Ping Pong Playa

Music By: Various Artists

Distributed by: Lakeshore Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            In the comedy Ping Pong Playa, Jimmy Tsai stars as Christopher Wang, an Asian-American who lives in the suburbs and dreams of the impossible. “C-dub,” as his friends call him, dreams of playing professional basketball.  His dreams go unrealized and Chris settles for a dead-end job while living at home with his family.  Unfortunately, that means he is constantly reminded of his brother’s life successes.  Michael (Roger Fan) is not only a doctor, but a ping pong champion and clearly his family’s favorite.  The Wang family’s entire lives revolve around ping pong.  They own a store devoted to the sport and Chris’ mother teaches ping pong at the local community center.  When Chris’ mother (Elizabeth Sung) and brother are injured in a car accident, Chris is forced to take on his mother’s responsibilities at the community center, where he eventually comes to respect the sport.  But can he become good enough at it to take his brother’s place in the upcoming tournament?

            The Ping Pong Playa Soundtrack contains fourteen tracks filled with hip-hop and rap music supplied by artists such as Chops, Kebyar, A.T.G., Lexicon, Far East Movement and more.  With a nickname like C-dub and friends with nicknames like JP Money, I should have realized that the main character in this film was a suburbanite with urban tendencies.  You know the type – little rich kids running around wearing baggy pants, listening to hardcore hip-hop and rap and trying their best to act gangsta.  I should have realized this, but I didn’t and therefore was completely unprepared for the music I was listening to.  This is not to say that I didn’t enjoy the soundtrack – I was just unprepared for rap and hip-hop in a movie which revolves around the sport of ping pong.  I mean, seriously – would you think that a ping pong movie would feature rap music?  Be honest!

            Shaking off my initial shock, I have to say that I truly enjoyed the Ping Pong Play Soundtrack.  The music mixes kept the juices flowing even if all of the lyrics didn’t.  I failed to see the significance of a rap song entitled My Rims in the film and I could barely understand a word being said in the track entitled HK Superstar.  However there were some songs on the album that were really a lot of fun.  Take I Like Cereal by Chops – this song is absolutely hysterical.  You know you loved cereal as a kid, especially the cereals that turned the milk different colors.  I Like Cereal is a rap song that will definitely bring back memories for many a listener who have fought over boxes of cereal with their siblings back in the day.  The lyrics to I Wish by Far East Movement fit the movie, offering insight into the mind of C-dub.  The Whistling Song by the Pinkertones is a catchy little reggae tune while Who Wants to Party by the Cobalt Party Revolution is a fun hip-hop track.

            Listening to the Ping Pong Playa Soundtrack was a great deal of fun and I would recommend it to hip-hop and rap lovers everywhere.  I will caution parents to be mindful of the soundtrack as there are a few songs with some rather explicit lyrics.  Otherwise, this is a great CD well worth the purchase!


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