I believe I can jam

By Managing Editor

Although it is a seminal piece of artwork produced during my childhood, I remember next to nothing from “Space Jam,” the 1996 half-animated, half-live-action masterpiece featuring Michael Jordan in his, uh, “acting” debut playing basketball with the Looney Toons crew. I faintly remember some of its cheesy special effects and that one golfing scene where Bugs Bunny and Jordan lock lips, but my memories of the plot and celeb cameos are long-gone, just like my Tweety Bird high-tops. 

As you may already know, Michael Jordan’s birthday was on Feb. 17, so I decided to take a trip down memory lane and revisit the movie’s soundtrack—the singular part of “Space Jam” I could never forget—and I came to realize that even though the film was quickly forgotten, the songs it featured remain some of the greatest ’90s throwback tracks of all time.

“Here’s the game plan, Listen up Toon squad, Number one objective, Beat the Monstars, Shouldn’t be hard… Aaaah, what more can I say? I’m the coolest rabbit, doc holiday. I’ll be your huckle-bunny, Unmatched wit, I’m too legit—too legit to quit. Run with the Toon Stars, Show us love, Peace to Lola, Daphne, Elmer Fud.”

“Buggin’” by Bugs Bunny Written by Jay Z

Of course there’s the Quad City DJ’s theme song, but the soundtrack also includes two of the most iconic R&B songs of the decade: Monica’s “For You I Will” and R. Kelly’s emotive “I Believe I Can Fly.”

It also serves as a snaphot of ’90s hip-hop tracks. Salt-N-Pepa’s “Upside Down (Round and Round)” features the ladies at the absolute apex of their career: the mind-blowing posse cut “Hit ‘Em High” featuring B-Real, Coolio, Busta Rhymes, Method Man and thee LL Cool J; and two features from Jay Z, whose Bugs Bunny prose recalls vintage Jigga tracks such as “Hard Knock Life.”

The record’s only low is the Spin Doctors/ Biz Markie collab cover of “That’s the Way (I Like It),” which is exactly as odd as it sounds.

As a whole, the album is a nostalgic joy that I will hold as close to my heart as I did when it was on my sister’s Walkman.