As if you needed another reason to be excited for Black Panther, Kendrick Lamar is now officially on board to write, produce, and curate the soundtrack for the Marvel film, due in theaters on February 16.
After teasing his involvement with the film’s soundtrack in December, the Compton rapper confirmed he was producing Black Panther: The Album in a press release on Thursday. Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith and TDE will be on board as well, and the soundtrack is set to feature original music specifically created for the movie.
The first single, a collaboration between Lamar and fellow TDE member SZA, was also released on Thursday. The song is as beautiful as every other time the talented singer has hopped on a track with the Damn. rapper, and is yet another showcase of Kendrick’s versatility and reason he’s the king of hip-hop.
Director Ryan Coogler, who helmed Creed and Fruitvale Station, handpicked Lamar for the task, marking it as the first collaboration of its kind for both Kendrick and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “The magnitude of this film showcases a great marriage of art and culture,” Lamar said in the press release. “I’m truly honored to contribute my knowledge of producing sound and writing music alongside Ryan and Marvel’s vision.”
The film boasts a ridiculously stacked cast, including Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Sterling K. Brown, and Forest Whitaker. Hopefully you’ve seen a trailer already, but you should watch this one again because you deserve it:
Marvel’s decision to go with a talented, young director in Coogler and grant him creative freedom continues a positive trend for the studio, one that is paying dividends after the success of the Taika Waititi–directed Thor: Ragnarok. Though the studio has previously experienced the frequent “creative differences” that have sometimes hindered Disney’s other franchises, Marvel seems to be learning how to take a backseat and allow directors to execute their own visions.
With hip-hop’s finest providing the music, Black Panther is set to be one of the most exciting blockbusters of the year in every way imaginable. February 16 can’t come soon enough.