Boogie: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Various Artists

Boogie: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

The influence of Wu-Tang Clan’s music on creatives of a certain age is legitimately incalculable, but for writer/director Eddie Huang, it was a driving force behind his debut feature film, Boogie. Or at least it was initially: Huang had planned on using “Incarcerated Scarfaces,” bits from Liquid Swords and Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, and excerpts from Asian cinema to narrate the film. “All those ideas got thrown out the door when we met Pop,” Huang tells Apple Music. The “Pop” he refers to is Pop Smoke, the face (and voice) of Brooklyn drill music who, before his untimely death, happened to make his acting debut in Boogie. “Once I met him I was like, it's a Brooklyn drill film,” Huang says. The soundtrack for the film—which chronicles the tumultuous rise of a New York City-based Taiwanese American high school basketball star—couldn’t be clearer about that, boasting four different selections from the fallen MC, along with a bevy of drill music contributions both conventional and otherwise. “I was like, look, I'm going to create Taiwanese drill,” Huang says. “We got Brooklyn drill. We definitely needed a London representer. And that's part of why we love the Clipse. They did the same thing over and over and you see how many ways they can finesse it.” Read on to hear Huang talk through the soundtrack’s multiple drill inclusions, how he got his hands on a Jacquees song, and why Yellowman’s dancehall classic “Mr. Chin” was so important to Boogie's story.
Pop Smoke, “AP,” “Fashion,” “No Cap” “Because he's a seminal figure of the movie, I wanted as much Pop on the soundtrack as we could get. And we had to pry them songs out of Steven [Victor] and Rico [Beats]. And what I love about ['AP'] is it's a throwback to Meet the Woo 1. The verses were recorded right around the time of Meet the Woo 1.”
Mula 10k, “Up It”; Nycani, “Need It” “It was very big to us to break new artists. [Mula 10k, Nycani], a lot of those are artists that Steven and Rico worked with. We hit them and we wanted to know, what do you have that's not spoken for yet? We knew Pop would carry the soundtrack, but we wanted to get some new voices on it. And those songs go crazy.”
Bad Boy Raco G, “Plug Speak Taiwanese” “So I was going to the club in Taiwan and I remember we were drinking at a table, but all these rich dudes were drinking 1942. I was like, ‘Yo, can we get some Henny?’ And they were like, ‘We don't have any, we don't really drink Henny like that.’ I seen Raco G and his friends holding bottles of Henny. He had a New York hat on and he had the Cartier frames and he had a fucking Dior bandana. And he didn't look like nobody else I knew in Taiwan. I went up and I met them and they just started to pour up, and since then they were my friends. But before I left Taiwan I was like, the one thing I want to make sure I do is get Raco G on the soundtrack. And he went crazy.”
Jacquees, “Faded” “We wanted some R&B, and that Jacquees song was just perfect for the back half of the film.”
Triad God, “So Pay La” “Triad God's music is kind of dark, kind of angry, 808s—but [music producer] Emile Haynie kind of created that sound with Cudi, and Triad God kind of fits that world. I was actually going to end the movie with a Triad God song, but Focus kind of nixed it. But he ended up on the soundtrack because I was like, we need his voice. He's a very special artist in Asia.”
Yellowman, “Mr. Chin” “I listened to ‘Mr. Chin’ a lot when I was writing the dad and the uncle characters because I grew up with a lot of Caribbean people, and it was one of the cultures where I was able to see a reflection of myself that wasn't so binary—like white, Black, or Asian. Asians in the Caribbean get to have a little more of a dynamic personality and identity. When I was like 11 or 12, my dad took me to the D.R. to meet his best friend from Taiwan. And I was like, 'Whoa, Taiwanese people that speak just Spanish!?' And he was making chicken and rice but they were cheffing it up like it was Chinese food, like sauteed onions and salt and garlic, and then chili. I wanted the elder god in the film to represent that and see that in their history.”
Kamaal Williams, “When It’s All Over” “When I was in Taiwan, Kamaal hit me up and was like, ‘Yo, I'm Taiwanese, man.’ I started listening to his Wu Hen album. Kamaal, to me, is doing something very special with music. Everything he was making just felt like the world of the film. He did the score for the more difficult scenes.”
Sheff G, “Fear Over Love” “I always liked Sheff G’s ‘No Suburban.’ I really wanted to do this classic boom-bap [soundtrack] with like a Caribbean thing. Once Pop came out and I met him, I was like, it's a Brooklyn drill film. We have to capture this lightning in a bottle and put on for New York. It's not about me anymore.”
Pop Smoke, “Welcome to the Party” “I always loved the Friday soundtrack when they had Rick James’ ‘Mary Jane’ on it. You want to think about the soundtrack now, but you also want to think about the soundtrack in 10 years. When Pulp Fiction came out, I wasn't as deep into music as I am now, but I go back to that Pulp Fiction soundtrack and I'm like, man, this Delfonics shit is a banger. My favorite movie soundtracks, they dig in the crates and they make something old new. Because everything's going to become somebody else's Delfonics.”

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