2013 is still young, it’s not even crawling yet, but at least one thing is already written in stone. John Legend’s song from Django Unchained, is easily going to be the most bad ass, smooth operator jam released this year. Sure, Mr. Frank Ocean still has time to surpass Mr. Legend (who, and here’s a fun fact, is very short,) but I’m not even sure Mr. Ocean can pull of such a feat. Justin Timberlake doesn’t even stand a chance.
The song is “Who Did That to You” and I’ve been singing it endlessly (and butchering the lyrics) since seeing Django Unchained on Saturday. And the movie? The movie is top notch excellence. I would listen to Christoph Waltz read the phone book.
Here’s the song and you can judge for yourself.
Now full disclosure, I’m not that big of a John Legend fan and have I mentioned yet that he’s shorter, much shorter, than you think? He is. He’s my height. I’m not tall. I know short when I see it and Mr. John Legend, that dude is short. But either way, he’s good & talented and lots of fine & decent people enjoy his music. I was okay with his collaboration with the Roots, Wake Up, a few years ago, but that same summer, he almost ruined the Roots’ set at the Roots Picnic for me by staying on stage for two more songs than he should have. For me, Legend is a small doses entertainer- give me a song or two and I’m fine, but anything more than that and it’s too much. So a few songs on Wake Up are great, a few are okay and a couple are instantly forgettable, which sums up my take on Legend as a whole.
But this Django song? Totally new ballgame. It’s just a bad ass song- an impressive feat for a short gentlemen who tickles the ivories and has the last name Legend.
Side note about Django Unchained and more specifically Quentin Tarantino: the movie was refreshing because it allowed me to fondly remember how much I flippin’ love Tarantino’s work. It was a sequel to a feeling I had a few weekends ago, when I was flipping through the movie channels and started watching Pulp Fiction. For some reason, Inglorious Basterds didn’t stick with me. I need to watch it again. But Django brought me back to high school, when I first saw Reservoir Dogs and a year or two later, Pulp Fiction. I had monologues from Pulp memorized and was writing pages of verbose and inflated dialogue because I simply thought it was how things should be done. Why shouldn’t two characters expound at length about the merits of country music?
But what draws this all together is that one of things I love most about Tarantino’s movies is the music. That crazy bastard can pull together a killer soundtrack- whether it’s for Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction or even Death Proof, which wasn’t even that great of a movie but features some great songs, like “Down in Mexico” by the Coasters.
Tarantino continues his hot streak of wildly appealing soundtracks with the soundtrack for Django. Frank Ocean didn’t even make the cut– that should count for something and say even more. Jim Croce, Rick Ross, a Tupac/James Brown mash-up and some great old western tunes from the original Django movies that were released back in the ’60’s, the first of which was widely considered to be the most violent movie ever when it was released. Bam, research dude. Bam, great soundtrack dude. Now I’m just going to wait until the Django soundtrack is cheaper and then I’m going to buy it. Sorry Q, yes I love your soundtracks and I really want the Django soundtrack, but Amazon’s $5 albums have left me both spoiled and adhering to a new Ryno-policy- I don’t pay more than $6 for an album. It’s why I still haven’t bought Dr. Dog’s album, Be the Void, even though I love it, listen to it frequently on Spotify and named it one of my top albums of the year. A man must have rules more than a man must have a Tarantino soundtrack. Fact.
So while yes, 2013 is still young but mark it eight dude, the baddest song of the year is already out there. Everyone else out there- Big Boi, Jack White, the Black Keys, Frank Ocean, the Spice Girls or maybe even New Kids on the Block, you’re fighting for second place. I’m sorry, but that’s life. If life was fair, then both Mr. John Legend and I would be taller.