What Is the Best and Blackest Movie Soundtrack?

Whitney Houston and Lela Rochon in Waiting to Exhale
Screenshot: 20th Century Fox (YouTube )

It’s African American Music Appreciation Month (lovingly known as Black Music Month) and what better way to celebrate than to honor just how much music affects another celebrated medium? That’s right, we’re talking film.

While Bill Cosby and O.J. Simpson were attempting to make this the most bizarre week in celebrity social media history, Jamie Foxx decided to bring it back to good ol’ natured fun. To promote his show Beat Shazam, Foxx posed an important question: “Best movie soundtracks of all time?”

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Perhaps it was smart to make the word “soundtrack” plural because, well how can you pick just one? And since we’re about that black-as-fuck life here at The Root, we’re not only going to chat about some of the best movie soundtracks but the best and blackest.

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Foxx’s tweet specifically inspired a slew of movie-based movie nostalgia from the lovely denizens of Black Twitter, to the point where the beloved Terry McMillan adaptation Waiting to Exhale ended up as a number one trending topic. And for good reason: Babyface put his entire Lafaced foot in that damn soundtrack.

Other popular (and delightfully black-as-fuck) answers included Above the Rim, New Jack City, Boyz n the Hood, Belly, and Boomerang.

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Twitter also seemed to love biopics such as Lady Sings the Blues, What’s Love Got to Do With It, and Why Do Fools Fall in Love. Or straight-up musicals like The Five Heartbeats, Sparkle and Dreamgirls.

Additionally, I prompted the same question to The Root staff. There were some common answers, along with some good and obscure ones. You know, the underrated underdogs.

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We had the top seeds like Love Jones (that penny still has a hole in it!), The Wiz, The Preacher’s Wife (does Christmas even exist without this?!), Poetic Justice, Menace II Society and Brown Sugar to name a few.

Or if you feelin’ that funk, how about Jackie Brown or Car Wash?

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“The soundtrack to Gridlock’d is severely underrated,” News Editor Monique Judge noted.

“I know Purple Rain is the fave, but don’t sleep on the Under the Cherry Moon soundtrack (Parade), either,” added The Glow Up Managing Editor, Maiysha Kai.

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Truuuue. Good wild cards, because this question is a more tense situation than a notoriously reneging nigga bidding at a Spades game during Black History Month.

Sooo ...

Since y’all are part of the community, we leave the question to you—what is the best black movie soundtrack of all time?

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About the author

Tonja Renée Stidhum

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.