Hip-hop music is a must in Transformers: Rise of the Beast.
Set in 1994 Brooklyn, New York, the film is a sequel to 2018’s Transformers prequel, Bumblebee, which was set in 1987. The new film follows Noah Diaz (Anthony Ramos) and Elena Wallace (Dominic Fishback). Join the Autobots and an animal-themed species called the Maximals to battle evil terrorists plotting the destruction of Earth.
At the film’s premiere in Brooklyn, New York, some of the cast and crew shared what it was like to hear ’90s songs in the film, and how hip-hop from that particular era inspired them. He told TODAY.com about how it affected him.
Ramos plays Noah, a former military engineer trying to make ends meet for his family, but his older brother Mario was the first to introduce him to hip-hop. It has become a staple of his life.
“I was always listening to music by The Notorious B.I.G. and Jay-Z, so that was a big part of my childhood,” says the 31-year-old actor. “He was always blasting hip-hop around the house. That’s how I grew up.”
Brooklyn is also the hometown of Biggie and Jay-Z, who greatly influenced the musical genre of the time. The film’s director, Steven Caple Jr., says that bringing ’90s hip-hop culture to the film was intentional.
“I chose all the songs[in the movie]so you’ll hear every music album I listened to as a kid, from SWV to Nas to Wu-Tang, Biggie, DMX, that’s all. ’ he says. “Specifically, this is ’94, but it wasn’t until ’99 that sound really started to affect me. But I just love music. And all the other movies I try to incorporate music into my work and work.” Artists I used to look up to. “
Ron Perelman, who voices robot gorilla Optimus Primal, told TODAY.com he was a dad in his 40s when hip-hop hit the scene. He says he had never even heard of the song until “my kids started demanding I listen to it on their way to school in the morning.”
“My first foray was the Fugees and[their]first album,” he recalls. “I was like, ‘Oh yeah, I get it.’ You’re very likely a generation like me, a few generations ahead of the generation my kids are trying to force me to eat.” is expensive.”
He remembers thinking listeners “can see it as more than just noise.”
“Well, there’s a lot of really deep thinking and social commentary here,” he says. “Very, very poetic, great wording.”
The 90s hip-hop-influenced soundtrack is only part of the music fans will hear in the film, but the score takes up the rest. Johnnick Bontemps, who composed the music for the film, said he created the score to reflect the hallmarks of hip-hop and celebrate his hometown of Brooklyn, even without lyrics.
“I’m a hip-hop baby,” he says. “I’m a ’90s kid. I’m from New York, so music is in my blood. So when it came to writing the score, I wanted to make sure we represented Brooklyn correctly.” So we did this.” There’s a bit of a TR808 rolling drum machine throughout, but it’s still a “Transformers” score. I mean, it’s big, it’s grand. It’s emotional, poignant, and cinematic, but it still weaves in Brooklyn here and there for its flavor. “
John DiMaggio, who voices Airplane Transit, told TODAY.com that he was a comedian in his 20s and worked in the city when hip-hop was on the rise.
“’94 was an incredible time to be in New York and for hip-hop,” he says. “Biggie came out in ’94. Oh well, forget about[the rest]. So this movie has everything you need.”
This article originally appeared on TODAY.com