Creed is the seventh instalment in the Rocky film franchise and follows the life of a young boxer whose father was the famous ‘Apollo Creed’ and best friends the infamous ‘Rocky Balboa’ – coincidentally who he ropes into training him. Because it is such a modern film within the franchise, the soundtrack features mainly hip-hop tracks from the likes of White Dave and Meek Mill.
The album opens with the iconic Rocky theme tune, instantly getting you pumped up for more. The track ‘Last Breath’ by Future is a twist on the original song with lyrics added so you can sing, or if you like; rap along. The song itself is simple and clean but keeps the listener interested with the notorious trumpets in the background, it’s definitely a track that gets you excited for the rest of the album.
‘Check’ by Meek Mill is more of a song you’d expect to hear in a club, but fits well within the film as one of the characters is a singer who performs at various bars. The lyrics are quite repetitive but the beat is catchy and bouncy. I’d say it’s one of the least favourite tracks off the album, as it acts more as a filler for background music more than anything.
White Dave’s ‘Intolerant’ is that electronic, hip-hop track that you don’t particularly like but it gets stuck in your head. Although it’s not a favoured track for me, I guess it’s done its job as I keep humming it. Much like his other tracks featuring Clif Soulo ‘Let You Know’, and ‘In The Kitchen’ featuring Young T these have the same kind of vibes, which I’m not find of, maybe I’m just not a White Dave fan.
John Legend makes an appearance with The Roots for the song ‘The Fire’ which is quickly becoming a favourite of mine. The verses are rapped whereas the chorus is sung, I think it works well because it mixes together two types of musical styles and people can choose whether they want to sing along or not and just listen.
Tessa Thompsons ‘Grip’ is a lot more subdued than the other songs and she actually appears in the film as a singer/songwriter performing this track. To me, the song focuses more on the ambient sounds and the heart beat like bass in the background. While she does sing, it’s sparse and I think it works well for the kind of song she’s portraying.
‘Lord Knows’ featuring Tory Lanez with Meek Mill is a song that comes across as being more dramatic that it needs to be, but this is for a film, so I guess it has to be right? You have the choir singing in the background, staccato drum beat and the “this is my life, this is my story” kind of lyrics. It’s an angry song with the “started from the bottom, and now we’re here” vibe.
For me, Krept and Konan’s ‘Don’t Waste My Time’ is your typical grime/hip-hop song that has the “bad boy persona” written all over it. I’m not into it but it fits within the film as the main character tries to, at first, come across this way.
Another song by Tessa Thompson, ‘Breathe’ makes you feel like you’re underwater, the music, much like her other track is sombre with the electronic drum beat picking it up a bit, her lyrics are also quite catchy. The same goes for ‘Shed You’ featuring Moses Sumney, both vocals harmonise in sync and sound so well together.
‘Wake Up Everybody’ by Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes is a definite funky, soul gripping song that also has a calm kind of feeling, almost soothing. If Sunday had a theme song, this is it.
The next song on the album features samples of Muddy Waters – ‘Mannish Boy’ and serves as a backbone for the track. Nas’ ‘Bridging the Gap’ featuring Olu Dar combines the influences of rap and blues and frequently sings about the roots of both musical styles. It’s another favourite for me.
There is only one word to describe the next song and that is powerful. Donald Glover, Jhene Aiko, Vince Staples and Ludwig Goransson team up to create the track ‘Waiting For My Moment’ the song is so triumphant that its fits so well with what’s about to happen in the movie. Listening to it, it has Rocky themed roots, by using the trumpets as an undertone for tension. I think this is my favourite track off the whole album.
Slipping back into the old roots of hip hop, ‘Hail Mary’ by 2Pac is the song that proves the film is still as gritty as it once was. I’m not a massive fan of 2Pac but the song itself lets you picture the rundown area in which the film is set in. It fits well within the theme of the movie.
‘Curry Chicken’ by Joey Bada$$ uses the scratching of a record to make the song sound better than it actually is. Although the melody in the background is somewhat okay, it clashes with the harmonies and his fluctuating vocals, seriously; stop making your voice more high pitched. I’m wearing headphones. This also goes for the next track by Eearz – ‘Work Ya Muscle’. It’s very repetitive and I’m not fond of the heavy breathing and shouting in my ear.
Coming up to the last song on the album, this track is a mix up between ‘Lord Knows’ and ‘Waiting For My Moment’. I’m pleased to write that the album ends the way it first started, punchy and driven. Although the first part of the song is instrumental, it gets you geared up for the rest of the song that features the rap.
Overall, despite my lack of enthusiasm for some songs; it was an average album with a few scattered songs here and there that are definitely worth replaying.