Once upon a time in the early '90s, the music industry thought hip hop was a fad that would come and go, and this is the period that VH1's The Breaks will explore when it premieres on Monday night. But those early '90s tracks actually laid the groundwork for what hip hop has grown into today — not a fad, but an everlasting genre with many classic songs. So where can you get The Breaks soundtrack, filled with all the songs that'll be stuck in your head all over again? You're in luck. The soundtrack to the TV movie (and potential TV series) is exclusively available on Spotify in a playlist curated by VH1.
The Breaks was inspired by journalist Dan Charnas' book The Big Payback, which is a narrative history of hip hop. The TV movie follows friends DeeVee (Tristan Mack Wilds), Nikki, and David as they pursue their passion for the up-and-coming genre in New York City in 1990. The soundtrack for The Breaks is the ultimate '90s throwback playlist, featuring artists like LL Cool J, De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, Public Enemy, MC Hammer, and so many more.
You can listen to the soundtrack below.
Want just a sampling of this musical time machine? Here are some of the most significant songs on The Breaks soundtrack.
"U Can't Touch This" By MC Hammer
This 1990 single became one of the biggest hits of the '90s and pop culture would never quite be the same after experiencing "Hammer Time." "U Can't Touch This" topped the Billboard Hip-Hop/R&B chart and it won Grammys for Best R&B Song and Best Rap Solo Performance.
"Can I Kick It?" By A Tribe Called Quest
Posing one of the most important questions of the '90s, "Can I Kick It?" has been referenced in numerous modern rap songs by Jay Z, Drake, Gorillaz, and Nero. The song has also been covered by an Icelandic rap duo, Lykke Li, and Sage Francis.
"Ladies First" By Queen Latifah Featuring Monie Love
Back in 1989, this was Queen Latifah's first hit song and in addition to being considered a hip hop feminist anthem, kicked off her epic career that would extend to TV, movies, and even a talk show.
"Mama Said Knock You Out" By LL Cool J
Even decades after dropping in 1991, James Todd Smith's hit single still resonates in pop culture and features one of the most famous first-lines of a song: "Don't call it a comeback/I've been here for years." The Grammy-winning diss track has been referenced on In Living Color, Futurama, and The Office, among others.
"Fight The Power" By Public Enemy
This political 1989 single served as the anthem to the Spike Lee joint Do The Right Thing and references the civil rights movement, race relations, freedom of speech, and more. According to an interview in Rolling Stone, the song appears in the movie 20 times, becoming a significant part of the film.
"Peter Piper" By Run-D.M.C.
This track comes from one of the most influential hip hop groups ever. Run-D.M.C. was the first hip hop group to win a Grammy, get their video on MTV, and have a platinum album.
"F*ck Tha Police" By N.W.A.
This 1988 song takes aim at the issue of police brutality and has become a protest anthem that is still relevant today. Even years later, the track has been referenced by Kanye West, The Game, Lil Wayne, Chris Rock, South Park, and more.
Between the interesting, real-life premise and this killer soundtrack, it seems like The Breaks is getting 2016 TV off to a great start.