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Is True Story's soundtrack the Netflix miniseries' best feature?

Bruno Cooke November 29, 2021
true story soundtrack

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Eric Newman’s seven-part drama series, starring Kevin Hart and Wesley Snipes, arrived on Netflix on November 24. The show itself has received mixed reviews, but its soundtrack is strong – what songs makeup True Story’s track list?

Has True Story received positive or negative reviews?

True Story has so far garnered a mixed bag of reviews. Roger Ebert gave it two out of four stars, saying it “lands in a tone-deaf place about cancel culture”. 

Meanwhile, TVLine questioned the series’ credentials regarding its treatment of women: “It doesn’t pass the Bechdel test,” Handle M Culpepper, who directed episodes 3-7, told the outlet.

“But it does pass the DuVernay test because of me.”

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True Story | Official Trailer | Netflix

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True Story | Official Trailer | Netflix
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The Bechdel test, so named after American cartoonist Alison Bechdel, is a measure of the representation of women in fiction. The DuVernay test hasn’t been popularised in the same way, but seeks to hold racial and ethnic diversity to a similar standard.

Forbes called it “riveting”, The Guardian “unnecessary”. It has a score of 7.7 on IMDB.

Here are some of our favourites from True Story’s soundtrack

Its reviews notwithstanding, True Story (not to be confused with Rupert Goold’s 2015 film of the same name, or even David Byrne’s 1986 caper True Stories – very different productions) has a soundtrack to get behind.

Episode 1 ends on Hail Mary, by 2Pac. Originally released in 1997, Hail Mary features rap verses by Kastro, Young Noble and Yaki Kadafi of The Outlawz, and Prince Ital Joe. It apparently took just 15 minutes to write and five minutes to record.

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Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Episode 2’s pick is I Love Music by The O’Jays. I Love Music appeared on The O’Jays’ 1975 album Family Reunion, and reached number 5 on the US Billboard Hot 100.

The third episode features the legendary McFadden & Whitehead with Ain’t No Stopping Us Now. Luther Vandross covered the song for his 1994 cover album Songs, and performed it alongside British girl group Spice Girls in 1997. McFadden & Whitehead’s original version also appears on the Boogie Nights soundtrack.

For a full list of all the songs that feature on True Story’s soundtrack, visit Vague Visages.

Will there be a second season of True Story?

Warning: True Story spoilers ahead.

Netflix hasn’t yet made an official announcement regarding the possibility of a season 2 of True Story. 

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Source: YouTube [Netflix]

And, as Radio Times points out, its current listing refers to it as a “miniseries”, which indicates that it is, and will remain, a one-off.

Moreover, there are several characters who, by dint of them having been murdered, wouldn’t be able to return for a second season anyway. Carlton, for example, was shot dead; Kid strangled Ari and shot his two brothers; and Gene met a similar fate. So, all in all, it doesn’t look likely. However, stranger things have happened – there may be a follow-up in the next year or two.

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Bruno is a novelist, amateur screenwriter and journalist with interests in digital media, storytelling, film and politics. He’s lived in France, China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, but returned to the UK for a degree (and because of the pandemic) in 2020. His articles have appeared in Groundviews, Forge Press and The Friday Poem, and most are readable on Medium or onurbicycle.com.