Marvel Studios, famous for bringing the adventures of their comic book heroes to the big screen, recently announced that Kendrick Lamar will play a major role in the development of the soundtrack to their upcoming Black Panther movie. The film, which is slated for release on February 16, is hotly anticipated by Marvel fans the world over. Though not typically known for his contributions to the world of cinema, Lamar appears to be excited about the new project. In a statement (via Entertainment Weekly), the musician mentioned that he was impressed by the scope of the film and proclaimed the picture to be a great marriage of art and culture.
Marvel Studios’ Black Panther is amazing, from its cast to its director. The magnitude of this film showcases a great marriage of art and culture. I’m truly honored to contribute my knowledge of producing sound and writing music alongside [director Ryan Coogler] and Marvel’s vision.”
While a major selling point for the movie’s soundtrack, Lamar does not possess the sole production credit, as Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith, CEO of Top Dawg Entertainment, will be joining him in the studio. Tiffith, echoing the sentiments of his cohort, has stated that he believes his production role to be a tremendous opportunity. Accompanying this duo will be a host of rappers and hip-hop artists like K. Dot, Kung Fu Kenny, and SZA.
Today, Kendrick Lamar released the first single from the upcoming project Black Panther: The Album. Titled “All the Stars,” the track features a memorable, bass-heavy opening melody that is accompanied by Lamar’s pitch-shifted, slightly distorted vocals. Ambient and somewhat brooding, Kendrick appears to be attempting to relay the struggles of the film’s protagonist, T’Challa, as he grapples with the burdens of his hero status.
Fans have pointed out that this track makes an effort to separate itself from the typically dramatic, overly-bombastic scores of many other superhero movies. Charles Pulliam-Moore reflected on this idea in his Gizmodo article by stating that the song seems to carry a contemplative tone, and it may help Black Panther stand out against a sea of similar action flicks.
It is worth noting that both Kendrick and SZA, who is featured on the album’s first single, have experienced a spectacular amount of success in 2017. Kendrick Lamar’s album Damn has been nominated for both Album of the Year and Best Rap Album, and singer SZA won the Soul Train Music Award for Best New Artist. Fans of these artists, or of this style of music, will likely be excited about this collaboration and will be eager to hear what is in store next for Black Panther: The Album. While no release date has been announced, the album is currently available for pre-order, and the official release will likely occur in tandem with the release of the film.