Song of the Day: Tao of the Machine (by the Roots and BT)


Blade II Soundtrack

After several months hiatus, I am back just in time to see the latest San Diego Comic-Con arrive and pass by with the latest in comic book-related news whether in print, video games or tv and films.  One surprise news which dropped during Marvel Studio’s popular Hall H panel this past Saturday was the surprise announcement that the character of Blade has been recast. He will be getting his own film for the ever-growing juggernaut that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

While rumors in the past had Wesley Snipes (the original actor who played the character Blade in a trilogy of films) in meetings with Marvel Studios, it would seem that Kevin Feige and his casting crew decided on a new face to reprise the role of the Daywalker. Out is Wesley Snipes and in comes two-time Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali (Moonlight, The Green Book).

Thus with that announcement the character of Blade has returned to the forefront of pop culture. One thing that the trilogy of films had that impressed me as a fan was the eclectic batch of licensed music that was a mixture of techno, rock and hip-hop. I’ve already featured one song from the Blade II soundtrack (“I Against I” by Massive Attack ft. Mos Def).

So, it’s no surprise that the latest Song of the Day comes from the very same soundtrack and this time it’s a collaboration from hip-hop gurus The Roots and techno legend BT.

Scenes I Love: Pan’s Labyrinth


The Pale Man

If there’s one filmmaker alive today who probably deserves the label of genius it’s probably Mexican-born filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro. Yes, that’s probably hyperbolic high praise, but then with each new film he releases he shows audiences and critics something rarely seen before that gradually knocks down any doubts as to why he deserves the praise.

In 2006, Del Toro released the Spanish-language dark fantasy film Pan’s Labyrinth and people who had only known him as the guy who directed Blade II and Hellboy finally understood why critics both high and low were having such a major crush on the man’s work and talent. My favorite scene from this film was a major example why Guillermo Del Toro is such a genius. I’m talking about the scene with the “Pale Man” and Ofelia’s encounter with it during her second task given to her by the The Faun.

This sequence showed Del Toro not just juggling the dark fantasy aspect of the film, but also his talent for world-building and horror. This scene was the one which probably sold those still on the fence about the film as they watched it. It’s a scene which showed Del Toro’s love for monsters and he created one which has left an indelible mark on the film-going audience that still resonates to this day.

Song of the Day: I Against I (by Massive Attack feat. Mos Def)


Here I sit in my room watching on Encore HD a running of Guillermo Del Toro’s sequel to Blade. As awesome as this film was it was the soundtrack to Blade II that continues to impress. It’s from this soundtrack that I picked the latest “Song of the Day”. That choice happens to be the collaboration between electronica/trip-hop duo Massive Attack with hip-hop artist Mos Def.

“I Against I” is the latest song of the day and I consider the best song in the Blade II soundtrack which was all about electronica artists and band collaborating with hip-hop artists. This song occurs early in the film where Blade and his crew joined by a vampire kill-team called the Bloodpack does their slo-mo march towardsa a vampire underground club. It’s a scene that needs to be seen to be appreciated. The massive and clear bass beat by Massive Attack lends itself well to Mos Def’s smooth lyrical flow even as electronic melodies and beats accompanies the rest.

This song could be listened to in it’s instrumental version and it would sound very good. Mos Def could rap it’s lyrics accapella style and he would also sound good, but it’s when the two combines that the song becomes great. It’s one of a few reasons why I consider Blade II the best in the trilogy and why I continue to watch it whenever it comes on cable.

I Against I

I-ya,
I against I,
Flesh of my flesh,
And mind of my mind,
Two of a kind but one won’t survive,
My images reflect in the enemies eye,
And his images reflect in mine the same time,

I-ya, I-ya,
I against I,
Flesh of my flesh,
And mind of my mind,
Two of a kind but one won’t survive,

Right here is where the end gon’ start at,
Conflict, contact ‘n’ combat,
Fighters stand where the land is marked at,
Settle the dispute about who the livest,
3 word answer,
Whoever survive this,
Only one of us can ride forever,
So you and I cant ride together,
Can’t live or cant die together,
All we can do is collide together,
So I skillfully apply the pressure,
Won’t stop until I’m forever… One!

A door step where death never come,
Spread across time til my time never done,
And I’m never done,
Walk tall, why ever run?
When they move if I ever come?
Bad man never fret the war, tell’em come
General we have the stock, the mad fire burn

I-ya,
I against I,
Flesh of my flesh,
And mind of my mind,
Two of a kind but one won’t survive,
My images reflect in the enemies eye,
And his images reflect in mine the same time,

I-ya, I-ya,
I against I,
Flesh of my flesh,
And mind of my mind,
Two of a kind but one won’t survive,
Survive (x16)

Reign supreme in your U-N-I,
V-E-R-S-E with the sharpness,
Narrow row building no space for partners,
No space for drivers, no space for walkers,
No space regardless,
Your on my path then get off it,
Hardheaded and unresponsive,
Get they lives put on target with harshness,
Come with the canons sparkin’ they darken,
Who am i? One man squadron,
Ma stir the fire this time that’d snatch your tomorrow,
The thousand yard spear that’ll pierce through your armor,
You can get it on right now if you want to,
But when ya front 9 get marched through,
I warned you,
You know who forever belong to,

I-ya, I-ya
I against I,
Flesh of my flesh,
And mind of my mind,
Two of a kind but one won’t survive,
My images reflect in the enemies eye,
And his images reflect in mine the same time,

I-ya, I-ya,
I against I,
Flesh of my flesh,
And mind of my mind,
Two of a kind but one won’t survive,
My images reflect in the enemies eye,
And his images reflect in mine, survive
Survive (x16)