Like 1989's "Lean On Me," starring Morgan Freeman, "Coach Carter" revolves around academic performance. The film, starring Samuel L. Jackson, is inspired by the story of Richmond, Calif.

Like 1989's "Lean On Me," starring Morgan Freeman, "Coach Carter" revolves around academic performance. The film, starring Samuel L. Jackson, is inspired by the story of Richmond, Calif., high-school basketball coach Ken Carter, who benched his entire undefeated squad in 1999 for poor grades. While the "Lean" soundtrack featured such R&B, rap and rock favorites as Thelma Houston, Big Daddy Kane and Guns N' Roses, "Coach Carter" supersizes the hip-hop quotient. Name-checking credits include the St. Lunatics, Kanye West, Common, Fabolous, Chingy, Ciara and Twista. The St. Lunatics turn in a notable performance on "Time." Memorable R&B accents are provided by Faith Evans and critically acclaimed newcomer Van Hunt. Two other rookies also shine here: rapper the Game ("Southside," featuring Lil Scrappy) and singer Trey Songz ("About the Game").—GM

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