By Eóin Donnelly
Marvel & Kendrick Lamar is a partnership I never saw coming. Nonetheless, on February 12 I’ll be munching on my nanchos- I’m too contrarian for popcorn- and watching Black Panther on the big screen, hopefully marvelling (pun intended) at another MCU masterpiece and uproarious soundtrack to match. I’m nowhere near nerdy enough to get excited about movie soundtracks, but this is Marvel… with an entire soundtrack curated by Kendrick Lamar. Come on.
In truth, I wasn’t much of a fan of the first single released last week. Not unlike most movie soundtracks, Kendrick & SZA’s collaboration ‘All of The Stars’ felt overly theatrical & sonically unadventurous, a passable song that demanded much more from the calibre of the names behind it.
More of a step in the right direction, ‘King’s Dead’ is a bouncy and dynamic banger where the unique flavour of all three contributors adds up to a fulfilling, albeit challenging meal. Future has a throat like a junkie’s carpet and will probably lose his voice before he turns 40, and Kendrick’s TDE labelmate Jay Rock raps with belligerence so pronounced that he could make a verse about tea and biscuits sound like a brawl in a dive bar. I really need a new Jay Rock album in 2018. 2015’s 90059 is still in regular rotation.
Just like on ‘HUMBLE’ and ‘DNA’, Mike WiLL Made-It’s rattling drums bring out a seldom-seen bellicose wrath in Kendrick. Though not quite as furious as the beat switch on ‘DNA’, biceps worldwide will surely be put to the test by Kendrick’s closing verse. One more set is easier when you’re channelling the wickedness of Erik Killmonger. Black Panther: The Album can’t come quick enough. Roll on February 9.