In 1996, a certain Bugs Bunny and the rest of his Looney Tunes characters approached the basketball legend, Michael Jordan, to help them with their situation. In the film, Jordan has retired from the National Basketball Association (NBA), who agrees to help them win a basketball match against visiting aliens who intend to enslave them as attractions for an amusement park. The movie, Space Jam, was the first movie ever produced from the studio, Warner Bros. Feature Animation. It was released in theaters for the first time on November 15, 1996. While the film received mixed reviews from the critics, the technical genius that went into combining the real-life Michael Jordan with a bunch of animated characters that are just as iconic, made it a box office success. It became the highest-grossing basketball movie of all time after grossing over $250 million USD. There was a standalone sequel that came out in 2021, which starred another basketball great, LeBron James. That one is titled Space Jam: A New Legacy. There is also a television crossover with Teen Titans Go! and Teen Titans Go! See Space Jam, which aired on the Cartoon Network, also in 2021. The original Space Jam came with its own soundtrack of fourteen songs, which became a six-time platinum success with the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). In addition to this, there was also an original scoring soundtrack that featured the majority of James Newton Howard’s scores from the film, with the exception of the Merrie Melodies Theme.
14. Buggin’ (performed by Bugs Bunny)
It’s Bugs Bunny, rapping out his own tune, (Buggin’), in his own way. No soundtrack featuring Bugs Bunny would be complete if he didn’t get to put in his own material. In this case, as a hip-hopper, or a hopper-hipper, however one wants to phrase it.
13. All of My Days (performed by Changing Faces, R. Kelly, and Jay-Z)
A mix of R&B with some hip-hop, and (All of My Days) offered the soulful performance shared by Changing Faces, R. Kelly, and Jay-Z.
12. Givin’ U All That I’ve Got (performed by Robin S.)
Otherwise known as Robin Stone, Robin S. performed the song, (Givin’ U All That I’ve Got) for the Space Jam soundtrack as a lyrical proclamation of giving it to her all as a member of a team that definitely needs to brush up their game against a seemingly more talented roster of opponents.
11. I Found My Smile Again (performed by D’Angelo)
D’Angelo was among the many talents that contributed to the compliment of rap-themed songs that suited the theme of Space Jam, both the movie and the soundtrack. (I Found My Smile Again) was inspirational, as this song was designed to be.
10. The Winner (performed by Coolio)
Coolio’s performance of (The Winner) saw hip-hop rapped out, Looney Tunes style, that fit the overall theme of the movie, combining the sport and culture of basketball with the always entertaining characters that not only made Space Jam a classic animated film but why the characters of the Looney Tunes universe so well-favored.
9. That’s The Way (I Like It) (performed by Spin Doctors and Biz Markie)
(That’s the Way (I Like It)) was first recorded and released in 1975 by KC and the Sunshine Band. It was a number one hit on the US Billboard Hot 100 and has since become an iconic hit in the disco music scene on an international level. For the Space Jam soundtrack, this single was covered by the combined talent of Spin Doctors and Biz Markie, adding a bit of hip-hop and R&B into this dance favorite.
8. Space Jam (performed by Quad City DJs)
The theme song from the movie, (Space Jam), was an electronic hip-hop performance presented by Quad City DJs. Performed Technotronic style, meeting with remnants of Pump Up the Jam, this theme song served as a great setup song to get into the groove of the game and the music.
7. Upside Down (performed by Salt-N-Pepa)
The single, (Upside Down) and superstar, Diana Ross, are both legends. For Salt-N-Pepa to rise to the occasion and deliver a modernized, hip-hop style to the 1980 classic, much kudos. The performance was designed specifically for Space Jam’s movie theme and soundtrack, which the two ladies did to perfection.
6. Basketball Jones (performed by Barry White and Chris Rock)
(Basketball Jones), as performed by Barry White and Chris Rock, took a page out of Cheech and Chon’s 1973 original, (Basketball Jones featuring Tyrone Shoelaces) and hammed it up with Rock performing the higher-pitched vocals and shouted lines while White lyrically performed the song as an addict who can’t get enough of the sport.
5. I Turn to You (performed by All-4-One)
Written and performed specifically for Space Jam, (I Turn to You) the R&B quartet, All-4-One, let loose with a ballad that served its purpose in the film and soundtrack, but didn’t become popular until Christina Aguilera covered it in her debut album, which was released in 2000, approximately four years after the release of the Space Jam soundtrack. Although it was not a charted hit at the original timing of its release, I Turn to You was popular enough as a song to be covered many times over, including Aguilera.
4. For You I Will (performed by Monica)
(For You I Will) was a song performed by the American recording artist, Monica. It was written specifically for the Space Jam soundtrack and was released as a single in 1997. The pop mixed with R&B ballad revolved around the lyrics pledging love and devotion to her love interest, willing to overcome whatever challenges come about. The song peaked as high as number four on the US Billboard Hot 100 and was later certified platinum by the RIAA. It was also a number two hit on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, and a top ten hit among the nations of Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the UK.
3. Hit ‘Em High (The Monstars’ Anthem) (performed by B-Real, Busta Rhymes, Coolio, LL Cool J, and Method Man)
The collaborated efforts of B-Real, Busta Rhymes, Coolio, LL Cool J, and Method Man brought forth the single, (Hit ‘Em High (The Moonstars’ Anthem), which fared far better on foreign music charts than in the US. It was a number one hit in Norway, a number five hit in the Netherlands, and a number eight hit on the UK Singles Chart. It was also a top forty hit among the nations of Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Sweden, and Switzerland.
2. Fly Like an Eagle (performed by Seal)
Steve Miller Band’s legendary single, (Fly Like an Eagle), was covered by Seal for the Space Jam soundtrack, which included the original futuristic parts from Miller’s chorus. Seal’s 1996 version peaked at number two on the Canadian RPM 100 chart, at number ten on the US Billboard Hot 100, and at number thirteen on the UK Singles Chart. For Steve Miller, he felt Seal’s coverage of his classic hit was the best he had heard yet.
1. I Believe I Can Fly (performed by R. Kelly)
For R. Kelly, (I Believe I Can Fly) served as the high point in his career as a musical artist. Not only was this soulful ballad a hit, but earned three Grammy Awards in 1997, namely for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance, Best R&B Song, and Best Song Written for Visual Media. On the US Billboard Hot 100, this single peaked at number two and was a number one hit on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and the Eurochart Hot 100. It was also number one in Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Switzerland, and the UK. I Believe I Can Fly also earned two platinum certifications, one from the UK’s BPI and the other from USA’s RIAA. It also became certified gold from the music recognition industries belonging to the nations of Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, and Switzerland.