Release date: April 23, 1996
Record label: Elektra
As far as the movie itself, the sports drama Sunset Park was a lower-tier piece of white savior hokum, with Rhea Perlman playing a Jewish schoolteacher tasked with coaching an inner-city Brooklyn high school basketball squad. Which, of course, has thugs with hearts of gold as players. The only reason why anyone still remembers the film, in fact, is because of its successful soundtrack, one that reached as high as No. 4 on the Billboard 200.
A mixture of hardcore rap and edgy R&B, Sunset Park's musical companion set includes the best of both styles. On the rap front, you've got a couple of underrated yet all-time great tracks from Ghostface Killah ("Motherless Child") and Mobb Deep ("Back at You"), an obscure 2Pac joint ("High 'Til I Die"), and an atypically rowdy record from Queen Latifah (the Easy Mo Bee-produced "Elements I'm Among").
Perhaps the LP's most memorable song, however, is Junior M.A.F.I.A.'s "We Don't Need It," a raunchy call-and-response that feels quite out of place attached to a movie about inspiring hope in underprivileged teens. Something tells us that Rhea Perlman's character wouldn't condone the hook, which, amongst other profanities, has chicks declaring: "If you ain't lickin' no butts, we don't want it—we don't want it!" Or maybe she would? Yikes! —MB