It has been twenty years since Quentin Tarantino stepped out of Video Archive in California and set out to make his first film, Reservoir Dogs. The movie’s success as an independent film and cult phenomenon quickly launched Mr. Tarantino into the world of cinema and began the trademarks of a Tarantino film. With the 20th anniversary of his debut film upon us, Tarantino is taking a different approach than normal with his latest release.
Like the rest of his films, Django Unchained (starring Jamie Foxx), doesn’t have a typical score. However, this new Western/Pre-Civil War era film doesn’t completely adhere to Tarantino’s usual 60-70’s Pop Hits for a soundtrack either. Django Unchained centers around hip-hop.
But what does hip-hop have to do with a pre-Civil War western film? According to Jamie Foxx, quite a bit. “‘Django’ is hip-hop. This is a different thing.” Then again, Tarantino is no stranger to unusual musical integration. Just take a look at the Westernized soundtrack for World War II film Inglourious Basterds. But even this unusual collaboration between genres isn’t what sets Django apart from other Tarantino films. This film marks the first time that Tarantino has used original songs.
Rick Ross’ newest track, 100 Black Coffins, was created specifically for Tarantino’s newest work. Ross arrived on set and immediately spoke with Foxx who recommended the opening lyrics for Ross’ song. “I need 100 black coffins for 100 bad men, dig 100 black graves so I can lay they a** in. 100 black coffins.” Tarantino stated that he feels this song, as well as others, truly capture the film’s soul, which according to Foxx, is in fact hip-hop.
Django Unchained also features new original songs by John Legend and a remix of James Brown’s The Payback featuring a line from Tupac Shakur.
This film will definitely be an interesting switch from Tarantino’s usual works, but with a few Oscar nods already in their direction, maybe Tarantino has the right idea. The music of the film should do more than affect the audience as they watch it. It should contain the very essence of what the film is about. Something Tarantino believes this new soundtrack has achieved.
Django Unchained: The Soundtrack will be available on December 8th and the film hits theaters this Christmas.