SOUNDTRACK: Jonah Hill's 'Mid90s'
Jonah Hill's debut as a writer-director celebrates the trials, tribulations, rituals and reverence that is often witnessed in the skateboard scene throughout the world.
A heartfelt, nostalgia-heavy coming-of-age story, with references to Beavis & Butthead, Ren & Stimpy and Sony Walkman's. A time capsule of memories that will transport every viewer back to their childhood, the golden era of Hip-Hop and the raw skate culture surrounding it; a time when it was you and your friends versus the world!
Music features heavily throughout Mid90s, serving as a booming soundtrack to a young boys first sexual experience, domestic turbulence and teenage angst. “The music in Mid90s is incredibly personal to me,” states Jonah Hill in a recent interview. “This film was written and shot to these specific tracks, many of which were so important to my own life growing up. I was always a diehard fan of classic movie soundtracks, so when we started talking about the best way to release our soundtrack in the streaming era, I couldn’t have been more thrilled to collaborate with Spotify on such a new and exciting concept that I think reinvents what movie soundtracks can be going forward.”
The playlist features classic tracks that you would find bootlegged onto old VHS skate tapes, or blasting out of boomboxes down your local estate, featuring the likes of Mobb Deep, Gang Starr, A Tribe Called Quest, Jeru The Damaja, Wu-Tang Clan, Bad Brains and Nirvana, with most of the 90's Hip-Hop supervised by Jonah Hill. Due to the low budget of the film, Hill had to reach out to artists and ask to use their music, then crafted each scene to have that specific song in it, which is what making films you love is all about in my opinion!
Mid90s also features original scores by the legendary Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross from the band Nine Inch Nails (NIN) who agreed to score the film after Jonah Hill contacted them through producer Scott Rudin (The Social Network and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.) Communicating only via Skype, Hill asked them to try and capture the “sound of elation and the confusion and the pain of childhood.” He wanted to hear their interpretation of what “warmth” would be as a contrast to the “coldness” often heard throughout their previous music and soundtracks. The film was scored mostly in hotel rooms and backstage during Nine Inch Nail's 2018 European tour, finishing the closing credits cue before heading on stage at the Royal Albert Hall.
The film and the soundtrack are so on point, yet subtle and blended in terms of nostalgia, that the minute the film ended I ordered a skateboard online (can just about ollie still), along with a pair of fat Osiris skate shoes. The second my board arrived I got the playlist on and quite literally hit the streets. To have the sweat in your eyes again, the feeling of freedom – Mid 90s brought it all back to me in a wave of ecstasy that I'm finding hard to express right now. “That’s why we ride a piece of wood—[because of] what that [can do] to somebody’s spirit.” (Fuckshit)
Mid90s is available to watch now in UK Cinemas. Check the dope trailer below and enjoy the soundtrack Spotify playlist!
Words by Eldraw