After a close win over the the former Charlotte Hornets last night, the Charlotte Bobcats are in the playoffs for the first time ever. Luckily, I get the opportunity to look back at one of my favorite movies as a kid and, arguably, one of the best soundtracks of the last 15 years, because of it's close ties with the team.
Space Jam starred Bobcats majority owner Michael Jordan and came out in 1996, better known as 4th grade for me. The soundtrack for the movie went 6x platinum, hitting double-platinum within two months of it's release.
What was crazy about this album was how good it was, especially the music for a fairly silly, kids movie. No teeny boopers on this one, luckily it was pre-Britney Spears and the Boy Band boom, this album had really good artists singing good songs, only a few actually pertained to basketball.
Of course, the first song to come to mind when you think of this soundtrack is R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly" (Watch the video here in all it's cornfield corniness). It was played ad nauseam, everywhere you turned. Like an R&B "Macarena" of annoyance, denying the shear success of this song is undeniable. It's also the track that thrust Kellz from kind of just a Black thing to someone everybody knew. I still haven't met a white person with 12 Play or Chocolate Factory.
Then there's Seal. Before he was getting in some sexy, sexy Heidi Klum, he covered The Steve Miller Band's 1977 hit "Fly Like An Eagle" and actually got it up to 10 on the Billboard charts, that's on the soundtrack. (Video here).
Another interesting angle of the album is it caught some artists on the upswing of their career's, others at the sweet spot of their popularity and rest were on the swift decline.
No one was calling Jay-Z the best rapper alive in 1996, Busta Rhymes was in his prime but the number of people camped out for B-Real (of Cypress Hill) and Coolio tickets at the time was dwindling. Salt-N-Pepa and Biz Markie were flat out past their prime by '96 too.
Hit 'Em High (The Monstars' Anthem) was probably my favorite song at the time also a song I used to discretely poke fun at tall, unattractive women. Thankfully, B-Real, Method Man, LL Cool J, Coolio and Busta didn't get the bright idea to start a supergroup after recording this song that didn't even chart.
"Space Jam" by the Quad City DJ's was and "I Turn To You" by All-4-One are perfect examples of 'oh yeah, I remember that' songs from one-hit wonders because I can't remember anything else these groups did following.
I'm purposefully ignoring "Basketball Jones" with Barry White and Chris Rock and there was nothing memorable about the Spin Doctors and Biz Markie mash-up of sorts but I can vividly remember girls in my class singing Monica's "For You I Will" back when it was really a debate between Brandy or Monica being the next big thing. If you dedicated this song to any player on the Bobcats, it'd have to be D.J. Augustin. It has nothing to do with his game on the court but I've seen women in Charlotte almost get self-induced whiplash when he walks in a room. Seeing as Monica recently had Chad Ocho Cinco as the love interest in her last video, why not get D.J. to play "her man" in the next one.
Slept on album, great nostalgia. Congrats again to the Bobcats.