Kendrick Lamar's 'Black Panther' soundtrack fits film
By Elahe Izadi, The Washington Post
Feb. 7, 2018 at 6:15 p.m.
Kendrick Lamar didn't win the 2017 album of the year at the Grammys, but he's about to put out the most highly anticipated soundtrack of 2018.
The rapper last week released the cover art and tracklist for "Black Panther: The Album," which comes out Feb. 9. The album features artists such as Future, SZA, 2 Chainz and Vince Staples. James Blake appears on two songs, and Lamar is on five.
And, despite the rumors fueled by her Grammy ceremony attire, Beyoncé's name doesn't appear on the tracklist. (Although the track titled "Redemption Interlude" doesn't include a name. Hmm.).
"Black Panther," which hits theaters Feb. 16, takes place in the mythical African nation of Wakanda. In the movie, Wakanda has never been colonized and is the most technologically advanced country in the world, but those advances are little-known outside of its borders. Despite its fictional location, the filmmakers have incorporated real cultural references — for instance, you'll hear some isiXhosa, spoken in parts of South Africa.
The soundtrack, produced by Lamar and record label chief Anthony "Top Dawg" Tiffith, features several South African artists, including Babes Wodumo, Sjava, Saudi, Reason and Yugen Blakrok.
Lamar performed some of the verses from his track with Jay Rock, "King's Dead," at Grammys on Jan. 28. His collaboration with SZA on "All the Stars" came out earlier in the month.
According to a Marvel release, director Ryan Coogler chose Lamar to produce and curate the soundtrack, and the group closely collaborated over creating music specifically to meet the film's needs. This is the first time that Marvel "will integrate multiple original recordings created specifically for the film," the release stated.
"The magnitude of this film showcases a great marriage of art and culture," Lamar said in a release. "I'm truly honored to contribute my knowledge of producing sound and writing music alongside Ryan and Marvel's vision."
Full reviews of "Black Panther" were under embargo until Feb. 6, but after the movie's premiere, several critics and big-name celebrities went bonkers on Twitter over how much they were blown away by the superhero movie, which stars a predominantly black cast.