Kendrick Lamar heads into film with ‘Black Panther’ soundtrack

High-flying rapper Kendrick Lamar is making his first soundtrack as he released a song Thursday with singer SZA for the upcoming superhero film "Black Panther."

Lamar, whose socially conscious and often experimental hip-hop has won him wide critical praise, will produce the soundtrack for the movie which comes out on February 16.

He and hip-hop executive Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith will record and select tracks for “Black Panther,” a film adaptation of Marvel Comics’ breakthrough black superhero story about a king of a fictional African nation.

“The magnitude of this film showcases a great marriage of art and culture,” Lamar said in a statement.

The first single, “All the Stars,” is a mid-tempo pop song driven by an anxious bass-line and latent strings, with rising star SZA singing the chorus.

Lamar raps in verses that could come from the superhero world or the streets of his native Los Angeles: “You can bring a bullet, bring a sword, bring a morgue / But you can’t bring the truth to me.”

Lamar won acclaim for his 2015 album “To Pimp a Butterfly,” a blend of hip-hop, jazz and spoken word that explored the state of black America.

He went for a more traditional rap sound on his latest album, “DAMN.,” and showed his interest in action heroes by introducing an alter ego, Kung Fu Kenny.

The title character in “Black Panther” will be played by Chadwick Boseman, who previously appeared in “Captain America: Civil War.”

Boseman, speaking last year to AFP, said that US cinema had too many “damaging and untrue” portrayals of Africa and he was determined not to add to them.

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Kendrick Lamar (K-Dot)

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