Brown Sugar is based around Common’s 1995 classic “I Used to Love H.E.R.” where he personified hip hop as a woman and how she evolved. There were many references to it throughout the film as well. Music drove this movie because it was about music. It had cameos from a plethora of hip hop artists and two of the supporting characters were as well (Remember when Queen Latifah used to rap and was part of the greatest rap collective ever?). The song that Dre was trying to get placed on radio was produced by someone who was up and coming by the name Kanye West as well.
Music was used very differently in Love & Basketball. Since the movie took place over an extended period of time, the songs had to reflect that as well. However, the song selection is what truly made the movie. Zapp and Roger at the prom while Quincy and Monica stared at each other, “You Made a Fool of Me” while Monica lost that one-on-one game, and “I’ll Go” by Donnell Jones at the end when it turns out Quincy would be supporting Monica’s professional basketball career evoked the right emotion and was done so masterfully.
…Love & Basketball hands down.