Which Django Inspired Beat Hits the Hardest? Vote Above
When Quentin Tarantino’s western film Django Unchained hit theaters in 2012, it was met with critical acclaim and box office success. The film starred Jamie Foxx as the titular character, a former slave turned bounty hunter who sets out to rescue his wife from a cruel plantation owner played by Leonardo DiCaprio. But beyond the gripping storyline and impressive performances, it was the film’s soundtrack that truly stood out, featuring a mix of classic and contemporary songs that perfectly captured the film’s themes of revenge, liberation, and triumph.
The soundtrack of Django Unchained was curated by Tarantino himself, who is known for his masterful use of music in his films. The soundtrack features a mix of genres, including soul, rock, and hip hop, and includes both original songs and classic tracks from the likes of James Brown, Ennio Morricone, and Jim Croce. The eclectic mix of music perfectly captures the film’s blend of old and new, and serves as a testament to the enduring power of music to tell a story and convey emotions.
One group of DJs who were particularly inspired by the Django Unchained soundtrack were the Beat Junkies, a collective of DJs and producers who have been at the forefront of hip hop and turntablism for over two decades. The group includes such luminaries as J-Rocc, Babu, and Rhettmatic, and they have performed alongside some of the biggest names in hip hop, from Dr. Dre to J Dilla.
For the Beat Junkies, the Django Unchained soundtrack was a revelation. The group had long been fans of Tarantino’s films and the music he used in them, but the soundtrack for Django Unchained was something special. It was a perfect blend of classic and contemporary, and featured some of the most iconic songs in cinema history alongside lesser-known gems that perfectly captured the film’s mood and tone.
The Beat Junkies were so inspired by the soundtrack that they decided to create their own custom beats using samples from the film. They used snippets of dialogue, musical cues, and sound effects from the film to create a series of instrumentals that paid homage to the film and its soundtrack. The resulting beats were gritty, soulful, and cinematic, perfectly capturing the spirit of the film and the era it depicted.
The Beat Junkies weren’t alone in their admiration for the Django Unchained soundtrack. The album was a critical and commercial success, reaching number one on the Billboard Soundtrack chart and earning a Grammy nomination for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media. The soundtrack also introduced a new generation of listeners to classic songs like “Django” by Luis Bacalov and “Freedom” by Anthony Hamilton and Elayna Boynton, which have since become staples in the DJ community.
The influence of the Django Unchained soundtrack can still be felt today, not just in the work of the Beat Junkies and other DJs such as The Mighty DeltaOne, HansCholo, and Enji who were inspired by it, but in the broader world of music as well. The soundtrack’s blend of classic and contemporary, its use of sampling and remixing, and its embrace of diverse genres and styles have all had a lasting impact on music culture.
In particular, the soundtrack’s emphasis on soul music and its roots in African American culture have been an inspiration to a new generation of artists. The film itself, with its depiction of the brutality of slavery and the resilience of those who fought against it, has also been a powerful influence on many musicians, especially those who are committed to social justice and political activism.
For the Beat Junkies and other DJs who were inspired by the Django Unchained soundtrack, the film and its music will always hold a special place in their hearts. It was a reminder of the enduring power of storytelling and music to inspire and uplift, and a testament to the importance of honoring and preserving cultural traditions while pushing the boundaries of what is possible.
“For the Beat Junkies and other DJs who were inspired by the Django Unchained soundtrack, the film and its music will always hold a special place in their hearts.”
The Beat Junkies’ custom beats were just one example of the ways in which the Django Unchained soundtrack continues to inspire artists and creators today. From hip hop producers to indie rockers, from electronic musicians to classical composers, the film and its music have left an indelible mark on contemporary culture.
It’s worth taking a closer look at some of the standout tracks from the Django Unchained soundtrack, and the ways in which they have influenced music and culture since the film’s release.
One of the most iconic songs from the soundtrack is “Unchained (The Payback/Untouchable)” by James Brown and 2Pac. The song is a mashup of two classic tracks – “The Payback” by James Brown and “Untouchable” by 2Pac – and features a new verse by the late rapper that was recorded specifically for the film. The song perfectly captures the film’s themes of revenge and liberation, and the juxtaposition of Brown’s funk and 2Pac’s raw energy creates a powerful and unforgettable listening experience.
Another standout track is “Who Did That To You?” by John Legend. The song is an original composition written specifically for the film, and it perfectly captures the film’s mood and tone. Legend’s soulful vocals and the song’s driving rhythm create a sense of urgency and defiance, and the lyrics – which include lines like “I wanna thank you for hurting me” – speak to the film’s themes of resilience and empowerment.
Other notable tracks from the soundtrack include “Django” by Luis Bacalov, which features haunting whistling and a driving rhythm that perfectly captures the film’s spirit of adventure and rebellion, and “Freedom” by Anthony Hamilton and Elayna Boynton, which is a stirring ballad that celebrates the power of perseverance and the human spirit.
The Django Unchained soundtrack has had a profound impact on the world of music and culture since its release in 2012. It has inspired countless artists and creators, from DJs and producers to filmmakers and writers, and has helped to elevate the role of music in storytelling and visual media.
But beyond its influence on the broader world of culture, the soundtrack also represents a powerful and important statement about the power of music to connect us to our history and our roots, and to inspire us to strive for a better future. The film and its music are a reminder of the enduring resilience and creativity of the human spirit, and a testament to the transformative power of art.
The Django Unchained soundtrack is a masterpiece that continues to inspire and influence artists to this day. Its eclectic mix of classic and contemporary, its embrace of diverse genres and styles, and its powerful themes of revenge, liberation, and triumph have all contributed to its enduring appeal and importance. For the Beat Junkies, 5th Empire and other DJs who were inspired by the soundtrack, it represents a touchstone in the history of hip hop and turntablism, and a testament to the power of music to tell a story and change the world.
While not only a Boise, Idaho DJ, Mike Gradian has been a staple DJ in the “City of Trees” for decades. He continues to grace venues across the state keeping the art of turntablism alive!