Hip-Hop and comics have been going through a bit of a renaissance period, with Hip-Hop Family Tree by Ed Piskor, Run the Jewels soundtracking a Black Panther trailer, Lil B providing the music for a preview of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Black Panther run in the comics, and Vince Staples soundtracking both a Black Panther trailer and the first look at the animated Spider-Man film Into The Spider-Verse.
With the big news announced today however, we’ve now hit Mount Olympus, as Kendrick Lamar and the roster of T.D.E., a.k.a. Top Dawg Entertainment (Top Dawg, ScHoolboy Q, SZA, Jay Rock, Ab Soul, Isaiah Rashad, Lance Skiiwalker, Punch, and the recently signed SiR), have created Black Panther: The Album, “music from and inspired by Marvel Studios’ Black Panther film.”
It’s the first time Kendrick Lamar has written music for film, with director Ryan Cooger stating in a press release: “I am honored to be working with such an incredible artist whose work has been so inspirational, and whose artistic themes align with those we explore in the film. I can’t wait for the world to hear what Kendrick and TDE have in store.”
“Marvel Studios’ Black Panther is amazing, from its cast to its director,” said Lamar, “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 Ryan and Marvel’s vision.” “Working on such a powerful movie is a great opportunity,” added Top Dawg, “We’re always working on new goals at TDE, so teaming up with Disney, Marvel Studios and the Black Panther film makes perfect sense.”
Kendrick Lamar and TDE now join the ranks of other famous musicians who have written music for comic book films, such as Prince and Danny Elfman for the Batman (1989) soundtrack, Beck and Nigel Godrich’s contributions to Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, and the long list of singles by various artists for Suicide Squad: The Album.
Check out the first single from Black Panther: The Album, “All the Stars,” by Kendrick Lamar and SZA, below, and check out Black Panther in theaters released February 16th, with the soundtrack released a week earlier on February 9th.
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