Creed’s soundtrack was full of hip hop and R&B songs from well known artists and musicians, as well as some in the voice of a cast member. Ryan Coogler’s Creed served as both a spin-off and sequel in the Rocky movie series, introducing a new boxing star in Adonis “Donnie” Johnson (played by Michael B. Jordan), Apollo Creed’s son, and following his journey into the world of professional boxing with Rocky Balboa himself as his trainer.
Creed was a big success not only at the box office but also among viewers and critics, who mostly praised Coogler’s direction and how it stayed true to its predecessors while forging its own path. But aside from the performances and the story, there’s another detail that shouldn’t be overlooked: the soundtrack, which has original songs performed by big names in the music industry and the involvement of one cast member, who worked closely with composer Ludwig Göransson to write some of the songs.
The soundtrack of Creed marked the second collaboration between Göransson and Coogler after working together in Fruitvale Station, so the composer knew exactly what was Coogler wanted for the film. Coogler shared that they were influenced by the culture of the 1970s and the musical legacy of the franchise, namely “Eye of the Tiger”, so they worked on various original songs recorded by artists like Childish Gambino, Meek Mill, and Jhené Aiko. The soundtrack also includes three songs performed by Tessa Thompson, who wrote them alongside Göransson. Here’s the full list of songs on the Creed soundtrack:
- “Last Breath” by Future
- “Check” by Meek Mill
- “Intolerant” by White Dave
- “The Fire” by The Roots, ft. John Legend
- “Grip” by Tessa Thompson
- “Lord Knows” by Meek Mill, ft. Tory Lanez
- “Don’t Waste My Time”, by Krept & Konan
- “Let You Know” by White Dave, ft. Clif Soulo and Legendvry
- “Breathe” by Tessa Thompson
- “Wake Up Everybody” by Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes
- “Bridging the Gap” by Nas, ft. Olu Dara
- “Waiting For My Moment” by Childish Gambino, Jhené Aiko, Vince Staples and Ludwig Göransson
- “Hail Mary” by 2PAC as “Makaveli”, ft. The Outlawz and Prince Ital Joe
- “In the Kitchen” by White Dave, ft. Young T and K.E.L.L.S
- “Shed You” by Tessa Thompson and Moses Sumney
- “Curry Chicken” by Joey Bada$$
- “Work Ya Muscle” by Eearz
- “Lord Knows/Fighting Stronger” by Meek Mill, Jhené Aiko and Ludwig Göransson.
Although most tracks were made for Creed, it includes some previously released songs from different genres, like Nas’ “Bridging the Gap” and Tupac’s “Hail Mary”, the latter being Adonis’ entrance music during his final match. Coogler is one of those directors who pays attention to every detail, including the songs, using them most of the time in sync with editing, elevating the viewer’s experience (just like he did in Black Panther).
Göransson was also in charge of the film’s official score, consisting of 21 tracks recorded with a 100-piece orchestra and a 24-piece choir. He’s the third composer in the history of the Rocky series, and added a tribute to Bill Conti – composer of the first three films, Rocky V, and Rocky Balboa – with the track “You’re a Creed”, which uses two of Conti’s pieces. That way, the Creed soundtrack follows the same line as the film by staying true to its predecessors while also bringing its own style and flavor to the series.