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About The Music
"I've moved around a lot and music was always the connecting element to my home in Memphis,” Brewer says. "Whenever we would come back home, music was always a very important part. I was raised on Otis Redding and Sam & Dave, on Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf and Buddy Guy and Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis. I found that when I started making movies and wanted to have some rap in them, the Memphis rappers were really keeping up the tradition of Sam Phillips, recording at Sun Studios. They're getting it made by any means and sometimes the means will ultimately inspire the culture.”

Though Memphis had been the birthplace of rock and roll, the region had more recently lost some of its influence. Memphis crunk rapper Al Kapone, who provides two of DJay's tracks with "Hustle & Flow” and "Whoop That Trick,” notes that the crunk sound comes out of the roots of Memphis music. "We've got such a deep history of music out of this city, from Stax to Elvis to rock-and-roll to the blues, but by the time my generation started growing up, it had crumbled,” says Kapone. "We always knew there was something here, but we were never able to carry the torch. We always had this energy wanting to bust out – we wanted to be heard and be recognized.”

"Crunk is a subdivision of southern hip-hop. It's a very regional music that came out of certain areas of the south,” says music supervisor Paul Stewart, who had previously collaborated with producer John Singleton on the filmmaker's "Poetic Justice” and "2 Fast 2 Furious.” "It's a very high-energy dance music, somewhat aggressive and in-your-face, and representative of the life, the street life. Lyrically, it speaks to the southern culture and life. Before it emerged from those areas, they were listening to records from other places. It's a real emergence of their culture. People in the south like to party; the west coast and east coast have a very different kind of vibe. In the South, music has a unique flavor, coming from a unique musical history there.”

Ludacris said, ‘It came from crank, from cranking up your car,'” notes Brewer. "That's a good example – it's already going, it's driving, it's revving, it's loud and repetitive. You're chanting throughout the whole thing.”

For Stewart, the chance to showcase crunk – a part of hip-hop that is often ignored by mainstream critics – was irresistible. "What was really exciting about the film was we were able to put this music – sometimes viewed as the lowest type of music – in a context with Al Green, Willie Hutch, and a score of players from Stax Records,” says Stewart. "In addition, our composer, Scott Bomar, brought in the dream team of classic Stax musicians to do the score. Some of these guys also played on the Isaac Hayes's ‘Shaft' soundtrack and albums like ‘Hot Buttered Soul.'”

Since working on "Hustle & Flow,” Stewart says he's been approached by people who aren't usually a fan of the genre but found themselves humming the movie's signature tunes on the way out of the theater. "So many people have come to me and said, ‘Oh, that's not really the kind of music I like, but, wow. I really dug it,'” he notes.

Brewer says he's been a fan of the genre for a long time. "I was listening to crunk before I knew it was called crunk,” he notes. "I was listening to Ludacris, I was listening to Three 6 Mafia, I was listening to Al Kapone, I was listening to Eightball & MJG, Pastor Troy, Juvenile – these are all guys that helped contribute to that sound. Only recently has crunk become a word that people know what it is.”

Stewart notes that crunk could only have come from the south. "It's poor out there,” he says. Because of that, he says, it seems that people are desperate to find an outlet. "When they're hanging out, they have fun. They let go. It reminded me of punk rock – it's almost to the level of throwing elbows. People get real hyped when they<

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