Kendrick Lamar and SZA have unveiled “All The Stars,” the first single from Black Panther: The Album, the soundtrack for the forthcoming Marvel film. Lamar produced the album alongside Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith, CEO of Top Dawg Entertainment.
Last month, Lamar teased his involvement in Black Panther‘s soundtrack in the music video for his song, “LOVE.” Earlier today, Marvel Studios made it official and Lamar revealed that he and Tiffith are curating and producing Black Panther: The Album — Ryan Coogler, the movie’s director, selected Lamar for the project. And now, “All The Stars” offers fans their first glimpse of the original music of Black Panther.
Lamar uploaded the song, a collaboration with SZA, to his YouTube channel. In a tweet, Marvel shared a link to the song, and confirmed that Lamar, Tiffith, and Top Dawg Entertainment would be responsible for Black Panther: The Album.
.@KendrickLamar, @DangerooKipawaa, and @TopDawgEnt will curate and produce "#BlackPanther: The Album, Music from and Inspired by the Film," including lead single “All the Stars” by @SZA. Listen to the single now: https://t.co/G1LljTh9cA pic.twitter.com/IwJG01zqao
— Marvel Entertainment (@Marvel) January 4, 2018
Because “All The Stars” was created specifically for Black Panther, it’s an especially effective means of getting an idea of the film’s tone. The song balances its understatedness with intense momentum, and its lyrics evoke the dual external and inner turmoil that have often affected T’Challa, the Black Panther: “Confrontation ain’t nothin’ new to me / You can bring a bullet, bring a sword / Bring a morgue, but you can’t bring the truth to me.”
Black Panther will take place after the events of Captain America: Civil War — T’Challa has returned to Wakanda, and must defend both his nation and the world from destructive forces. Anticipation for the movie — a long-overdue showcase for a massively popular character — has been high, not only because Coogler’s at the helm (he received acclaim for his earlier directing work on Fruitvale Station and Creed), but also because of the starring cast, which includes Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa, and Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia.
Marvel enters 2018 with an impressive film lineup: Black Panther releases next month, Avengers: Infinity War in May, and Ant-Man and the Wasp in July, among others. Black Panther promises to get the year off to a strong start, in part due to the character’s resurgence in popular culture — Ta-Nehisi Coates and Brian Stelfreeze’s Black Panther comic series has been successful, and Evan Narcisse and Paul Renaud’s Rise of the Black Panther debuted yesterday. There is clearly a healthy appetite for T’Challa’s adventures, and today, that appetite fortuitously intersected with the widespread desire for something else: Kendrick Lamar’s music. When Black Panther hits theaters in February, expect more great music, and new heights for the Black Panther.
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