History & Now, Music

These movie soundtracks broke the mold

Hip-Hop and R&B classics.

words by: Kai Acevedo
Apr 2, 2021

All soundtracks are not created equal. Some are crafted with the same tender love and care that classic albums receive. The highest selling soundtrack of all-time, the Grammy Award-winning The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album, is at this point considered an official Whitney Houston album. The “I Will Always Love You” singer collaborated with in-demand artists, songwriters and producers, including L.A. Reid, Babyface, Kenny G, David Foster and BeBe Winans to craft the record-breaking collection of songs that accompanied the 1992 film, The Bodyguard.


Soundtracks curated by Beyoncé, Kendrick Lamar, Jay-Z, Hit-Boy, who executive produced the Judas and the Black Messiah soundtrack, and others also broke the mold of the traditional soundtrack. Some of those projects are even solid enough to check out years later. Let’s take a look at some of hip-hop and R&B’s memorable soundtracks.


Boomerang: Original Soundtrack

Released: 1992
Featured Artists: Babyface (Executive Producer), Toni Braxton, TLC, A Tribe Called Quest, Johnny Gill, Grace Jones
Singles: “End of the Road” — Boyz II Men; “Give U My Heart” — Babyface featuring Toni Braxton


Space Jam: Music from and Inspired by the Motion Picture

Released: 1996
Featured: Jay-Z, Barry White, Chris Rock, D’Angelo, LL Cool J
Singles: “For You I Will” —Monica; “I Believe I Can Fly” — R. Kelly


Streets is Watching

Released: 1998
Featured: Jay-Z (Executive Producer), DMX, Ja Rule
Singles: “It’s Alright” — Memphis Bleek & Jay-Z; “In My Lifetime (Remix)” — Jay-Z


DJ Clue Presents: Backstage Mixtape (Music Inspired by the Film)

Released: 2000
Featured: Jay-Z (Executive Producer), Ja Rule, Big Tymers, Cam’ron, Da Brat, Eve, Fabolous, Hot Boys, Mýa, Outkast, Redman and The Lox
Singles: “Best of Me, Part 2” — Mýa and Jay-Z; “My Mind Right” — Memphis Bleek


Hustle & Flow: Music From and Inspired by the Motion Picture

Released: 2005
Featured: T.I.(Executive Producer), Three 6 Mafia, E-40, 8Ball & MJG
Singles: “I’m a King (Remix)” — P$C featuring T.I. & Lil Scrappy; “It’s Hard out Here for a Pimp” — Three 6 Mafia


The Great Gatsby: Music from Baz Luhrmann’s Film

Released: 2013
Featured: Jay-Z (Executive Producer), The xx, will.i.am, Beyoncé, André 3000, Lana Del Rey, Florence and the Machine,
Singles: “Back to Black” — Beyoncé x André 3000; “Young and Beautiful” — Lana Del Rey


Black Panther: The Album

Released: 2018
Featured: Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd, SZA, Jorja Smith, Travis Scott, 2 Chainz
Singles: “King’s Dead” — Jay Rock, Kendrick Lamar, Future, and James Blake; “Pray for Me” — The Weeknd and Kendrick Lamar; “All The Stars” — Kendrick Lamar and SZA


Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Soundtrack From & Inspired by the Motion Picture)

Released: 2018
Featured: Jaden Smith, Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, Ty Dolla $ign, Post Malone, Swae Lee, Juice WRLD, Anuel AA,
Singles: “Sunflower (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse)” —Post Malone and Swae Lee


The Lion King: The Gift

Released: 2019
Featured: Beyoncé (Executive Producer), Jay-Z, Pharrell Williams, Kendrick Lamar, Tierra Whack, Tiwa Savage
Singles: “Brown Skin Girl” — Beyoncé, Saint Jhn and Wizkid featuring Blue Ivy Carter; “Mood 4 Eva” — Beyoncé, Jay-Z and Childish Gambino featuring Oumou Sangaré


Judas and the Black Messiah: The Inspired Album

Released: 2021
Featured: Jay-Z, ASAP Rocky, Nas, Nipsey Hussle
Singles: “What It Feels Like” — Nipsey Hussle and Jay-Z


Photo via Sony Pictures