Kendrick Lamar & Top Dawg Will Produce Black Panther Soundtrack. Here’s The 1st Song.
Although 2018 is only a few days old, Marvel’s Black Panther is already one of the most anticipated films of the year. The movie is directed by Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station, Creed), and features an all-star lineup that includes Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, The Walking Dead‘s Danai Gurira, and more. Now, it also has been revealed that Top Dawg Entertainment partners Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith and Kendrick Lamar will join forces to curate and produce the film’s soundtrack.
According to a release, “Lamar and Tiffith will collaborate with Coogler directly in the creation of music specific to the needs of the film.” This is the first time Kendrick has produced and curated a soundtrack. It is also the first time in Marvel’s storied film history that the entertainment juggernaut has used multiple original recordings created specifically for a film.
Coogler, who specifically chose Kendrick to produce the soundtrack, said of the MC “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.” Kendrick said of his selection for the role “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 Ryan and Marvel’s vision.” Top Dawg added “Working on such a powerful movie is a great opportunity. We’re always working on new goals at TDE, so teaming up with Disney, Marvel Studios and the Black Panther film makes perfect sense.”
Top Dawg and Kendrick’s partnership ascended to new heights in 2017. Kendrick closed his album DAMN. with “DUCKWORTH.,” a true story about how Top Dawg plotted to rob and possibly kill Kendrick’s father in the 90s, an act that would have radically changed the fate of all 3 men, including Kendrick. Because of the kindness Kendrick’s father showed Top at the time, he abandoned his plans. Twenty years later, through a chance encounter in the studio, the 3 men realized the connection and the incredible twist of fate that allowed them to come together. Later in 2017 Top Dawg revealed that Kendrick was more than just an artist on his label. He was a partner in the venture with an equity stake.
Along with the announcement of Kendrick and Top’s involvement in the Black Panther soundtrack, Marvel also has released the first song from the album. Titled “All The Stars,” the song features Kendrick and songstress SZA. No two artists had a bigger 2017 in Hip-Hop and R&B than Kendrick and SZA, respectively. Kendrick went from being one of the most acclaimed and well-respected MCs to the biggest Rap star on the planet. SZA went from being a cult fan favorite to the breakout star of the year, complete with an appearance on Saturday Night Live, and yesterday’s announcement that she will be the number 2 act behind The Weeknd on the opening night of Coachella. What’s even more impressive is both artists are part of the Top Dawg Entertainment roster that also includes ScHoolboy Q, Jay Rock, Ab-Soul, SiR, Isaiah Rashad and others.
As label-mates, Kendrick and SZA have made a few collaborations together over the years. Kendrick joined SZA on 2014’s “Babylon” and again on last year’s “Doves In The Wind.” Though both songs were incredibly sultry numbers, in real-life, the connection between Kung Fu Kenny and SZA is much more akin to that of brother and sister.
Like their first two duets, “All The Stars” also has themes of love, but the song seems more narrative-driven in ways that likely will reveal deeper meanings within the context of the film.