Above the Rim The Soundtrack is the official soundtrack to the 1994 film of the same name. The soundtrack, released by Death Row and Interscope Records on March 22, 1994, was executive produced by Suge Knight. Dr. Dre acted as supervising producer on the project.
Six Tapes were released for the soundtrack’s promotion. The album is notable in that it was able to garner critical praise and obtain commercial success, a feat not easily accomplished for soundtracks in general, and hip hop-based soundtracks in particular. The album shipped over two million copies and won the Soundtrack of the Year award at the 1995 Source Awards.
The cassette version of the soundtrack contained three bonus tracks that could not fit on the CD due to time constraints.
+ Pain by 2Pac (with Stretch)
+ Mi Moni Rite by Lord G
+ Loyal to the Game by 2Pac, Treach from Naughty By Nature, and Riddler.
The bonus track, Pain was initially rejected for use in the film by Dr. Dre, however, at the request of recording engineer Norman Whitfield Jr., the track was re-cut and remixed for the film by noted record producer Isaias Gamboa. The song’s considerable thematic use throughout the soundtrack including the key scene when Birdie (portrayed by 2Pac) is killed, has helped transform the Pain remix into a hip-hop classic.
Under Death Row, Above the Rim soundtrack was the third album under the label to reach number-one on the R&B Albums chart where it stayed for ten nonconsecutive weeks (Heavy D & the Boyz Nuttin' But Love interrupted that streak for one week), while it went to second place on the Billboard 200 chart.