Hold the cross dimensional golf course portals. Deadline recently claimed that”Space Jam 2″ is in the works with NBA superstar Lebron James and the collective millennial conscious turned to goo.
The idea of “Space Jam 2” is actually impractical because LeBron James will never hold a place in the hearts of children the way that Michael Jordan did. Even though Jordan was an infamous gambler, egomaniac, and overall asshole, us ’90s babies loved him unconditionally (see: Nike ads and a Sega Genesis game called Jordan vs. Bird.) And since there is such a visceral animosity towards LeBron from “The Decision” this movie won’t even come close to having the same impact that first one did – if it we’re to even happen. Sorry Kevin Hart, we all know you wanted your, “Whoa, I don’t play defense,” moment. However, with the current state of hip hop, R&B, and pop music we could definitely generate a soundtrack that would be similar in cultural impact and relevance to the movie’s original.
“Space Jam”‘s original soundtrack was epic. It was the album that introduced many youngsters to hip hop and R&B. From R. Kelly to Jay Z, this was the first taste I got of the music that would come to shape my life, and eventually my job. In today’s musical climate “Space Jam 2” could realistically have a similar impact, mainly because of the rising stars in the genres. Artists like Kendrick Lamar, Bruno Mars, and as much as I hate to say it, Macklemore, are perfect for a wide audience of largely middle american white 8 to 14 year olds. This could be an album to help shape a whole new generation of musical journalist snobs!
1. Bruno Mars “Beautiful Day”
The original soundtrack starts off with “Fly Like an Eagle” by Seal. It’s originally a Steve Miller Band song and Seal’s cover made a great mix of pop and a little classic rock. I think the only way to start off the “Space Jam 2” soundtrack would be to pay homage to a little “old school” rock as well. What better rock band than U2 and their song “Beautiful Day.” It was the biggest track in 2000 (I don’t think VH1 played any other videos that year) and it won three Grammys. I’ve got Bruno Mars doing the cover which basically guarantees one million records sold. We’re only at the first track and this soundtrack is already a classic.
2. Chance The Rapper “Rain Drops”
Track two is Coolio’s “The Winner,” an inspirational hippity hoppity song that illustrates the importance of pushin’ to move on up on the world (this hook was undoubtedly inspired by “The Jeffersons.”) Coolio put his “hood” persona aside making way for something more positive; a song for the kids. No one could do this better than Chance The Rapper. Chance is performing at every festival this spring/summer and with a recent feature on Justin Bieber’s “Confident” he’s ripe to have his own chart-topping single. I’m titling this one “Rain Drops.” Produced by brandUn DeShay (he produced the “NaNa Song” on Acid Rap) it would have a simple beat with a jazz sample, allowing for positivity but also a kind of dark chorus. “Rain Drops” would be about persevering amidst the storm, and discreetly, or not so discreetly, have references to dropping acid, but only to shed light on how drugs are bad.
3. Tommy Trash “The Last Shot”
Now we’re starting to get to some monumental shit. Quad City DJ’s “Space Jam” is historic when it comes to pump up anthems. It’s the epitome of a Jock Jam song and when put on in a room of 20 somethings the roof spontaneously raises. With the rise of electronic dance music there are quite a few options for this one. LMFAO, Diplo, Deadmau5; these are all quality candidates. But with something of this magnitude, something you can’t possibly recreate, you have to take a risk. That’s why my choice for this song is Tommy Trash. A powerhouse within the EDM community, but definitely not a household name, this would catch the general public off guard, but leave them pleasantly surprised. Tommy Trash’s “All My Friends” is a perfect example of what we would want in this slot; an absolute banger. The song name, “The Last Shot,” our first song title with a nod to the sport of basketball. For the most part, we just need “The Last Shot” to make us jump up and down, Chance got a little dark on “Rain Drops.”
4. Beyonce “Things Change”
Now I just took a risk with Tommy but I had to. I knew I couldn’t reproduce a classic like “Space Jam” so I hit them with the EDM banger. But I can’t take two risks in a row. Whether I fail or not I can’t try and sidestep R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly.” For this one we HAVE to get a superstar. Someone so big, so famous, but also someone who isn’t in the tabloids (sorry Biebs, I got you later though.) I hate to do it but it has to be Bey. I pick Beyoncé because even it it’s a sub-par song it will get so much spin you will eventually learn to love it. We will force it down your throat shamelessly until you are performing it in your Macbook’s camera and posting it online. YOU WILL LIKE THIS SONG. Instead of being a operatic joint like “I Believe I Can Fly” it will have some serious bass and be produced by Detail, yes the same dude who did “Drunk in Love.” This is not a time to get creative, we know a winning formula and we have to use it. The song’s called “Things Change” because it will touch on LeBron leaving Cleveland for a warmer, better, more superficial Miami, and put a positive spin on it. I just got myself way too excited for this song that two minutes ago I didn’t want to happen.
5. Mac Miller, Schoolboy Q, and Snoop Dogg “Pass it Around”
Now this next one’s a gimme and allows for something edgier than the other songs. “Hit em High” features B-Real, Busta Rhymes, Coolio, LL Cool J, and Method Man so there aren’t many restrictions as what this song could look like in 2014. I’m putting Mac Miller on this because he’s ambidextrous on the mic and could pretty much do well on any beat. He’s also buddy buddy with every rapper so that opens a lot of doors. ScHoolboy’s going on there too just because. B-Real is famous for weed smoking anthems so I don’t think there would be a problem with having Q on this. I felt this track had a little too much going on and in 2014 no one’s about to listen to five rappers. So the last emcee I’m putting on here is Snoop. Old school west coast, new school west coast, rap fans favorite white boy – very 2014. The title, “Pass it Around” produced by Flying Lotus. This is the best double entendre title in soundtrack history.
6. Justin Bieber and Future “Villain”
I hate to say it because I love D’Angelo but his song, “I Found My Smile Again” was rather underwhelming. I used to sing “Untitled (How Does It Feel)” in the mirror in middle school because who didn’t do that. I want to recreate something similar – a song that is going to be sung naked in the mirror. For this one I hit up Bieber. Yes, he’s going through some controversial bullshit but he’s still a megastar and needs a track. This song gets beliebers all hyped by demonstrating he’s a grown man and won’t let the media bring him down. Song title, “Villain.” I might get Future on the hook here too.
7. Macklemore “I’m Sorry” or “It’s Not You, It’s Me”
Monica’s “For You I Will” is one of the corniest things ever. I don’t like Monica so I’m biased but I want something corny here to make this soundtrack an extension of the first. Macklemore just heard his cue and is texting me some really wack shit right now. Macklemore and I narrowed the possible song titles down to, “I’m Sorry” or “It’s Not You, It’s Me.” You can assume whatever you want from those song titles.
8. Nicki Minaj “Count the Ways”
“Upside Down” is low-key one of my favorite Salt-N-Pepa songs ever. Two amazing rappers that used lyricism to help bury the term femcee from our vocabulary – they’re emcees too. So in that vain, I’m calling Birdman up and getting Nicki in the studio. I can’t have her saying ‘nigga’ 43 times on this one, might cap it at four or five, but I definitely want her to flex. Salt-N-Pepa are counting the ways they love you whereas I want Nicki to count the ways she’s better than you. Fuck it, song title, “Count the Ways.” Oh and I’m making Mannie Fresh do the beat because Mannie Fresh needs to be the assistant executive producer, me being the man in charge of course.
9. Miley Cyrus and Kevin Hart “Secret Stuff”
“Givin’ U All That I’ve Got” by Robin S. is so ’90s it can’t be recreated, sidestepped, or any of that. We’re just going to jump over it. “Basketball Jones” is another problematic track. Something impossible to recreate. No one out there is going to make a song that holds a candle to Barry White and Chris Rock but as executive producer I’ve got to try something here. I’m taking another risk and putting Miley Cyrus with Kevin Hart. Kevin is going to say some stupid shit about trying to dunk on Shaq while Miley Cyrus sings inconsequential lyrics that loosely relate to basketball. People are going to love this or hate this, nothing in between. I feel like this goes without saying but Mike WiLL Made It did the production. Every club in Miami will play this constantly.
10. Wiz Khalifa and the Weeknd “Stay Ballin'”
The “Space Jam 2” soundtrack has two tracks left. Of course the original had R. Kelly’s “All of My Days” featuring Changing Faces and Jay Z, then “Buggin,” by movie star Bugs Bunny. For the rapper singer collaboration I need to play it safe. I just put Miley on a track with Kevin Hart, I may have lost my core on that one. Wiz Khalifa featuring the Weeknd. They’ve already done some well received work on “Remember You” and Wiz has a large enough appeal where this wouldn’t be a PR disaster. He’s definitely a household name and has earned his spot on this soundtrack. The Weeknd’s enigmatic character will create a nice contrast and he’s a great voice to represent R&B in 2014. I think this is a nice way to lead up to the closer.
11. Bugs Bunny “I’m On One pt. 2”
Because Bugs is the star in the first movie, and most likely will be the star in the hypothetical “Space Jam 2,” he still gets the spot on the last track. However, since we’re in a different era in hip hop we’ll have someone else writing Bugs’ bars. On “Buggin” Jay Z lent his hand to create Bugs’ rhymes but this time we will turn to Drake. Not Kendrick, Drake. I thought long and hard about this and two things ultimately made my decision. Kendrick writes in a way that would be hard for Bugs to emulate. Most rappers can’t flow like Kendrick, could you imagine a bunny trying to? Secondly, Drake and Lebron are too good of friends for Drake not to have a part on this album. Realistically he has to have something to do with it and I couldn’t fit him in anywhere else. Also when it comes to 2014 Drake is just more relevant. WORST!
That was my first ever attempt executive producing an album and I fucking knocked it out of the park. I see a lot of Grammy nods in my future and I’ll be sure to shout out everyone who helped along the way (what’s up Mannie Fresh!) I’m sorry in advance for how many times you heard that Beyoncé song though.