The most evocative films draw their power not only from strong visual statements, but also from having exceptional scores. Whether it’s a downtempo dirge that awakens a swell of repressed sadness, or a more sultry rhythm hinting at potential romance, we inevitably attach deeper meaning to visual cues that are underpinned by music that triggers emotion.
Striking that subtle balance between what we see and what we hear is a special necessity in films that intend to communicate complex messages in a way that makes us question our world view. The Hate U Give, the newly-released film based on Angie Thomas’ best-selling novel of the same name presented Def Jam Records with a unique opportunity to do just that -- curate a score that taps into the film’s timely themes of injustice, activism, self-discovery and community.
The film tells the story of Starr (played by Amandla Stenberg), a young black girl from an economically disadvantaged, predominantly black neighborhood who attends an affluent, mostly white prep school. In the midst of coping with the realities of existing between two drastically different environments, Starr’s life is irrevocably altered when she witnesses the murder of her childhood friend at the hands of a white police officer.