I have found some of my favourite cuts through the years by trawling through stacks and stacks of soundtracks, and very occasionally uncovering a diamond in the rough. These joints rarely lead to much, as most of the times the crate-digging trail dead ends at a mediocre 12”, or a couple of promising guest appearances on a forgotten mixtape.
Lil’ 1/2 Dead - Hood Life [The Substitute OST]
Nonchalant - Lookin’ Good To Me [Half Baked OST]
Nas - One On One [Street Fighter OST]
The first cut exemplifies the hardships faced by the soundtrack crate-digger: most famous for sharing a cell with Snoop Dogg, Lil’ 1/2 Dead shows promise on this beat, with a respectable flow, killer hook and very smooth intro. He never did better this effort, but singlehandedly almost justified watching the movie it came from. Almost. The second tune proved to be a gateway track: Nonchalant’s album is straight fire, with a couple of joints that are rawer than one featured above. The third cut is classic early Nas, and his final verse is yet another reaffirming display of ghetto braggadocio and introspection, a characteristic that continues to define him today.
Check out more 3 tracks here.