The Fast and the Furious: Murder, Ja Wrote

There are acts of vehicular manslaughter in the Fast and Furious franchise. There are certainly quite a few straight up murders throughout, with Vin Diesel and his family getting a fair share of blood on their hands and, therefore, steering wheels. Listening to the lyrics in almost all of these songs for the official album, however, you’d think this is the album to Death Race 2000.

“Murder, murder, murder, murder, murder.”

Devon: We are talking the very first The Fast and the Furious. Emphasis on the The’s, to distinguish it from the fourth entry in the franchise. If Wild Wild West was a musical microcosm of the ’90’s, we are travelling through time into the new millennium, and it is no willennium.

Alexander: I got the title wrong so many times when searching for this movie, at one point, I think I typed, The Fast, The Furious.

Devon: Fast and Furious, The, that’ll be helpful if ever you want to look for the screenplay at the library! We won’t have to refer to the script much for our discussion, though, as this soundtrack does not refer to the film at all. There’s no one lead song that the album is built around, instead it’s just so many people shouting.

Alexander: The closest we get is Furious, and even then, I think Ja Rule is angry about more than just cars, that man is just furious 24/7. He should’ve done a song called Car Rule, and it would’ve been as awful as it sounds.

Devon: Let’s get self sufficient with our seminal track of the album then, The Good Life, and boy, that is a deep cut to a TV show that only we may get.

Good Life Faith Evans Ft. Ja Rule, Vita, & Caddillac Tah

Alexander: I can’t help but acknowledge that Ja seems to have inserted himself everywhere he didn’t belong on this album, up to and including the actual CD cover art.

Devon: Now, he is in the movie, sadly, not credited as Car Rule. But as we’ll soon hear, Ja does yell his way into almost every song on this album, with the help of the producers Murder INC, which themselves pretty much dominate the whole album. The soundtrack to The Fast and the Furious is more thematic around murder than it is cars.

Alexander: There is an abundance of murder in these songs, and it all seems to revolve around Ja, is there a coded admission of guilt in all this? Hopefully Michael J Anderson will uncover this mystery. We need a version of The Jinx called The Ja, “you’re caught, what the hell did I do? Feated them all, of course”.

Devon: I did notice this is a remix, and there are many remixes later on that are… well different. Obviously, with our love for ’90’s hip hop, it’s a staple for sampling and revitalizing other songs, Wild Wild West heavily relies on at least three prior songs, but there’s something less honorific about these examples.

Alexander: I mean… it’s okay. Faith Evans has a fairly nice voice, but this is a good first example of how not great popular rap was around this era. There’s a lot of mainstream party rap compiled on this album which suggests… a car party? American Pie but on wheels? We’re not putting Wild West West on a pedestal next to Illmatic, but this music has next to nothing to say, even about cars.

Devon: We also usually try to parallel the track selection to the film narrative, this is not going to work this time. The best I can do here is this is base reflective of the good status quo before PC Walker brum-brum’s his way in.

Alexander: Exceedingly hard to tie it to the film, especially as most songs seem to be about how horrible and murder filled life is. There are crime and gangs in the movie, but the actual movie seems more escapist entertainment than Boyz N The Hood.

Devon: Maybe this is from the car’s perspective! Straight from the start of this series, there are many, many insane wipeouts during races where it is all but certain those indiscriminate fellow racers are decimated in the wrecks. The body count is huge even before the lead heroes start fighting terrorists, but they can’t afford to focus on those casualties because Cars > People.

Alexander: This song is the car just enjoying it’s life, some nice shiny wheels, a lovely coat of paint, everything’s good in this Cars world… until the race wars start. We should point out that’s legitimately what Vin Diesel calls his street races.

Image result for fast furious race wars

Devon: I still refuse to believe that nobody in the writing process twigged onto that while writing for such an impressively diverse cast.

Alexander: Maybe Vin did think of it himself and no one wanted to argue, “I came up with this name, Race Wars. It’s crazy, I feel like I know those words from somewhere… Probably not!”

POV City Anthem Caddillac Tah

Devon: Things aren’t gonna get much less aggressive than that, we’re getting into the heavy hitters next with Caddyshack Two. In case we were unsure of the era of this album, they helpfully yell 2001 super clearly at the start.

Alexander: It says the album was recorded partially in 2000, so good thinking ahead on his part, very avant-garde. Sounds better than, “roughly late 2000 or early 2001, baby!!” For twelve months, anyone who listened to this song was left wondering who is this modern day Nostradamus.

Devon: A song more typically expected of the Fast & Furious aesthetic. I do quite like the kitsch of the opening phone bit that blends into the backing track, though it does sound a little like Caddillac left his phone on in the recording booth. Then to cover it up, someone starts whistling? Did they have some left over effects from Wild Wild West?

Alexander: They had Faith Evans left over, so maybe. It also features some great lyrics, “Gangster, gangster, murder, murder!”. Those things are usually synonymous, mate, no need for subtext, I guess. Postman, postman, parcel, parcel!

When A Man Does Wrong Ashanti

Alexander: A very slight divergence from all the gangster murder next, with one of the few smoother ballads. From a pretty well known name, Ashanti was big around this time, though I’ll be damned if I can name another of her songs.

Devon: I believe she shows up later this very album. I can’t imagine a petrol-head drifting his nuts to this; this is driving at 3MPH music, and maybe falling asleep at the wheel.

Alexander: This is one of the songs wherein the bass is just hard enough to suitably back any of the few scenes not spent in cars. Plus, there are two romance subplots with Vin and Michelle, and Paul and Jordana, both of which actually maintained and developed through all the sequels.

Devon: They probably admitted that Vin is the most uninteresting presence, is there any way to make his scenes more interesting, if not, then just slap an Ashanti song in there.

Alexander: Didn’t Michelle get killed off and then brought back?

Devon: Oh boy, so in the deep lore of FF, arguably deeper than Final Fantasy, Michelle is believed to be killed off in Fast & Furious, then Eva Mendes returns from 2 Fast 2 Furious to bring Vin news of Michelle being alive in the stinger of Fast Five, we find out in Fast & Furious 6 she survived her wreck but has amnesia and manipulated by international terrorists, leaving the bulk of Furious 7 for Vin to honor their marriage and work to restore her memories.

Alexander: Jesus. Imagine having to juggle that arc and Ana Lucia in your head at the same time. Much like Lost, FF also plays has time travel, kind of, with Tokyo Drift being set in the future between the sixth and seventh films. Also, there is the looming threat of the great, big monster haunting the cast, getting larger each time it appears.

Devon: We’re talking about the Rock, of course.

Race Against Time Part 2 Tank Ft. Ja Rule

Alexander: Guess who’s haunting us through this album, Ja Rule. He’s back with Tank, in a race against time, which is marginally related as there’s a tank in the sixth film. This song opens with some particularly early millennial strings which adds a serious layer to the usual rap. He also says the word race, so that’s something.

Devon: Being a completionist myself, I just had to listen to the first part in Ja Rule’s duology. I found it’s pretty much the same song but just Tank leads this one.

Alexander: I like this multi-part odyssey which ostensibly is translated down to, “I like-a the drive-drive”. But those strings do match some of the sadder lyrics, “Baby girl wants a wedding ring, I wish that I could sing”. Damn, bro, aren’t you singing now?

Devon: This is largely a very sad album.

Alexander: Perhaps the poor bloke has yelled so much he’s forgotten what singing is. Ja hates having the voice he does; so loud on location, even over the engines, that they didn’t invite him back for the sequels. He doesn’t even want us to pity his gravelly plight with, “nobody cry for me, ‘Cuz I, wanna see you smile for me”.

Devon: Have we been too harsh on our boy Rule? He sounds like he’s going through something, maybe a red light, am I right? I do actually have a tidbit on his involvement with the film but I will save that for later.

Alexander: I love bits of tid, I eagerly await! Him and Tank do leave us with some very bittersweet words, I have to admit, “if you gonna live, know you gonna die, if you gonna steal, know you gotta lie, get drunk and stay high”.

Devon: They knew what they were talking about, huh? Except, at the end when Ja signs off with 2000. Just wasn’t smart enough to plan ahead, he’s sad because much like Nicolas Cage, he’s been left behind in while everyone ventures on into the new millennia.

Alexander: He’s put enough of himself in all these songs he can live on forever through the music. It’s like his horcruxes; Ja Rule’s life force will continue to exist in the insert booklets of Fast & Furious soundtracks, and in the tinnitus of his family’s ears.

Devon: He’s certainly not stopping any time soon because he’s leading this next track, one Ja Rule track straight into another. This is also the headliner, the quintessential piece of the soundtrack, when you have the official music video with obligatory film footage, you are inseparable from the film’s legacy.

Furious (Fuck You) Ja Rule Ft. Vita, & O1

Alexander: Another song that heavily leans on murder. To quote Vita in the chorus, “murder murder, murder murder murder”, and to quote Ja, “JA RULE”. It’s been five songs, mate, we’re well aware of who you are.

Devon: My friend, I am glad you addressed the murderous elephant in the room, I went ahead and counted this. While largely Vita, with a couple mentions by Ja, the song overall features the word murder forty seven times.

Alexander: Oh my God. One for every critic who killed themselves after sitting through this film. Hopefully there isn’t some spooky curse on it where the next listeners hear 49 after us two, it’s like a car version of The Ring where instead of a little girl, a Cadillac smashes out your telly.

Devon: Vin’s bald head slowly pushing out of my Walkman. Phone rings, I pick up, it’s Vita whispering murder, murder, murder. Then, dogs barking outside… wait, that’s not dogs, IT’S DMX.

Alexander: They said I’m going to die in 47 days, so I’ve got ages yet, I can relax for now, if not for every afternoon, Ja Rule strolls by the window to scream “FUCK YOU!” He’s like a horrible version of an ice cream man; a truck with the little jingle and every time you try and get a flake 99, it’s just Ja shouting, and you fall for it every time!

Devon: Here’s that interesting tid ‘n’ bit since we’re on Ja. We’ve mentioned he does has that small appearance in the first film, well, they originally wanted him back for 2 Fast 2 Furious in an expanded role, but this guy was putting everything on Murder INC, so he turned down a whopping half million, despite that he only got a couple thousand for his initial cameo. Now, here’s what happened; with Ja Rule refusing to play the role, they needed a replacement for the sequel and guess what other singer appeared in the first? Our boy Luda! Nearly twenty years later, look who’s headlining one of the most successful franchises of all time.

Alexander: In hindsight, I’m so glad he was distracted by his bad music company, Luda is infinitely more impressionable than Ja. I really don’t want to see an alternate reality where Ja joined the ensemble cast only to go as the DJ Elf in Fred Claus. What Christmas song have you got next, DJ Elf? MURRDDUUUHHH!

Devon: Alright guys, we need fast and/or furious plan in order to rob this bank- MURRDDDUUHH! …Ja, this is not helping our cause, you know what, when the Rock next comes round we’re popping your tires, you can get arrested”.

Take My Time Tonight R. Kelly

Devon: If we want a tonal palette cleanser, here’s a track far less aggressive and yet far more unpleasant to feature in our discussions.

Alexander: Honestly? It got to his softly spoken intro and I was like nope. I can hear a fuck jam from almost anyone but not that creep. Lyrically it’s a super generic track too, there are honestly much better ballads than this.

Devon: Saying that, the one thing that stuck out to me, “no cellulars, no pagers, no two-ways just us, No phone calls to Mr. Jeeves, no family, no friends”.

Alexander: MR JEEVES? “No using Ask Jeeves when I’m tryin’ to bone ya, no pluggin’ in the landline to see who’s tryin to phone ya”.

Devon: It may have come across already, but I’m not the biggest hip hop head, may I ask who is this Jeeves in the music scene? For me at least, it’s a deep cut call out to some real underground artist.

Alexander: I have no clue who Mr Jeeves is, and the only thing I could think of was Ask Jeeves, who I believe is long dead. Ironically, hit by a car, and even more ironically, no one ever found the body. Now it’s just ASK, which sounds almost threatening, as if we’re being dared to ask, and we might find the answers we’re looking for…

Devon: Imagine the gall of that change, as if people in real life would inquire for information like,  “yeah, let me just ask for that”. No one uses that word outside of the internet.

Alexander: It’s ridiculous, but I love the idea that this little guy was doing all the work for us. This Jeeves fella, he must’ve been so overworked. Maybe he disappeared himself, there are only so many times a day that one man can answer the question to who is that dancing baby.

Devon: Kelly must’ve dedicated this song to him, he does say “Mr Jeeves, no family, no friends“. Everyone used him and I bet not one person out there asked about how he was doing. This is a decent segue, however, to another song from his perspective.

Suicide Scarface

Devon: So I don’t know if you read the lyrics for this, but it is a pretty damn somber track for what is a film about driving cars real fast.

Alexander: This is a man in trouble, but he does give us one treat, the first mention of a nut-sack on the album. It’s so somber, he’s pretty much sobbing, “I hate my baby mama”. We’ve run the gamut of death crimes already, Vita and Ja Rule can’t stop singing about murder and Scarface is lamenting suicide.

Devon: A shockingly abrupt downer; he’s straight up talking about one of his friends who had a wife and kids and then killed himself, and he’s just pondering over why he didn’t say anything if he was feeling bad. It’s bizarrely tucked in between these achetypal gangster raps, and the only reason I can assume is the soundtrack producer had clinical depression. Most likely from being tasked with compiling songs for this movie.

Alexander: This is the low point in the film where Vin realizes if he gets arrested, there are no cars in prison. He cant live life a quarter mile at a time. I must stress, I absolutely love the notion that he’d have to learn that there are no cars in prison.

Devon: This news comes far harder than Paul being an undercover cop.

Alexander: We have the possibility that all these sad songs come from Vin ruminating on the idea of not owning, and driving, a car.

Devon: Now, if I remember rightly, on my latest binge of the series, I do recall Vin actually having a fairly decent lengthy monologue at some point about remembering his dad. It was before the writers realised all they needed was for him to just say family and that’ll do it.

Alexander: That’s amazing, as I assumed Vin could only memories three words at a time.

Devon: I also say writers, it’s been just solely Chris Morgan since Tokyo Drift, he’s had creative control over half of the entire saga.

Alexander: Really? So this is just one singular entire vision? That’s kind of impressive actually, how do come up with that many car smashes? Does he have an entire black book that he carries around of different wrecks? 1. Car smash into helicopter, 2. Car smash into bridge, 3. Car smash into bridge then helicopter (man scream).

Alexander: He could be a nightcrawler, watching actual crashes all night on a home projector like Red Dragon. I think all franchises should get him in for revamping, he could take the Airbud series in an exhilarating new direction; he’d be able to tie in all the buddies too for the same ensemble action. This time, it’s an entire sports team of dogs, except this time they’re stealing cars. This writer’s a good worker but he has his limits.

The Prayer Black Child

Alexander: This song has a lovely use of the word bitch, which makes an ugly reappearance throughout.

Devon: There are some very choice lyrics from here on out, which I don’t know if there’s much to say on, even less coming from someone as pale and dumb as me. I checked this person’s wiki, what does it lead to? MURDER INC, because of course it bloody does. It’s all connected, and we talked about there being cohesion in Wild Wild West but this is overt.

Alexander: It really ties it all together in one big ball of deeply unpleasant music. The weird thing is, isn’t Paul Walker the protagonist? The beach-bum, surfer dude extra from Point Break. Surely they could’ve thrown a Jimmy Buffet song in there for him. Maybe this is the integration CD the police gave him before he went undercover, or just what he listens to to look cool in front of his black friends.

Devon: There is some peak white boy rap coming up. Thank God he didn’t pull a Soul Man to for this mission in the race wars, this franchise would not have lasted.

Alexander: Can you imagine? It would’ve done so badly that the film was cancelled half way through, somehow, the first film in history to be cancelled thirty minutes in. These are very serious songs, though, it’s really missing a sense of fun that the later ones excel in.

Devon: Yet all this talk of mass murder kind of brings the vibe down. I expected some funk in the next track from the artist, but nah, just more murder, murder, murder. Flex is very enthusiastic in his intro.

Tudunn Tudunn Tudunn (Make U Jump) Funkmaster Flex Ft. Noreaga

Alexander: I was so ready for something laid back and funky that you could, you know, drive to. This, again, is so angry! What do these guys do to psych themselves up before going into the studio? Read their Twitter mentions?

Devon: This is a stretch, and comparing them myself it doesn’t really match, but every time the dude does the titular scatting, I kept expecting him to go into the Curb Your Enthusiasm theme.

Alexander: I wish that happened. What’s more of a Curb moment than learning your mate is an undercover cop investigating you. This song title is up there with MMM MMM MMM MMM by Crash Test Dummies. It made me very curious as to what it would sound like, so they did well by that title, it’s not something you can always do, otherwise every song by DMX would be Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark.

Devon: You’ve got to be conservative with it, I wouldn’t want to live in a world with 1,800 Nirvana songs of Yeah.

Hustlin’ Fat Joe Ft. Armageddon

Devon: If we don’t have much to talk about with this fella, let me go on a quick tangent as Flex does shout out Big Pun at the start of his track, and we both have heard him recently on a little, but memorable, show at the WWF Rage Party, along with Isaac Hayes and Cherry Poppin’ Daddies.

Alexander: This is one of many Big’s and Fat’s in the business. I don’t know if they come up with the names themselves, but Fat Joe is a pretty insulting, lazy name. Was his first option Juicy Joe, and got outvoted to accept Fat Joe.

Devon: That would’ve not been bad, he’s getting free advertising on all those asses.

Alexander: It’s free real estate! He also mentions, “a cup of noodles in your hand”, made me wonder if someone in the studio was just having lunch and it somehow entered into his lyrics, otherwise, why is he talking about noodles?

Devon: A very casual and average line among all the crime and gangs.

Alexander: He just likes noodles, and I say god bless it! He did have some hits later, Lean Back was quite a big one, and was also good advice for what to do when you’re in the dentist’s chair. At least that one educated us, Hustlin’ is just so generic and vague. It’s like he just wanted to fit in, if any of his homies questioned it, “nah, I got some noodles, you know, from that place there” gives it some validity.

Devon: Didn’t give him enough; it’s not on the Spotify album, they trimmed the fat, so to speak.

Freestyle Boo & Gotti

Alexander: This one takes the biscuits for worst lyrics; there are some that I don’t even want to get into here.

Devon: At this point we, or I at least, should say our criticisms are not super negative on the music itself, I think opposite American Pie, I could put this album on and not be aggravated by it. As a soundtrack companion piece, it’s just that every song is so thematically similar and yet completely off topic from the film. Your criticisms may be more accurate, I should also acknowledge, I’ve only just got round to Kendrick Lamar and Tyler the Creator so I’m a little late to the genre.

Alexander: I think these tracks are pretty boring and uninspired, really; they just play into what was big at the time, hustling, cars, hustling, and bitches, and are shallow and forgettable because of it. Not that interesting musically either, the album would really have benefited from blending and diversifying in some tracks from the second album. A good dose of SALIVA would’ve at least given it some shades of grey.

Devon: I can agree with those thoughts, this is probably the most we’ve actually gotten into discussing actual music thus far, and it’s the kind that Ja Rule makes; music to really discuss. Well, discuss how bad it is, but still. Now, you say there are some lyrics we should avoid, but I did note a real standout, “all my chicks like Snoopy”, which is nice to know!

Alexander: That’s nice he’s remembered that about them, just a little personal fact so when it’s their birthday he can get them a mug with Woodstock on it.

Devon: His attention to detail is what aids the extent they go to help him, i.e. “all my mommy’s rock Gucci, if we in the whip, put the dope in her koochie”.

Alexander: You mind popping this in your fanny, love? So romantic! His parents asking about his new girlfriend, “she really likes Snoopy, and she is totally willing to store drugs up in herself”. “Son, marry that girl”, everyone in the room applauded and gave him a crisp $20 bill.

Devon: Aw, you loved Peanuts as a kid, you two are so great together! And you store drugs in your ass, meant to be! Speaking of ass, Limp Biscuit.

Rollin (Urban Assault Vehicle) Limp Bizkit Ft. DMX, Method Man, & Redman

Alexander: Quite an intro to a song, isn’t it? Fred screaming at the producer, DMX woofing, and then screaming. This is Rollin’, but it ain’t your grandpappy’s Air Raid Vehicle, no, this is the hot, new shit. Ironically, does not have as hard a music track.

Devon: A lot softer and hornier, in that there are more horns, I just have to clarify the song did not get me horny. I was actually a little disappointed, I quite like everyone here bar Freddie, and I thought this is too soft for these guys, just not great.

Alexander: Which is why I think DMX woofs and barks so much, I can only assume he does that because he went to see a magician once who hypnotized him into thinking he was a dog.

Devon: As poor as the remixed backing track is, holy moly, do they make up with just so many lyrical gold lines. Thanks for Redman, we know, “I let these nuts hang”. Three heavily aggressive men huddled round, listening to Redman discuss his testicular preferences. Also, four men, seven verses, and yet no Ben Stiller. Bullshit.

Alexander: A Bizkit song is not worth the tape it was recorded on if it doesn’t have that Stiller laugh loop at the end. Instead it was Fred yammering the r-word that the Black Eyed Peas sang before they hastily replacing it with, “it started”.

Devon: Before we get there, I just have to go through some of my nominations, since there are a lot. First off, “untouchable, branded unfuckable”, this was somehow not the debut album title for Limp Bizkit.

Alexander: It’s the unofficial branding for every member. Could be the song for Paul, this is Vin and the gang just roasting him for being the lame newcomer.

Devon: “When I let these nuts hang, focus, it’s Wu Tang, what the fuck’s a Hootie and the Blowfish?” A phenomenal reference in that it sounds so genuinely sincere. For my money, Fred was there before the recording, smoking a fat one, and playing his Hootie singles, and the others all said they needed to go the bathroom until they start.

Alexander: The sheer amount of rappers in this song really does contrast with how dumb Fred is. Though, with DMX with his endless echoing barking in the background, I’d be screaming, too. All the “UH”s and “YEAH”s… it’s like he has a tiny version of himself by his side for encouragement.

Devon: “Anyone can match me, I crack ’em all to Guinness”. Guinness records? Or is he just a nice enough lad to buy the next round at the pub after?

Alexander: “You’ll be shitting on yourself because you’re already dead”, shitting yourself makes a little sense, you’re so scared because you are fucked, but literally shitting on yourself? And that’s after you’ve died.

Devon: Is he just singing about the anatomical fact that bodies release their waste upon death, I mean, that is a real brutal thing to remind people of right before you pop ’em. “Then after that, approximately an hour later, rigor mortis will set in, but don’t worry, that is only temporary, in fact, here’s a pamphlet I have to help explain it”, X says as the song fades out.

Devon: We’re joking, but a guy like DMX straight faced explaining what is going to happen to your corpse after he murders you is chilling. He could break it off like a goof, just a big laugh as though he was kidding, and you smile and laugh along… but you know now not to fuck with the X.

Alexander: He is basically the rap version of Joe Pesci in Goodfellas, I’ve never known a musician so intent on making his listeners hate and fear him. He actually has an urban assault vehicle. On top of that, his dulcet tones can currently be heard on a KFC advert! which is truly scary.

Devon: I hope X is Gon’ Giv’ me some tasty and affordable chicken meals, and not, death.

Alexander: He’s giving death to the chickens but delicious bargain buckets to us, so the ends justify the means! Only thing is he sits directly next to you in the booth and watches to make sure you eat every bite.

Devon: Before we move on from this iconic track, you did allude to it and I feel I must quote it on just how many times Fred yells this word, much like like Vita and Murder, “Well people everywhere just get retarded, get retarded, get retarded, people everywhere just get retarded!”

Alexander: It’s so awful! Were people actually using that word to mean go wild? Because the word wild does exist. We know that from experience.

Devon: I believe in the 2000’s, it was a popular term for getting drunk, as genius lyrics explains it does, anyway.

Alexander: Thanks, genius lyrics! You’re always explaining the terribleness of lyrics to me.

Devon: That, and:

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Devon: But even then, PC madness gone wild aside, Fred is literally ending his verse by randomly yelling at the audience to, “GET DRUNK, GET DRUNK, EVERYONE GET DRUNK!!!!” No one, aside from us, is listening to you sober.

Alexander: This is an album for petrol-heads… car lovers, you know, drivers. Are we supposed to be getting drunk in the car? Even DMX is thinking this is irresponsible, Fred. “Get home first! Park the car! Then get drunk, okay, look after yourself, uwu”, thanks X, not sure about that last part though.

Devon: DMX would literally murder us just for trying to introduce uwu to him. Just instant death, so fast that your soul doesn’t even have time to go to heaven, just blasted into non-existence. Well, we’re not done with yelling, more Ja Rule.

Life Ain’t A Game Ja Rule

Alexander: By this stage, I’m so sick of Ja, yet so utterly baffled to hear none other than Depeche Mode. Not even a little sample, the song is literally Strangelove.

Devon: After all the generic rap, I actually really liked the backing track to this one, and it’s not original!

Alexander: This really is just a case of taking a good song and yelling over it, he hasn’t re-purposed it very cleverly. I get the feeling he’s trying to make this one a bit more emotional, a tiny bit more heartfelt, but at the end of it he’s still just ol’ shouty Ja.

Devon: The lyrics here are ridiculously vague at this point, but this is closer to what the later FF albums go for with a bit more actual rhythm in the music.

Alexander: Definitely more rhythm and melody in it, and it’s one of the more memorable songs. That could be down to him yelling “I JUST WANNA FUCK ALL DAY” Don’t we all, Ja! Life ain’t a game, so get that fucking in while you can, got to get it done before the light turns green!

Cali Diseaz Shade Sheist Ft. Nate Dogg

Alexander: It’s extremely boring, but boy does it know how to compliment women; “your pussy don’t stank”, thanks for that one! It does leave me wondering, were these songs edited for the film, or were they in there with these lines intact?

Devon : That’s why it’s a great place to store drugs. As I remember the non-diegetic soundscape of TFaTF, the songs start and stop very abruptly; they’ll be driving their cars up for the start line with groove RnB and as soon as the walking ass drops her flags, Spineshank will accompany the brum brum.

Alexander: So these songs are for when they’re cruising, and indeed have their nuts hanging low. Then they pack them away and pump up the ‘stank.

Devon: It is quite possible that all 17 of these tracks, and perhaps the whole second album, are all squeezed into one single film.

Alexander: That is a gluttonous amount of music. Were they afraid that if there wasn’t constant audible stimuli then everyone would just walk out? ‘I swear to god if I don’t hear someone say, ‘your pussy don’t stank’ in the next five minutes, I am leaving!’

Devon: Somehow layered on top of this constant music is the diegetic soundscape of constant gear shifts.

Alexander: I remember the gear shift SFX being very excessively loud to the degree that we might as well had Vin and the family just hold screams the entire race. Now, the shot where we go into the engine was the car version of when you see into Spike Jonze’s guts in Three Kings, prime car guts!

Devon: One of the only things I’m sad they dropped in the later entries, I have to know where that NOS goes! Just let us see the fan belt spinning! How are we supposed to understand any of this without it?

Alexander: Those shots are the equivelent of when they name drop a new hero in the Marvel movies, something for gear heads to lean over excitedly and explain the deep nerd lore to their less clued in friends.

Devon: Petey Pablo next, and wow, does this fella like singing about asses! He should’ve done Billy Gunn’s entrance theme.

Didn’t I Petey Pablo

Alexander: He loves them! I couldn’t really make heads or tails of this song, or this comment:

21363013_10155709066149855_747345860_n

Devon: This fella commented on another track, and has made several playlists of F&F music. I really did think for a moment that was Home Improvement‘s Richard Karn.

Alexander: Until proven otherwise, I will believe it’s him. Under the layers of this song, I’m certainI deciphered the number 97, I don’t want to get too into numerology, but we might be hearing an old track here.

Devon: That is possible. I also noticed the lyrics, “Mr. Roberts found his ass out fishin’ Sunday evenin’ Gift-wrapped in a sheet, didn’t he?”So I’m left to question, who is this man? Is this at all grammatically correct? And, is this a Twin Peaks reference?

Alexander: Certainly sounds like it! He also said he’d been in jail for a while, maybe his last reference point before being arrested was Twin Peaks. Maybe that number is similar to Laura Palmer’s long awaited prophecy and we’re getting a new Petey Pablo drop in 97 years. Twin Petes: It Is Rappening Again.

Devon: I’m sure we’ll see him again one day, as right now we’re seeing another familiar face yet again.

Put It On Me (Remix) Ja Rule Ft. Lil’ Mo, & Vita

Alexander: Yet again he says Ja Rule, by now it’s the equivalent of having an hour long phone chat with someone and them suddenly saying “Hey, it’s me, Ja”. Uh, thanks?

Devon: This one is a little weird; a softer R Kelly type ballad and yet Ja does not change his rough cadence at all. There is no nuance in his Bale Batman voice whatsoever, completely unable to talk any quieter than a throaty yell. Lines like, “every thug needs a lady” come off as absolutely tragic like his dying words. Or he’s calling for the nurse to bring him to the otorhinolaryngologist.

Alexander: The black Tom Waits, and even he could tone it down for the more loving tracks. I would like to hear Ja take it down a notch, but the prospect of him whispering is so frightening that I can’t consider it. I’m guessing he learned to whisper when he was explaining his plans for Fyre festival.

Devon: I would starve if I went out for food and DMX was in KFC and in McDonalds was Ja Rule.

Alexander: At least we can always get a Subw- Oh God, Big Willie’s here! “Ha HA ha HA! Cheese and toasted is the best, as good as my name Jim West!” Then Sisque flips over the deli counter.

Devon: Thankfully this is the last of Ja’s Rule on our quarter mile race through this album. Still, his themes and passions drive us right to the very end with the importance of murder.

Justify My Love Vita Ft. Ashanti

Alexander: For The Fast and the Furious soundtrack, we end on a soft love ballad to wind us down…. then just to cap the motif off Vita mentions murder again. It’s a very soft song that doesn’t seem to understand environments very well, “I want to make love on a train… cross country”, you can’t do that; they’re called Virgin trains for a reason!

Devon: We finally finally did it, in what felt more like a cross country drive than a quick race, but this is the first of two albums for The Fast and the Furious. Does your opinion from earlier ring true overall, in that it’s just not a great collection of rap?

Alexander: I really don’t think it’s very good. There’s not a song here that I’d have in my library, and together they kind of make a bland sludge. It’s so disconnected from the film that after a while I was like… oh yeah, cars!

Devon: You did state beforehand that you might read up on your car stuff but I think we did the best we could just talking about the movie. This album does not reference the movie nary at all and I do not bet on the chances that the nu-metal sister album will be any more accurate.

Alexander: I cannot imagine them having anything to do with motor vehicles. If this album is a cool older sister, the nu-metal album will be the edgy younger brother who wears his Saliva hoodie every single day. Wild Wild West was best at tying songs to the theme of the wild, wild West, and Forever is still going strong for original songs. This is best at… promoting incorporated murder.

Devon: That is a lot of edge to handle, we are entering deep, deep water with this. Let’s hope we can secure that Bond car that becomes a submarine otherwise we are going to drown, my friend.

Alexander: If it is worse, then let’s end with the wise words of Ja Rule: fuck you.

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