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New Jack City (1991) – Best Hip-Hop Movie Soundtracks

Warner Bros.

A movie that retains its quotability decades later (“I want to shoot you so bad my d–k is hard!”) if not necessarily its dramatic heft, Mario Van Peebles’s portrait of a drug dealer squaring off against DEA agents offers a welcome rejoinder to the drug dealers and pimps filmmakers made into counterculture heroes during the Blaxploitation era. Ice-T, who plays an agent in one of his earliest roles, contributes ‘New Jack Hustler,’ a villain’s theme that ranks among the best songs in rap history, thanks to his typically colorful, complex take on being a bad guy – glamorous but doomed. The album’s preponderance of next-generation R&B stars, such as Guy, Johnny Gill, and Keith Sweat, helped coin the term ‘New Jack Swing,’ while Color Me Badd’s ‘I Wanna Sex U Up‘ became a cultural phenomenon.

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