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Five RJD2 Songs That Convince Me He Should Do Music For Film

June 2, 2010

If there’s one thing I’ve loved about RJD2 over the years, it’s that he rarely does the same thing twice. He could have easily stayed within the realm of hip-hop, and most fans would have been satisfied. And while many of them considered his third album, The Third Hand, a major misstep, I thought it was a bold departure that ultimately paid off. Listening to his latest effort, The Colossus, I realize how much of a natural progression there is to his music from his first album to his latest. Whether he’s chopping up and reconstructing samples or offering up original compositions, instrumentals or including vocals, there’s always that need to tell a story with his music. There’s always a distinct narrative, or at least the seeds of inspiration for listeners to come up with a narrative in their own minds.

It’s that quality that I think would serve RJD2 well if he ever delved into creating music for film. His songs have been featured in movies and television in the past (most notably “A Beautiful Mine”, the instrumental track serving as the theme song to AMC’s Mad Men), but I’m dying know what he would do if given free reign on a film soundtrack. I’ve included the following songs to give some indication of the many directions he could go in for anything from dramatic indie fair, broad comedy, to more genre-specific offerings.


“The Horror”
Arguably the song that put him on the map, it’s creepy, it’s funky, and even a little silly at times. There’s this ominous, yet playful quality to it that makes it perfect for a Shaun of the Dead, or Drag Me To Hell-style horror/comedy.


“The Proxy”
Still one of my favorites from RJ. In its brief two minutes and twelve seconds, there’s a wealth of emotion and awe that’s tough to top. Maybe a coming of age street drama? Directed by Jim Jarmusch, perhaps?


“Iced Lightning”
You can’t tell me you wouldn’t want music like this for a sci-fi/action anime! Take out that piano break down and dub it over a five-minute scene of two characters on the verge of kissing, but never do!


“Exotic Talk”
Old school hard rock mixed with bits of trippy-ass techno? This is total “Guy Ritchie Crime Caper” music!


“One Day” (Instrumental)
This is a good groove for your contemporary urban romance type films. Not quite old school R&B, not neo-soul, and definitely not urban top 40 radio, I could see something like this working in a Sanaa Hamri film or something.

Honorable Mention

“Just When”
It’s a total 80’s riff, and if there are filmmakers who want to make films taking place in the 80s, but can’t afford to license any songs, at least get someone to create music evocative of the era. Sort of like the Virgin Suicides soundtrack by Air.

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