In 1993 a movie came out staring Emilio Estevez, Denis Leary and Cuba Gooding Jr. called Judgement Night. The movie itself quickly faded into memory, but the soundtrack that came with it would help spawn the popularity of the sub genre Rap Metal. The soundtrack featured 11 songs that were collaborations between some of rock and metal’s biggest names with rap and hip-hop artists. Pearl Jam with Cypress Hill, Helmet with House of Pain, Faith No More with Boo-Yaa Tribe, Slayer with Ice-T, Mudhoney with Sir-Mix-A-Lot, plus many more. The soundtrack was the brain child of 22 year old Cypress Hill manager Happy Walters. Rolling Stone interviewed many of the musicians involved for The Oral History of The Judgement Night Soundtrack. Turns out there were many more artists that Happy wanted but couldn’t get.
“I really wanted Kurt [Cobain] on [Judgment Night]. I really was a huge fan of Nirvana’s, and Kurt was the one that was difficult, not Dave and those guys.
Metallica said no. They were super pure and prissy in those days. See, in those days they were like the shit, the shit, right? They’ve obviously aged, and probably wish they would’ve done it. I don’t even know if it was Metallica. Some of the managers in those days were just dicks. Think about it, dude.
I think this guy’s name was Peter Mensch, Metallica’s manager, he was like 45, was one of the biggest managers around, and here’s this 22-year-old schmuck calling and saying, “Hey, have you ever heard of Cypress Hill? They want to do a collaboration for a movie.” And they’re like, “What? OK, give us a million dollars.” It was “Fuck off, kid.” So, some of that didn’t go well.
I wanted Public Enemy, and they were like, nah. They were fighting. It was a weird thing at the point, they were, at that time, [Professor Griff] was saying crazy stuff, it was anti-Semitic stuff, and all this.
Tom [Morello of Rage Against the Machine] was really into it. It was more the Tool side that flaked and never decided [to submit their collaboration “Can’t Kill the Revolution”]. I think it was something where they just didn’t get it together. It was politics. They never really turned it in, and then Tool got weird and their label got weird, and we were running out of time. I mean, those two bands at the time, were massive. So that was one of the bummers of not getting that.
No one was not into it. Pearl Jam, obviously, I’d say, three or four of the guys were super into Cypress. Eddie was kind of like, yeah, cool, chill, whatever, I’m gonna go surfing, type thing. So he was not against it, but just not super jazzed. He didn’t show up.”
It’s an interesting look at a moment in time before rap-rock became the gigantic powerhouse that it did.