BLADE II (Virgin) Rating: NN Rating: NN
With the unpleasant memory of bizarre Judgement Night pairings like Dinosaur Jr. and Del Tha Funkee Homosapien still perplexing us almost 10 years after the soundtrack dropped, another set matching hiphop stars with unusual producers is bound to sound like an exercise. The Blade II soundtrack is Judgement Night 2002, featuring collaborations between Ice Cube and Paul Oakenfold, Busta Rhymes and the Dub Pistols, and Mystikal and Moby. The beats are slightly more electrified, but in the era of groundbreaking producers like Timbaland and the Neptunes, having Volume 10 rhyme over a Roni Size castoff doesn't cut it. Fatboy Slim comes up with a raw dancehall beat for Eve, and Massive Attack provide a similarly rootsy bed for Broadway star Mos Def, but shockingly enough, the set's most animated moment arises from Redman and cartoon band Gorillaz. Both parties actually seem interested in the project -- strange.