There have been many great soundtracks in Hip Hop. Everything from Murder Was the Case, Above The Rim, High School High, Belly, and many others. But I personally thought at the time that 8 Mile would surpass all of these soundtracks and reign as the best of them all. It had tons of big names ranging from Eminem, 50 Cent, JayZ, Nas, Xzibit, Outsidaz, Gangstarr and the return of the God himself RAKIM!.
I was very souped about this soundtrack because it had a whole lot of potential to standout as a classic being that it has so much star potential. I picked it up however and it didn’t blow me away as I thought it would but the soundtrack is still pretty nice. One complaint that I’ve had about the 8 Mile soundtrack were that some of the main stars don’t perform to their usual standards. Instead of superb,It comes across as either alright or good. Examples of this is JayZ’s and Freeway’s 8 Miles and Runnin, Xzibit’s Spit Shine, and Rakim’s Track R.A.K.I.M. The kind of bland production downs the lyrical firepower and it Rakim’s case especially, It became somewhat of a let down because Rakim proved lyrically that he’s still one of the nicest to do it. It’s that the beat selection comes across as dry. Then the R&B tracks featuring Macy Gray and Boomkat doesn’t help matters either.
But luckily for the 8 Mile Soundtrack, Its Pros outweighs its cons. Shady Record’s New signee at the time 50 Cent has two tracks titled Places to Go and Wanksta(Which crossed him over. Wanksta o went on to be one of 2002’s biggest records as he pokes fun at wannabe gangsters and Ja Rule. Alot of critics have gotten on Nas’s performance on U Wanna Be Me. But I think it was pretty raw because he was on his King of New York Schick and continued to put more footprints into his adversary at the time neck(JayZ).
Gangstarr’s Battle track is dope hip hop at its finest. It may not be Premo’s best beat but damn Premo’s worst sh*ts on most producers best work. Guru of course brings the heat on the lyrical side proving that Gangstarr haven’t lost their chemistry. My only gripe is that the track is too short.
The main highlights occur when Eminem is on the mic. He delivers some of the best performances of his career on this album. The first single Lose Yourself is possibly one of the best songs he has ever created, He speaks about his life and at the same time his struggle behind his character of the movie(Bunny Rabbit), He speaks about the obstacles he has to overcome to reign to the top.
Em is also featured on Love Me along with Obie Trice and 50 Cent. All 3 Emcees come correct over a darkish beat, 50’s verse is the most entertaining of the 3 as he goes back to his “How to Rob” days of poking fun at rappers and entertainers.
My personal favorite track of the album is Rap Game which features D-12 and addictive hook from 50, They have really stepped their game up ever since Devil’s Night but they still seemed to always be upstaged by Em who outshines them once again as he goes on an onslaught by verbally Obliterating every one from Bush, C-Deloris Tucker, and the Government. Em proves that he has really stepped his lyricism up on the very energetic Run Rabbit Run which fits the struggle of Eminem’s struggle as it seems like he’s running on borrowed time to make his career happen.
Overall I think this had potential to standout as a classic but instead it turns out to be good. The Eminem performances alone make it worth the purchase. I was pretty disappointing when I first copped it but as the weeks went on, It grew on to me and was mainly carried due to the Shady Records crew along with standout tracks from Nas and Gangstarr. Definitely worth picking up despite the obvious flaws.
Vic Rating: 7.5 outta 10