This soundtrack from '98 should go in the hip hop hall of fame under hot albums with absolutely no filler, just bangin' joints and smooth grooves to bob your head to. How can you expect any less though from the album accompanying Hype William's debut film...Hype Williams who has directed some of the best music videos ever and who clearly has an ear for what is quality and what is not.
The amount of talent known or unknown on this disc is unsurpassable. The poignant and heartfelt R. Kelly-produced opener "No Way In, No Way Out" is incrdibly moving and serves almost as a precursor to the seediness and hellish path that follows in "Devil's Pie" from D-Angelo (who at the time had not been heard from for the past three years). Every subsequent tracks is equally good, with the film's stars like DMX, Nas, and Method Man putting the competition to shame on tracks like "Grand Finale" with the perfectly refurbished "Prelude" sample from NWA. Jerome does a beautiful Stevie Wonder cover with "Never Dreamed You'd Leave In the Summer" and Ja Rule's true skill finally saw the light with "Story to Tell" in a version different from the one whch appeared on his debut album the following year, this one without the piano interludes between each verse.
Most true hip hop headz probably picked up this album long ago, but if you haven't, cop it, you will not be disappointed.