Ryan Coogler speaks out on convincing Kendrick Lamar to join ‘Black Panther’ soundtrack

Ryan Coogler theGrio.com
(Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Black Panther, the biggest, Blackest movie of the year, is coming out next week, but its soundtrack is coming this Friday.

Black Panther: The Album drops on Feb. 9 and features Kendrick LamarSZA, ScHoolboy Q, The Weeknd, Jorja Smith, James Blake, and more.

It’s a whole album celebrating Blackness on top of the instrumental score for the movie, and director Ryan Coogler told NPR that he’s excited that Marvel agreed to move forward on his idea of working with Kendrick Lamar for the album.

“And to Marvel’s credit, they really supported the idea of getting some songs from him,” Coogler recalled.

Kendrick Lamar got really excited about the movie

Lamar was only going to do a couple songs for the album when he came to meet with Coogler, but that all changed when he got to see Black Panther for himself.

As soon as that happened, Lamar and his label, Top Dawg Entertainment, went ahead and decided to make the whole album.

“At first, he was just going to do a few songs for the film, and then he came in and watched quite a bit of the movie, and the next thing I know, they were booking a studio and they were going at it,” Coogler recalled.

And now, we’ve got Black Panther: The Album, and it’s just as amazing as we’d expect.

“Hats off to him and his production team — they made some really great songs that we got placed in there. And hats off to Sounwave, who’s producing, and Ludwig, who was able to manipulate the score to incorporate some of those songs and weave them in and out of the orchestral stuff that he was already doing,” he says. “I can’t wait for people to hear the music on that album, man.”

Sounwave also spoke about the album and gave Marvel props for letting TDE give the Blackest movie of the year an authentic hip-hop album.

“I think it’s only right,” Sounwave said. “The movie’s not set in 1910, or the 1960s when Black Panther first came out — it’s set in today. There’s ‘today’ moments happening in the movie, so we want the whole soundtrack to sound like that too. I think it was a perfect marriage for us to blend the two worlds.”

Black Panther hits theaters on February 16, but with the album dropping tomorrow, the hype is getting even realer.