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Today's SoundTRAX goes one-on-one with "Love & Basketball"

Omar Epps and Sanaa Lathan kiss while holding a basketball above their heads.
Overbrook Music, Interscope Records
/
New Line Cinema
Love & Basketball

"Love & Basketball" stars Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps star as a couple navigating romance and their dreams of playing professional basketball.

In 2000 when Gina Prince-Bythewood wrote and directed her semi-autobiographical debut film she said her goal was to make "a Black When Harry Met Sally."

The end result was Love & Basketball, starring Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps, and co-produced by Spike Lee.

Lathan and Epps play Monica and Quincy, friends who first bonded over basketball as kids. By the time they go through high school and end up at the same college they not only become romantically involved, but also have to deal with the challenges they both face in their quest to become professional basketball players.

The film is engaging and sweet and the performances are strong. In addition to Lathan and Epps, Alfre Woodard, Dennis Haysbert, Gabrielle Union, Regina Hall, and Debbi Morgan also round out the cast.

The soundtrack is pretty damn strong, too.

Classics from Al Green and Rufus with Chaka Khan. Pure fun from the likes of Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock, MC Lyte and Black Eyed Peas. Smooth R&B from Roger, Bilal, and Angie Stone, who does a lovely cover of Simply Red's "Holding Back the Years." There's also a great track from Lucy Pearl, the brief supergroup featuring Raphael Saadiq from Tony! Toni! Toné!, Dawn Robinson of En Vogue, and Ali Shaheed Muhammad of A Tribe Called Quest.

But for today's SoundTRAX selection I've chosen a heartbreaker of a tune that originally appeared on this artist's 1999 album, Bitter, which also included contributions from Wendy and Lisa, Doyle Bramhall, and Joe Henry.

From Love & Basketball, it's Meshell Ndegeocello with "Fool of Me."

SoundTRAX is a dive into notable music from iconic films and TV shows every Monday-Thursday at 8:10 a.m.

Mel is the WFPK morning host. Email Mel at mfisher@lpm.org.