Black Panther is undeniably one of Marvel’s greatest successes. At time of writing, it’s grossed almost $1.1 billion in the global box office. Incredibly, it looks certain to become Marvel’s highest-grossing film in the domestic box office. The movie was even briefly listed as one of Rotten Tomatoes’ top 100 films of all time. It’s going from strength to strength.
One of the reasons for the movie’s stellar performance is because it’s unlike any other superhero film to date. Kendrick Lamar’s soundtrack is stunning and unique, giving Black Panther a tone and style that’s unlike anything seen before in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Only Luke Cage has really used music so creatively, with the soundtrack designed to create a sense of place. Ironically, though, a smart Redditor has spotted that the soundtrack actually creates a strange continuity issue, one of the most amusing seen in the MCU to date.
Marvel fans are a dedicated bunch, and never let it be said they aren’t concerned about this continuity. In this case, Redditor Mozz_Sticks96 has spotted the most subtle of details. In one particular scene, T’Challa, Okoye, and Nakia walk into a casino in South Korea. Kendrick Lamar’s song ‘Pray For Me’ is clearly playing in the background, and – unlike the rest of the soundtrack – is meant to be part of the scene. That’s delightful news for Lamar fans, as it means Kendrick Lamar and The Weekend are officially part of the MCU. Lamar will be thrilled; he’s eager to join the cast of Black Panther 2, and even fancies a shot at playing the sequel’s villain.
But there’s a catch. Lamar released ‘Pray For Me’ on February 2, 2018, on Black Panther: The Album. This song was recorded especially for the film and literally wouldn’t exist without the Black Panther movie. So, on the one hand, Lamar and The Weekend exist in the MCU; on the other, the song they’re playing really shouldn’t! It’s the kind of continuity issue that only the most hardcore fan would notice, and it’s certainly amusing.
Mozz_Sticks96 goes one step further, though. Having diagnosed the problem, he suggests two possible solutions. The first is that the Black Panther movie was also released inside the MCU – but that’s unlikely. The second, more entertainingly, is that Kendrick Lamar must play an important role in the MCU. “Kendrick Lamar and his album,” he observes, “somehow exist out of time.”
There’s only one possible conclusion. Kendrick Lamar must actually be the Soul Stone, the missing Infinity Stone that fans expected to see in Black Panther. According to this hilarious fan-theory, Marvel revealed the Soul Stone after all, only in a far more subtle way than we expected. What’s more, Lamar’s hope of becoming a villain can only be a misdirection; he’s actually the embodiment of the most dangerous Infinity Stone of all.
It’s not the first time this kind of paradox has happened in a movie. The first Fast and Furious film featured a track by Ludacris, but then Ludacris joined the franchise in 2 Fast 2 Furious as the character Tej Parker, turning the song into a confused continuity issue. In this case, though, the Redditor has gone one step further and actually proposed a solution. Stan Lee teased some surprising cameos in Avengers: Infinity War; maybe Kendrick Lamar is one of them (but probably not).
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