Renegade filmmaker and noted retro fetishist Quentin Tarantino has long been slow to embrace the contemporary in his movie soundtracks—having Urge Overkill covering a Neil Diamond song from the ’60s was, for a long time, about as close to modern as he’d gotten with his music selections. With recent revisionist western Django Unchained, however, he appears to be taking a step towards the 21st century—there’s still plenty of Ennio Morricone and Jerry Goldsmith and other archival stuff, but there’s also Anthony Hamilton, John Legend, and most importantly, Rick Ross, performing the original “100 Black Coffins.”
Instantly, the track seems an ideal fit for the Bawse of the Year. Rozay had been doing Western tracks of a sort for a long time now. Lyrics like “If I die today, remember me like John Lennon” and “I pray to God I look my killer in his eye” were always very gunslinger-ish, and were soundtracked with bombastic, epic beats that Clint Eastwood and John Wayne would have been proud to have soundtracking their Mexican Standoffing. And regardless of genre, “Cinematic” has always been an apt descriptor for Ross’ anthems, so once you hear his voice amidst the death rattles and whistles of the song’s beat—produced by Django star Jamie Foxx, apparently—it makes total sense.
The chorus hook finds a good middle ground between the Django theme and Rozay’s traditional street operatics: “I need 100 black coffins for a hundred baaad meeeeen / 100 black graves so I can lay they ass in / I need 100 black preachers with a black sermon to tell / With 100 black bibles while we send ‘em all to hell.” The rest of the song is a mixture of occasionally awkward shoe-horning in of movie plot (“Any questions they hang ‘em / Better pray for Dj-Django”) and Ross’ typical boss braggadocio (“Yet I pose on the block, look like I’m Big Daddy Kane, is you a cat or a mouse?), all carried over by the rapper’s perfectly relaxed delivery—as always, he sounds like he’s having a blast, and that’s half the fun of the song.
We’re pretty excited for the entirety of the Django soundtrack, actually. 2Pac and James Brown mashups? Jim Croce’s “I Got a Name”? Yeah, we’re in.