Since I'm a child of the early 90's rave scene, I was very eager to check out the movie and soundtrack, "One Big Trip." This is a unique product. It's a DVD/CD with the movie on one side and the official soundtrack on the other. The movie is a very interesting documentary of 5 young adults traveling across the U.S. It is the real Road Rules / Real World meets the rave scene. Drugs like mushrooms, weed, ecstasy and LSD serve as fuel along with the very interesting and real people they meet along the way. Hip hop soundtracks have always been uneven. They usually have 2 or 3 great songs but the filler tends to dominate the LP. "One Big Trip" is the exception. This is probably the best hip hop soundtrack I've heard in a very long time. The soundtrack was mainly overseen by the Hieroglyphics (Executively produced by Domino).
A high point of the soundtrack is that they use sound clips from the movie throughout the entire LP. In the "Beer Man Intro," a very humorous drunk recites a melodic poem about cocaine, alcohol, cactus juice and women. It's a great way to start the album off since it truly captures the spirit of the entire film. Jurassic 5 kick the album off with "Verbal Gunfight," produced by Nu-Mark. This song is incredible. It hits hard and has a fierce energy. The scratching is a key element which makes the track even thicker.
Hieroglyphics dominate this soundtrack and do an excellent job. "Soweto" featuring Goapele was produced by A+. This track has an amazing acoustic guitar loop along with nice scratching. Here, Hiero and a sung hook works. It is the perfect driving/traveling song. I can picture the scenery passing and the road ahead. Del steals the track with his unusual flow and introspective lyrics, I was made to emphatically yearn for the next Hiero album. "Hydra" (produced by Casual) is a much slower traveling song that fits the film's theme. "Think Again," produced by Domino, is an upbeat track with some incredible scratching of a vocal sample "Think-think- think! You think about it!" The Hiero crew ride the beat like professionals. "G.U.O.M.D." (produced by Opio) is the only odd one. The cartoon-like rhythm and melody bounces along reminding me of a Beatnuts track. Del steals the show once again. Tajai also rocks the beat with a very energetic but unorthodox delivery. A very interesting listen is the title track "One Big Trip" performed and produced by Del. This is a wild track in every way. First, the electronic beat and the scratching create a cacophonic hip hop experience. Second, Del truly goes wild. His delivery changes along with his vocal tones. He truly rides the beat with an old school free style vibe. "…One big trip down memory lane…" This is an incredible track. Overall, Del steals all the Hieroglyphics tracks.
"Downtown" by Dilated Peoples is a very cool track that uses a thick piano sample and the abundant amount of dope scratching. Evidence and Rakka go back and forth to construct a very cool track. "Make The People Sway" by DTA & The Magic Disco Machine is an amazing instrumental track that's in the spirit of Fat Boy Slim, produced by Dan The Automator. "Runnin'" by Royce The 5'9 features him as I have never heard before, so much enthusiasm and energy. There are two nice tracks that do not really fit in with the theme of the compilation but don't stand out too much. "What U Lookin At?" by J-Ro Of The Liks is nice but does not fit in with the soundtrack's vibe as much as the other songs. "Movies 2 Groupies" by Loot Pack is a nice 2-part track about groupies. The scratching of the Brand Nubian "Slow Down" sample is used very well. The subject of groupies does not have anything to do with the movie. Even though it is an enjoyable track, it also does not fit with the other tracks.
The one track that truly sums the movie up is the final track "The High Road" by Swollen Members. Produced by Rob The Viking, this eerie track uses vocal samples and spooky piano loop. The emcees talk in detail about the movie. ".. I enter the I-5 just like this movie 'Big Trip' / Where 5 drive / Across the country as they journey thru new realms / The helm of the adventure as they capture it on film..." From drugs to junkies to bums to a Black Elvis, the song goes deeper into specific scenes. They really studied the movie before they wrote this track. The hook is chanted: "…Bright lights & neon streets that I be on / My road's the high road, the one you should be on…"
Overall, this is one of the best hip hop soundtracks I have ever heard. Not only is it filled with many of my favorite West Coast underground emcees, but the beats are creative and filled with scratching. The deep philosophical sentiments are balanced out with a wild and weird sense of humor. Del is the true star of this soundtrack. It's best feature is that it captures the spirit of the film. The music has that vibe, that feeling of exploration and freedom. As a compilation, it perfectly captures the fusion of the rave culture and underground hip hop.