14 Greatest Soundtrack Songs From the 'Fast & Furious' Franchise: Critic's Take

Michelle Rodriguez and Vin Diesel in The Fate of the Furious.
Matt Kennedy/Universal Studios

Michelle Rodriguez and Vin Diesel in The Fate of the Furious. 

Do you remember the now-iconic (and somber) scene where Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Brian O’Conner (the late Paul Walker) were gearing on for their last race together in Furious 7? Doesn’t “See You Again” bring a tear to your eye whenever you hear it on the radio? Or how about that nostalgic feeling when you listen to Ja Rule's "Furious," or Cadillac Tah and Ashanti’s "Pov City Anthem," from the Murder Inc.-helmed soundtrack to the first film? Ludacris’ electric bangers “Act A Fool” and “Rest of My Life” might have even made you want crank your Honda Civic up and do 180 mph down the freeway.  

Since 2001, the Fast & Furious franchise has produced some of the most high-octane music in pop culture. And through their ups and downs, the films and their soundtracks managed to evolve and remain consistent over the years, from the early Murder Inc. and Disturbing Tha Peace-led soundtracks (FF 1 and 2) consisting of predominantly hip-hop, R&B, and heavy metal to incorporating reggaeton, EDM, and pop music as the series grew with the times. These sets produced a large array of unforgettable chart hits, including Ja Rule’s "Put It On Me," G-Eazy and Kehlani’s latest smash "Good Life," and the tear-jerking classic from Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth, “See You Again”. 

With the eighth installment of the franchise, The Fate of the Furious racing into theaters today (April 14), along with its soundtrack, Billboard gathered 14 of the greatest songs from its 16-year history.
 
Ja Rule feat. 01 & Vita: “Furious”
The Fast and The Furious (2001)
Hot 100 Chart Peak: N/A

As one of the leading smashes from the first installment, The Fast & The FuriousJa Rule gave us a banger that captured the film's high-octane spirit. His intense delivery and lyricism set the scene for an explosive ride through the gritty streets of Los Angeles. It’s no wonder that he, Irv Gotti, and The Murderers were chosen to lead the soundtrack because they provided the film with the fuel it needed to become a smash.

Sevyn Streeter "How Bad Do You Want It"
Furious 7 (2015)
Hot 100 Chart Peak: N/A

This sexy jam from the Furious 7 soundtrack features Sevyn Streeter recreating the elegant desert motif in the visual while she delivers an EDM-backed electro-pop tune. As part of one the finest soundtracks in the franchise, she masterfully makes her presence felt with her strong and passionate vocals.

Ludacris “Act A Fool”
2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)
Hot 100 Chart Peak: No. 32

Luda’s first entry in the Fast & Furious franchise was an outlandish banger that flooded the airwaves and MTV consistently back in ’03. This was also at the height of his career, when his Chicken-n-Beer album was making waves at the same time. The song and video were as colorful as the film, fitting the lighter, fun, but still furious tone.

Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth “See You Again”
Furious 7 (2015)
Hot 100 Chart Peak: No. 1

In the wake of the tragic death of leading man Paul Walker in 2013, the somber melody of this hip-hop ballad was an appropriate farewell tune that grew to become a smash. It beautifully captured all the tenderness that the closing moments of Furious 7 had, as well as the universal themes of saying goodbye to important people in your life, while reminiscing on the good times. "See You Again" continues to be a standout in the Furious catalog.

G-Eazy feat. Kehlani “Good Life”
The Fate Of The Furious (2017)
Hot 100 Chart Peak: N/A

If any more superheroes needed a theme song, they can call the Bay Area duo, G-Eazy and Kehlani, for an anthem. The lead single from The Fate of the Furious showcases the electric energy that draws from the Fast & Furious franchise. The pair's chemistry made for a captivating tune and an equally fire video.

Tyrese feat. Ludacris & R. Kelly “Pick Up the Phone”
2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)
Hot 100 Chart Peak: N/A

Before Travis Scott, Young Thug and Migos' Quavo offered their catchy track of the same name in 2016, Tyrese, Luda and Kellz teamed up in 2003 for “Pick Up the Phone," a summer-y song off the franchise's sequel, 2 Fast 2 Furious. In a lot of ways, it brought you right back to Ludacris' character Tej’s wet-and-wild pool parties in Miami with its vibrant production and solid verses. And, like the film's pool party scene itself, it’s a well-placed break from the heavier tracks on the Disturbing Tha Peace-led soundtrack.

Wiz Khalifa & 2 Chainz “We Own It”         
Fast & Furious 6 (2013)
Hot 100 Chart Peak: N/A

Wiz and 2 Chainz deliver an exhilarating performance on Fast & Furious 6 lead single "We Own It." The intense track brings you right into the action of the film’s heist and the characters' confrontation with Luke Hobbs (played by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson). 

Vita feat. Ashanti “Justify My Love”
The Fast & The Furious (2001)
Hot 100 Chart Peak: N/A
 
Even though this was never an official single from the O.G. Fast and Furious soundtrack, Vita and Ashanti’s take on Madonna's 1990 chart-topper is a standout that's slept on. “Justify My Love” soundtracked the film’s romantic moments between Brian O’Conner and Mia Toretto (Jordana Brewster). The track also finds Vita, aggressive female spitter of The I-N-C, in rare form as she lets listeners hear her more sensual side, with the help of Ashanti’s soft and airy vocals.

Pitbull feat. Pharrell “Blanco”
Fast & Furious (2009)
Hot 100 Chart Peak: N/A

Hitmakers Pitbull and Pharrell link up for one of the catchier tracks from the 2009 Fast & Furious album, along with its unique video shot from a first-person perspective. In ’09, both the film and soundtracks were regaining their footing, but the process began with some baby steps. And though it may have been a rocky reset for the franchise, lit singles such as this showed promise that the car-centric franchise would one day be the juggernaut it is today. 

Limp Bizkit, Method Man, Redman, Swizz Beatz, & DMX "Rollin’ (Urban Assault Vehicle)"
The Fast & The Furious (2001)
Hot 100 Chart Peak: N/A
 
Out of the more intense records throughout the franchise’s history, this one is top-five material. The original chart topper, “Rollin’ (Air Raid Vehicle)” was already an icon nu-metal smash, but with the help of Swizz Beatz, the Limp Bizkit cut morphs into an highly flammable and explosive tune. Meanwhile, Darkman X trades some extremely hard-hitting bars with the always electrifying tag team of Red and Meth. Fun Fact: “Rollin (Air Raid Vehicle)” was featured in the Fast & The Furious film while its hip-hop remix was only on the soundtrack.

Don Omar feat. Tego Calderon "Bandolero" 
The Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift
(2006) and Fast & Furious 6 (2013)
 
The critically panned Tokyo Drift soundtrack and film marked the beginning of the series making a turn to include more reggaeton and electronic music to the franchise. There was perhaps no greater song to kick off the franchise's new musical era than this banger from reggaeton stars Don Omar and Tego Calderon. The brooding track doesn’t mess around as it captures the essence of Dom and his bandit crew perfectly, given the Fast & Furious 6 soundtrack's context. This is also the only song from the franchise that is featured on two different soundtracks.

Saliva "Click, Click, Boom"
More Fast & Furious (2001)
Hot 100 Chart Peak: N/A
 
“Click, Click, Boom” is an iconic nu-metal smash of the early 2000s. The extreme intensity from the M-Town band allows their radio smash mesh with The Fast & The Furious’ rugged and raw energy perfectly. It managed to amplify the film’s core sound, making it a perfect addition.

Ludacris feat. Usher & David Guetta "Rest of My Life"
Fast & Furious 6 (2013)
Hot 100 Chart Peak: No. 72 

As the FF series evolved to integrate more EDM, it proved to be the right move, as the shift in direction was responsible for incredible tunes such as this Luda contribution -- with the help of fellow ATLien, Usher, and EDM icon, David Guetta. The greatest thing about “Rest of My Life” is that it serves as an unofficial theme song to Dom and Brian’s crew, representing their unity. Like its successor, “Good Life," it’s a spirited song that captures everything we love about the FF squaf, especially the lighter moments of Fast & Furious 6. Plus, it's meant to be played at high volumes on Monday mornings.

Ja Rule feat. Lil Mo & Vita "Put It On Me" (Remix)
The Fast & The Furious (2001)
Hot 100 Chart Peak: No. 8 
 
This classic Ja Rule love song not only represented the romance of the first Fast film while capturing the urgency and vulnerability of the respective couples in the movie -- it was also one of R-U-L-E’s first batch of songs for the ladies. That success led into a string of crossover classics like “Mesmerize” and “Always On Time," and also helped Lil’ Mo become a hip-hp mainstay of the early '00s.

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