Various Artists – Fear of a Black Hat soundtrack
At some point during an evening where I was procrastinating something yet again, I flipped on the Independent Movie Channel and stumbled upon this rap mockumentary entitled “Fear of a Black Hat”. It turned out to be something along the lines of “Spinal Tap” where three guys start a rap crew and have varied levels of success, inner turmoil, and wayward side projects. It actually turned out to be quite funny and some of the borrowed songs in it were amusing in their ability to match the originals. I likely recommended the movie to a few friends but thought nothing of it afterward. As luck would have it, the soundtrack of the movie was found in a dollar bin not too long after I saw the movie, so I figured if I wasn’t going to get the DVD for an expensive three bucks, I could go for a buck and be satisfied.
Usually soundtracks are best heard not long after seeing the movie since one has a better chance of remembering the scenes the songs were featured in. If you hear the soundtrack when your memory of the movie has faded, your fondness of the songs is sometimes hindered because you spend more time analyzing if you like the song at all on its own instead of recreating the movie scene it represents. I don’t own too many soundtracks for this reason, but the songs for “Fear of a Black Hat” defy that scenario because the tunes do well in representing themselves separately from the movie.
Written mostly by Rusty Cundieff and Larry Robinson, the rap songs on the soundtrack all resemble comedic versions of originals from that late eighties, early nineties era. “Ice Froggy Frog” is an amusing spin on Snoop Dogg’s “Who Am I (What’s My Name)?” and essentially details a story about a thuggin’ frog. Cheeky lyrics like “I never hesitate to give a dragonfly his last” and “Polly gets what Polly-wogs/the frog with the biggest log” is what you’re going to get throughout. “Granny Says Kick Yo Black Ass” is obviously based on LL Cool J’s tune that featured him confronting his critics. The movie echos the original song’s intent as one of the characters tries to split from the group, so when he rants “When my foot goes in that posterior/you’ll taste it in your mouth’s interior” you know he’s a dangerous butt kickin’ dude.
The best song is the most uncomfortable one. “I’m Only Human” does a great take on P.M. Dawn’s “Set Adrift On Memory Bliss” in that it has a similar airy sound of love and peace. However, the cool toned rapper discusses bodily functions and how no matter how gross the topic we are all human and perform the same functions. The chorus of “You are just like me/I am just like you/We all stand or sit when we pee” is catchy but it’s hardly the most unnerving. When the rapper gets into mucus, toilet habits, and earwax one gets conflicting feelings of horror and amusement. It’s definitely my favorite on the disc for that awkwardness alone.
Other songs mimic the likes of NWA, Public Enemy, Ice T and C & C Music Factory, so there’s bound to be one that you might find amusing if you liked rap from that time period. Check out some of the tunes at Grooveshark.
It turns out that this movie was the first one that Rusty Cundieff wrote before he went on to write such ‘classics’ like the horror spoof “Tales from the Hood” and “Sprung”. He then went on to do a lot of television including the Dave Chappelle show, so if you haven’t seen this movie then you probably have heard a few Cundieff jokes somewhere in your media travels. I liked the soundtrack for certain songs, but if I’m going to recommend anything here it is the movie. Go check it out sometime and, if you are a fan of mockumentaries like me, I think you’ll find it’s worth a rental.