various artists :: All or Nothing :: Brave New World Records
as reviewed by Dove

All Or Nothing, the urban drama centered around the gritty underworld of L.A. Hip Hop, brings a story of love and tragedy to the big screen this spring. The film promises to catapult into the ranks of Boyz N The Hood and West Side Story with it's portrayal of best friends split apart in the fervor of their aspirations for Hip Hop stardom and their impending rivalry. Love between one of the emcees and his enemy's sister sparks a powerful scenario beyond the bounds of lyrical battles.

Creating a soundtrack that would properly chronicle the moods and emotions of such an intense screenplay is no easy task. Brave New World Records has facilitated an incredible ensemble of artists with a mixture of hard-edged lyricism and soft-spoken romantic undertones. Representation from the Dirty South on up to the rainy Pacific Northwest makes for a unique versatility.

The first single from the album, "Party On", features the dynamic Shyan Selah in a crowd moving anthem. Glossy production elicits impetuous head bobbing to the bass-laden track. The flip side of the 12" provides the magnetic pulse of Atlanta's pimpafied glory with Ben Hated's "Escalades and Navigators" which has already ranked at #28 on Billboard's Rap Singles chart. A chunky second spliff of Shyan Selah's Northwest homegrown vocals blesses the B-side as well. "Callin Me", produced by Fabian Cooke (Michael Jackson, The Marley's) predicates the depth of the soundtrack's theatrical counterpart.

The All Or Nothing soundtrack delivers some R&B gems with Trina B's "Casanova Brown" and TJ's "If You Feel" featuring Ellen, along the creatively psychotic reality check of Cheddar's frantic "Low Life" and GranDDaDDy's "Goin Craz'za". Master P and The Delinquents team up for "Doin It Live", while Eightball contributes to Young Draper's suave bounce hit "Who You Blame It On".

Mr. Icky, C-Bo and Mississippi grill jagged cynicism and consuming passion on "Buried Treasures" while Iroc dips in with the harsh slap of "Worldly Things". Universal Records artist Cool Nutz and Bow Wow Records Mr. D.O.G. regulate the saccharin on "It Ain't Sweet", while Twin G creates a buzz with "High Come Down".

Mista Ocktober's "Portrait of an Emcee" vibrates with a smooth piano accompaniment and even flow, and Wojack takes it "To The Brain" in his verbose concerto of acerbic battle rhymes. Rounding out the soundtrack is a club-bound banger from Black Caesar. "Walking On Water" will have party seeking headz doing just that.

The movie All Or Nothing was recently presented with the Grand Jury Award at the Black Hollywood Film Festival. Gaining such notable critical acclaim prior to the release of the film speaks volumes about the caliber of this project. The soundtrack to All Or Nothing will play a major role in the conveyance of the film's strong subject matter, and will bring a new era of sound to this cinematic classic.

Music Vibes: 8 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 7 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 7.5 of 10

Originally posted: March 27th, 2001