2017 has come and gone, but the reign of Kendrick Lamar clearly hasn’t. Just when we thought we couldn’t be more excited for the release of Black Panther, Lamar and Marvel swooped in and announced that the rapper behind “DNA.” and “HUMBLE” put together and curated the film’s soundtrack.
According to a press release, Black Panther director Ryan Coogler (who also helmed 2015’s Creed) personally selected Lamar and Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith, the CEO of record label Top Dawg Entertainment, to produce the soundtrack. The Black Panther-Lamar partnership is kind of a no-brainer—“DNA.” was featured in an extended Panther trailer at last year’s San Diego Comic-Con, and both lead actor Chadwick Boseman and Coogler himself pointed out how closely the track’s lyrics align with the contents of the trailer.
Some have questioned whether or not the trailer’s inclusion of “DNA.” was an early hint as to Lamar’s involvement with the film. On the other hand, there’s no doubt that the hint Lamar inserted into his recently released “LOVE” music video (in which a slate with the words “B. Panther Soundtrack Coming Soon” are briefly visible) was very intentional and very obvious.
The soundtrack’s lead single, “All the Stars,” also dropped today. “All the Stars” marks Lamar’s second collaboration with R&B star and Top Dawg labelmate SZA, who worked with the Compton rapper on her Ctrl track “Doves in the Wind.” Lamar and SZA both achieved critical and commercial success in 2017, with the former earning seven Grammy nominations (including Record of the Year) and the latter earning five (including Best New Artist). And if the powerful, driving “All the Stars” is any indication of what the rest of the album will sound like, Black Panther might just top Guardians of the Galaxy as far as Marvel soundtracks go. Yep, we said it.
Black Panther: The Album drops on February 9 while Black Panther, starring Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, and Lupita Nyong’o, comes out on February 16. You can listen to “All the Stars” down below.