• above the rim: the soundtrack  (CD, £14.25)

    label: Death Row Records

    This phenomenal soundtrack is a microcosm of the black pop experience as it exists in 1994. ABOVE THE RIM chronicles the street life of the inner city through the prism of basketball, a game that symbolises the character and aspirations of today's urban youth. Functioning like a succession of hip hop motifs, the music on ABOVE THE RIM charts many of the bittersweet variations connected with escaping these mean streets...quite literally by soaring above the rim. Supervising producer Dr. Dre has arranged a vivid selection of tracks to illustrate the sound that's happening right now: a mix of hip-hop, hardcore, old school, new jack swing and contemporary R&B in various pure strains and new compounds. "Anything" (by SWV) and "Regulate" (by Nate Dogg & Warren G) are the first two big singles off of ABOVE THE RIM, the latter a story of the inner city street tariffs done up in a mix of R&B and rap styles (in which "rhythm is life and life is rhythm") over a smooth keyboard vamp, the former a dance groove that combines traditional girl group styles and scratch-styled backgrounds. "Pour Out A Little Liquor" by Thug Life seeks escape from gritty everyday realities in gangsta style rhymes and forty ouncer good times, while the subterranean funk of "Afro Puffs" features Lady Of Rage's feminine machismo ("I am the roughest roughest roughest, I am the toughest toughest toughest") over a classic Dr. Dre grab bag mix, a nasty collage of funny samples and deep bass. 1. Anything - SWV 2. Old Time's Sake - Sweet Sable 3. Part Time Lover - H-Town 4. Big Pimpin' - Tha Dogg Pound Gangstas 5. Didn't Mean To Turn You On - 2nd II None 6. Doggie Style - Rogers, D.J. 7. Regulate - Nate Dogg & Warren G 8. Pour Out A Little Liquor - Thug Life & 2Pac 9. Gonna Give It To Ya - Jewell & Aaron Hall 10. Afro Puffs - Lady Of Rage 11. Jus So Ya No - CPO 12. Hoochies Need Love Too - Paradise 13. I'm Still In Love With You - Sure, Al B. 14. Crack 'Em - OFTB 15. U Bring Da Dog Out - Rhythm & Knowledge 16. Blowed Away - B Rezell 17. It's Not Deep Enough - Jewell 18. Dogg Pound 4 Life - Tha Dogg Pound Gangstas & Dat Nigga Daz/Snoop Doggy Dogg/Kurupt The Kingpin

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