Various Artists

Hustle & Flow is the feel-good tale of Memphis pimp DJay (Terence Howard) pursuing his musical dreams. And it's a humble film, for the most part, with its street-corner swagger cut with a healthy dose of old-fashioned Hollywood sentamentalism. The soundtrack, however, makes no such concessions. Dirty South superstars such as T.I. and his P$C crew, Juvenile, Trillville, Webbie, and Trina all contribute beautifully boastful tracks. But the standouts come from M-Town artists. Al Kapone penned the infectious songs that DJay performs in the movie; wizened producers DJ Paul and Juicy J add the beautifully skewered minor-key crescendos of "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp"; and 8Ball and MJG contribute the tropical player's anthem "Tell Me Why." Their success proves that although Hustle & Flow may be a universal tale of perseverance and hip-hop hope, its heart is planted in Memphis. -- Tamara Palmer

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