Def Soul a moment in the spotlight. And given this approach, you can't help but be impressed by Def Jam's deep pool of talent: Ludacris, Method Man, Redman, Montell Jordan, Keith Murray, LL Cool J, Musiq, and just as many up-and-coming artists such as teen pop singer Christina Milian. Furthermore, Def Jam hires some of the industry's top producers -- Swizz Beatz, Jazzy Pha, Teddy Riley, the Neptunes, Rodney Jerkins -- and some other big-money artists such as Snoop Dogg, Scarface, Nate Dogg, and Macy Gray. Unfortunately, despite all the talent, there aren't many standout moments. Teddy Riley's two songs -- "Party and Bullshit" and "Figadoh" -- are probably the biggest disappointments. The legendary producer tries to lay down some Neptunes-meet-Timbaland-crossed-with-Swizz-style beats, but you can't help feeling that he's desperately struggling to remain relevant. Similarly, LL Cool J sounds incredibly outdated rapping over a club-ready Swizz beat on "Crazy Girl." Still, there are two absolutely stunning moments here that arguably compensate: Ludacris and Nate Dogg's "Area Codes" and Hikaru Utada and Foxy Brown's "Blow My Whistle." The former seems almost effortless but is incredibly catchy -- partly because of its simplicity, partly because of Nate Dogg, but mostly because of Jazzy Pha's inventive sampling of "Do It (Til You're Satisfied)." The latter is yet another can't-miss production by the Neptunes, featuring scorching rhymes by Brown and some wonderfully sung hooks courtesy of Utada. So even if most of this soundtrack ultimately results in disappointment, these two golden moments may be reason enough for many to seek this out.

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