The concept of a soundtrack to a straight stage play may seem odd, but it makes perfect sense for the Pulitzer Prize-winning Topdog/Underdog.
The concept of a soundtrack to a straight stage play may seem odd, but it makes perfect sense for the Pulitzer Prize-winning Topdog/Underdog. As much about brothers—Lincoln and Booth played by, respectively, Jeffrey Wright and Mos Def —as it is about the African-American experience, Topdog/Underdog is a moving piece of artwork that works both on the stage and as a recording. This collection offers elements of blues, jazz, R&B, and hip-hop. Actors Mos Def and Wright bookend the set with two new tracks that serve as aural composites of their respective characters. Mos Def's "3-Card" embodies both the aggression and brazen qualities of his character, while Wright recreates "Lincoln's Blues," which sheds light on his character's broken-down spirit. Other highlights include Muddy Waters' "Got My Mojo Workin' " and Wayne Shorter's "Face of the Deep."—RH