Ever since the first trailer to Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained hit, I've been itching to get my hands on the remix of James Brown's The Payback used as the score. I'm a mark for this sort of stuff, personally, but Quentin has a history of doing this: When he started his marketing blitz for Kill Bill, he almost singlehandedly forced Battle Without Honor or Humanity into the public consciousness, where it became the soundtrack to basically every replay package every sports program ran for the next eight years.
The soundtrack to Django Unchained comes out later this month, but Rolling Stone got the first shot at that James Brown remix, which is actually a mashup of his funk classic with a Tupac acapella laid over the top. Tupac Shakur and James Brown, on the same track? Django Unchained is worth becoming a reality almost solely for this, right?
The verdict? This is a great idea, scuffed up with middling execution. Tupac's vocals are mixed way too loud, and the mashup feels imbalanced. It's still good, and definitely worth multiple listens, but I kinda wish this had been given a couple more runs around the block before it was unleashed into the wild.
But the mischievous side of me appreciates Claudio Cueni, the engineer who mixed it, closing out with a nice bit of trolling for the diehard conspiracy theorists who still think Tupac might be alive.
The Django Unchained soundtrack comes out December 18th, 2012.