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'Safe House,' 'The Social Network' And Other Movie Trailers That Use Jay-Z And Kanye West

The Huffington Post     First Posted: 02/ 9/2012 8:29 am   Updated: 02/ 9/2012 8:29 am

The only thing better than an action movie starring Denzel Washington? An action movie starring Denzel Washington that uses Jay-Z or Kanye West as trailer music! In the case of "Safe House," both artists get the honors ("No Church in the Wild" from "Watch the Throne"), making the latest Denzel-plays-the-heavy vehicle seem that much cooler.

Of course, "Safe House" isn't the first film to feature Hova or Yeezy in its marketing campaign. (Thank goodness for that, right?) Ahead, a brief history of songs by Jay-Z and/or Kanye West being used in movie trailers.


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  • "Numb/Encore" ("Miami Vice")

    "We get down, if the play calls for it, bud." Say what you will about Michael Mann's overwrought, ultra-stylized "Miami Vice" ("Drive" before "Drive"?), but its Jay-Z-fueled trailer was just about perfect.

  • "Heart Of The City" ("American Gangster")

    You can't prove that "American Gangster" -- an R-rated, two-and-a-half hour drama -- opened with $43 million solely because Universal used "Heart of the City" in the trailer, but you can't <em>not</em> prove it either. Just sayin'.

  • "Reminder" ("The Hangover Part II")

    As if you needed another <em>reminder</em> (groan) that "The Hangover Part II" was just a pale retread of "The Hangover," the marketing campaign used Jay-Z's "Reminder" to score many of the spots and trailers. At least the song is good.

  • "99 Problems" ("This Means War")

    Nothing says "edgy" conflict like "99 Problems." In addition to this early spot for "This Means War," the song also pops up in "Taking of Pelham 1 2 3" and "Tower Heist."

  • "Power" ("The Social Network")

    Not as tied to "The Social Network" as that <a href="" target="_hplink">chorale version of "Creep" that was used to expertly in the first trailers</a>, Kanye West's "Power" had its own affect on the Facebook movie. After all, even nerds look cool when Kanye is blasting. (Also used in "Limitless.")

  • "Empire State of Mind" ("Sex and the City 2")

    The song might be all New York, but the movie was not. "Sex and the City 2" sent Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte to Abu Dhabi. Obviously.

  • "Don't Let Me Die" ("G.I. Joe: Retaliation")

    "In the immortal words of Jay-Z." Yep, see you at the theater this summer!

  • "Run This Town" ("The Fighter")

    An inspirational sports drama that relied on its score and some period appropriate '80s and '90s music, the television spots for "The Fighter" trotted out "Run This Town." The results? Kinda awesome, actually.

  • "Beware" ("The Dictator")

    Even the Borat-y jokes in the trailer for "The Dictator" look better with Jay-Z blaring on the soundtrack. Well played, Paramount marketing team!

  • "No Church in the Wild" ("Safe House")

    For the Denzel Washington-Ryan Reynolds action flick (out Friday), Universal used the "Watch the Throne" hit "No Church in the Wild." How much money this will add to the coffers remains to be seen, but the guess here is <em>a lot</em>. Remember "American Gangster"?

  • "Oh My God" ("Gangster Squad")

    Gosling + Stone + Hova + this line: "I was just hoping to take you to bed." You're in.

  • "No Church In the Wild" ("The Great Gatsby")

    You crazy for this one, Baz Luhrmann!

  • "Brooklyn Go Hard" ("42")

    Warner Bros. has a thing for using anachronistic Jay-Z music cues in its trailers. "42" follows "Gangster Squad" and "The Great Gatsby" in this studio trend, not that anyone is complaining. This one is all swagger.

  • "Power" ("Broken City")

    No one man should have all that power, especially when that man is Russell Crowe.