A childhood favorite in the 1990s was the live-action and animated movie Space Jam.
The film had everything that one would want: Michael Jordan, Bugs Bunny, the Looney Tunes and basketball.
I was surprised when I recently dusted off my Space Jam soundtrack and found the tunes were actually extremely good.
There are big stars who belt out both emotional and fun stuff. It peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and was certified six-time Platinum. The album was one of the most influential rap/hip hop albums in the 1990s.
The following list attempts to rank these awesome tracks. Song titles are linked to audio tracks.
Rapper Coolio is a gangsta rapper who made his mark in the 1990s. Coolio made his mark on the music industry by singing about the urban challenges that inner-city youth face.
"The Winner" is an upbeat song with Coolio singing positive lyrics. However, this song is definitely out of his darker element and didn't fit his serious persona well.
Salt-N-Pepa is a unique band, a female hip-hop group from the 1980s who went against the predominantly male underground subculture.
The group has sold over 15 million CDs worldwide and has six singles that are either certified gold or platinum by the RIAA. They had four albums, won four Grammy Awards and took home three MTV Music Video Awards for "Whatta Man."
In "(Upside Down) 'Round-N-'Round," Salt-N-Pepa has a solid flow while having a jazzy beat. The group also makes good use of backing vocals.
Rapper D'Angelo is one of the most influential artists of the neo-soul movement. He has two studio albums and is making another after an 11-year sabbatical filled with legal problems.
"I Found My Smile Again," the song's intro is a bit reminiscent of Pink Floyd's mellow riffs. Lyrically, this song is the perfect date song:
"Your love, girl your love,
You make me feel like I'm on a cloud
And since I laid eyes on you,
My spirts been brand new."
She has had three No. 1's on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart.
For Space Jam, her song "Givin' U All That I've Got" opens with a mean piano while adding some nice electronics. Robin S. is accompanied by awesome backup singers. The song reflects MJ's love for his family and his love for the game.
All-4-One is a smoother version of N'Sync and the Backstreet Boys.
"I Turn to You," has a dreamlike/romantic affect reminiscent of Michael Jackson. All-4-One has a pleasing group harmony and the lyrics would make your woman's heart melt:
"For the strength to be strong,
For the will to carry on,
For everything you do,
For everything that's true,
I turn to you."
These two songs peaked the Billboard Hot 100 charts at No. 7 & No. 17, respectively.
Spin Doctors teamed up with rapper Biz Markie, known as "the Clown Prince of Hip Hop," to cover KC and the Sunshine Band epic song "That's the Way (I Like It)."
The song is a good mixture of nice rapping lyrics, sensational saxophones and good 'ole fun.
R&B singer Monica was only 16 years old when she sang "For You I Will" for Space Jam.
She has since had six No. 1 singles the U.S. Billboard Top R&B Singles, including being the youngest ever to have the top spot. Some of her hits include "Everything to Me" and "Before You Walk Out of My Life."
"For You I Will" was ranked No. 13 on Top Hot 100 Hits of 1997 and No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100.
On a side note, Monica is married to the Los Angeles Lakers' Shannon Brown.
Billy West was the Bugs Bunny's voice from the 1980s through the 1990s but also provided voice-work for Ren & Stimpy, Doug and Futurama.
He was Bugs and Elmer Fudd in Space Jam and in numerous other films.
In "Buggin'," West pulls out a hilarious rap as the Looney Tunes' characters that surprisingly had a very good flow to it.
"Hit 'Em High (The Monstars' Anthem)" is an All-Star mashup with B Real, Busta Rhymes, Coolio, LL Cool J and Method Man.
The song became a huge rap hit in the 1990s.
It had some good basketball references while the rappers really threw down their lyrics with strong energy.
The best part of the song was the Bob Dole reference.
I don't know how they did it, but the soundtrack's producers somehow booked Motown legend and five-time Grammy winner Barry White to sing a duet with Chris Rock entitled "Basketball Jones."
The song is a perfect balance between being smooth and funny.
White, whose biggest hits were "You're the First, the Last, My Everything" and "Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe," belts his baritone voice as he describes doing anything to obtain a passion with a very good backup choir.
Meanwhile, Rock was hilarious, saying things like:
"And I loved that basketball. I took that basketball everywhere I went. You know what, that basketball was like a basketball to me. Come on, you cheerleaders."
Rock also talks about eating chicken, rips Jordan by asking "if his woman has any game" and sings in a comical falsetto.
R&B sensation Seal did a cover of Steve Miller's "Fly Like an Eagle" for the soundtrack. His soulful voice provided a calming vibe for the song. "Fly" also utillized a funky beat with a nice backing bass.
It reached No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100.
During the movie, this song was used when Michael Jordan was working out at the Looney Tunes gym and at the film's finale.
An accomplished singer, Seal won three Grammy Awards for his song "Kiss from a Rose" for Batman Forever.
"All of My Days" features legendary rapper Jay-Z.
A newcomer back then with his Reasonable Doubt, Jay-Z has sold approximately 50 million albums worldwide since then.
Jay-Z later collaborated with R. Kelly with The Best of Both Worlds and Unfinished Business, with the albums peaking at No. 2 and No. 1 on the Billboard 200, respectively.
R&B artist R. Kelly has 14 solo and collaborative albums and numerous awards.
Changing faces is a female R&B duo of Cassandra Lucas and Charisse. The two singers debut self-titled album was a No. 1 Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. One of their famous songs was "Do Little Things" featuring Ivan Matias.
Jay-Z makes the song's layers come together. He has his signature rhythmic singing style in this surprisingly sexual song with Changing Faces sultry backing vocals.
The 1990s hip hop group Quad City DJ's was known for their hit song "C'mon N' Ride It (The Train)." It peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.
Disbanding in 1997, the Jacksonville-based band will forever be remembered for "Space Jam."
The song opened the movie accompanied by a montage of Michael Jordan's career highlights.
The song has a lightning paced beat and makes one want to dance or play some basketball. The lyrics are very basketball centered:
"Slam, Bam, Thank you ma'am
Get on the floor and jam
If you see me on the microphone
Girl you got me in a zone
C'mon, C'mon and start the game
Break it down, tell me your name
We the team, I'm the coach."
Who didn't think this would be the soundtrack's top song?
"I Believe I Can Fly" reached No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and won three Grammy Awards when it appeared on R. Kelly's 1998 album R. This emotional song is a tearjerker that listeners love to sing.
Rolling Stone ranks the song No. 406 out of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
The song was used when Michael Jordan was shooting hoops as a kid and when he comes back to Earth after beating the Monstars.