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‘Black Panther’ and ‘Green Book’ needed these songs.
Another Oscar season has come and gone, leaving behind the usual amount of joy, frustration, and stunning moments. People won’t soon forget Spike Lee getting his first win and jumping into the arms of a laughing Samuel L. Jackson, or Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper singing a duet from their hit film A Star is Born.
And while that was a great musical moment, comedian and musician Demi Adejuyigbe couldn’t help but wonder what might have been. The Late Late Show with James Corden writer created a few brand new tunes for some Oscar-winning films, and we think you’ll agree that these new songs would have taken even the year’s best movies up a notch or two.
I know we're already over the Oscars, but if you ask me, they nominated the wrong song from BLACK PANTHER. I think Will Smith's "I Think I Can Beat Black Panther" from the credits would've won Best Original Song. https://t.co/NJwjZFXpNu pic.twitter.com/jZ3U8JFpEj
— demi adejuyigbe (@electrolemon) February 28, 2019
Yes, Black Panther actually won for best original score, but Adejuyigbe’s version no doubt would have gotten more radio play.
I decided to rewatch GREEN BOOK this morning to see if I could figure out why it won Best Picture, and… I guess the Academy just really loved Morrissey's end credits song? https://t.co/yjsIGjD0QW pic.twitter.com/RRv8cKXu4K
— demi adejuyigbe (@electrolemon) February 26, 2019
The Daily Dot reached out to Adejuyigbe via email. He told us that while he didn’t hate the film, he understood why people were so frustrated by it.
“I think Green Book at most is a ‘fine’ film, and probably in the bottom half of films nominated for best picture,” he told said. “It has a very surface level view of racism, centers the film around its white protagonist, and portrays them as ‘friends’ for no reason other than one of them stopped being racist—which somehow spreads to his family and friends instantly. Plus, his whole thing about throwing away the glasses that black men drank from is a vile level of racism that would not have been cured by seeing how talented a black man was at piano.”
If you haven’t watched the film, Adejuyigbe shared a screenshot of the dialog from that scene on his Twitter account.
— demi adejuyigbe (@electrolemon) February 25, 2019
This kind of formula, when it comes to dealing with the complex problem of racism, is one we’ve seen before in films, and as a filmmaker himself, it’s something Adejuyigbe finds highly annoying.
“My biggest pet peeves are filmmakers just leaning into cliches or formula,” he said. “I think the coolest thing a filmmaker can do is weave the story in a way that they’re leading the audience to their own conclusion, so just pushing them along a path where we know everything that’s gonna happen is always so boring to me.”
As for the coveted best picture award, Adejuyigbe would have given the nod to Roma.
“My ranking for the best picture nominees was Roma, The Favourite, Black Panther, BlacKkKlansman, A Star Is Born, Vice/Green Book, Bohemian Rhapsody,” he said. “I didn’t like BlacKkKlansman, but have sort of come to terms with it (read: let go and stopped complaining) in the months since I watched it.”
This isn’t the first time Adejuyigbe has created new songs for a movie. Back in early February, he made this excellent rap for Solo that sounds remarkably like Donald Glover, aka Childish Gambino.
oh wow, just caught a preview of Donald Glover's Lando rap for the Han #SoloMovie. didn't realize we'd be getting new Childish Gambino music so soon!! i hope Disney doesn't take this down! pic.twitter.com/t1BTAAiDiE
— demi adejuyigbe (@electrolemon) February 6, 2018
And this definitely should have been the theme for Ready Player One.
The new Oscar songs are all the more impressive when you learn that Adejuyigbe created them all himself, mainly using the software Logic.
“The Green Book one was just me recording my own vocals and guitar and adding some instruments behind them in Logic,” he said.”The instrumental for the Black Panther one was entirely created in Logic.”
By the way, if you’re a fan of these songs, you can check out Punch Up the Jam, a podcast where Adejuyigbe and actress Miel Bredouw rewrite popular songs. Their version of Shaggy’s 2000 hit “It Wasn’t Me.” is particularly nice.
David Britton is a writer and comedian based in Rhinebeck, New York who focuses on internet culture, memes, and viral news stories. He also writes for the Hard Times and is the creator of StoriesAboutWizards.com.