Ryan Coogler Reveals How Kendrick Lamar Got Involved With ‘Black Panther: The Album’

The anticipation for Marvel’s Black Panther flick is getting stronger and stronger each day. But perhaps equally anticipated is the film’s soundtrack produced Kendrick Lamar and his label Top Dawg Entertainment.

In the days leading up to the release of Black Panther: The Album, director Ryan Coogler spoke to NPR about the project and how the TDE crew eventually became involved. He revealed that the initial plan was for Kendrick to contribute only a few songs to the film; however, the rapper’s role became much greater after he was given an extended look at the movie.

“I've been a massive Kendrick fan ever since I first heard him, since his mixtapes, and I've been trying to track him down,” Coogler said. “Eventually I caught up with him a couple years ago—first with Anthony 'Top Dawg' Tiffith, who runs his label, and then later on sat down with him and Kendrick and just spoke about much his music affected me. He talked about my movies that he had seen, and we said if the opportunity comes, we'd love to work with each other on something.”

Shortly after K-Dot completed his fourth studio album Damn, Coogler reached out to the rapper to discuss his involvement.

“To Marvel's credit, they really supported the idea of getting some songs from him,” the director explained. “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.”

TDE producer Sounwave told NPR that the team had started working on the album during Kendrick’s Damn Tour last summer, and that about half of the soundtrack’s concepts were developed while on the road.

“[During] The Damn Tour, we probably came up with 50 percent of it — the production, the hooks and ideas,” he said. “When we got back from the tour in September, that's when we were able to execute our ideas and reach out to people we respect and whatnot … kind of just put the stamp on it. So, I want to say those two months was the most vital on that tour, in terms of creative process.”

Black Panther: The Album includes appearances by everyone from SZA and the Weeknd to James Blake and Travis Scott to Vince Staples and Jorja Smith. The film’s score was helmed by Coogler’s previous collaborator Ludwig Göransson, who is best known for his work with Childish Gambino. This fact made many fans wonder: Why wasn’t Childish included on the soundtrack?

Though the “Redbone” artist didn’t receive a credit on Black Panther: The Album, it turns out he did contribute to the film’s sound. Rolling Stone’s film critic Peter Travers pointed this out in his recent review, in which he applauded the composer’s work as well as the various hip-hop artists who assisted him.

“[…] It's fair to mention Ludwig Goransson's rousing score with hip-hop song contributions from the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Sam Dew, Vince Staples and Childish Gambino,” he wrote.

We’ll have to wait and see just how big Childish’s contribution was.

As we wait for the album to drop, you can check out some its previously released singles here. Black Panther: The Album is set to release this Friday (Feb. 9), one week before the film hits U.S. theaters. 

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Did Jay Rock Take Shots at Big Sean on “King’s Dead”?

Jay Rock's star-studded single “King's Dead” features labelmate Kendrick Lamar, Future, and James Blake, along with solid production from Mike Will Made-It and Teddy Walton. That alone should get people talking, but it also sounds like the Watts representative has bars for a certain rapper: Big Sean. Though the suspected references are subtle, the theory isn’t much of a reach when you consider Sean’s ongoing feud with Kendrick.

Let’s take a look at some of the lyrics.

At the beginning of his verse, Jay uses the term “lil bitch,” which is a regular Sean ad-lib and one that Kendrick used on “The Heart Part 4.” (That song was also suspected of being a Sean diss track).

And it's like that, lil bitch
MVP, I get no sleep
No, I don't like that, lil bitch
Bust that open, I want that ocean
Yeah that bite back, lil bitch
Do it bite back, lil bitch?
Need two life jackets, lil bitch

Jay then goes on to rap: “I ain't gon’ hold you, I ain't gon’ press you, never control you/I ain't gon’ front you, keep it 100, I don't know you.” The use of the word “control” could be a reference to Sean’s 2013 song “Control” featuring Kendrick and Jay Electronica. The No I.D.-produced record seemingly sparked the beef between the rappers, as K-Dot rapped:

And them niggas should know what time it is
And that goes for Jermaine Cole, Big K.R.I.T., Wale
Pusha T, Meek Millz, ASAP Rocky, Drake
Big Sean, Jay Electron', Tyler, Mac Miller
I got love for you all, but I'm tryna murder you niggas

Though Sean insisted he approved Kendrick’s verse, “Control” was ultimately left off his sophomore album, Hall of Fame. Which brings us to exhibit C: Jay later raps, “Stutter steppin', got a Hall of Fame in all my posters.” Interesting.

And then we have these lines: “My bitch been ready, my clique's been ready/My shit's been ready, my check's been ready.” Though it may be a stretch, the use of the word “clique” could be alluding to Sean’s feature on the Cruel Summer track “Clique,” with Kanye West and Jay Z.  

So, was Jay actually taking subtle jabs at Sean? You be the judge. “King’s Dead” is now available to stream on SoundCloud. The track is the lead single off Jay's upcoming studio album, and will appear on the Black Panther soundtrack.

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The Bonus Tracks Off ‘4:44’ Are Now Available on Tidal

Jay Z released 4:44 Bonus, featuring the three additional tracks, “Adnis,” Blue's Freestyle / We Family, and “MaNyfaCedGod” featuring James Blake, on Tidal. While these songs were included in the physical release which came out on July 7, they have not been made available on a streaming platform until now. Fittingly, the songs dropped at 4:44 a.m. Saturday morning.

4:44 Bonus is the latest piece of content off Jay Z's 13th studio album made available exclusively on Tidal. On Friday, Jay dropped the short film for “Adnis,” starring Mahershala Ali and Danny Glover, and directed by Mark Romanek. Earlier this week, Hov released the latest installment in his “Footnotes” series, breaking down the meaning behind “Kill Jay Z.”

Of the three bonus cuts, the one that drew plenty of attention well before it was made available on his streaming service had to be “Blue's Freestyle / We Family.” Earlier this month, Blue's verse leaked online From bringing back “boom shakalaka” to proving to the world that she's just like her father when it comes to the double entendre game with the line, “Never seen a ceiling in my whole life,” people were immediately loving her flow. 

As for James Blake, the singer has been collaborating with the Carter family for a while now. Recently, Blake provided vocals for “Forward,” off Beyonce's Lemonade album. You can hear the 4:44 bonus cuts here.

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The Internet Is Loving Blue Ivy’s Bars on “Blue’s Freestyle”

Of course Jay Z and Beyoncé’s first born has impressive flow.

On Thursday night, Jay released three bonus tracks for his wildly successful album 4:44. The additions were “Adnis,” “MaNyfaCedGod” with James Blake, as well as “Blue's Freestyle / We Family.” The last of these predictably featured the rapper’s 5-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy; however, no one was expecting just how incredible her cameo would be.

The track opens with the child spitting a 40-second rap that ends with a series of “boom shakalaka”s. Some of the words are admittedly hard to make out, but there’s no denying that Blue’s delivery is solid. 

The internet loved every single second of it. 

All of the bonus tracks can be found on the internet on physical copies of 4:44, which you can now cop at Best Buy if you want a free six-month trial of Tidal.

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Axwell and Ingrosso debut at Governors Ball 2014

Over the weekend, the Governors Ball 2014 took place in New York at Randall’s Island featuring Skrillex, Disclosure, James Blake, Grimes, Classixx, among others. One of this year’s most anticipated performances was on Sunday night, June 8th, when ex-Swedish House Mafia members Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso closed out the festival with a high-octane set, their first as a duo, featuring fireworks, lasers, pyrotechnics and, best of all, several new songs.

Hear New James Blake Track, “40455″

Listen here: Hear New James Blake Track, “40455″

blake bbc 600x337 Hear New James Blake Track, 40455

The UK’s Prince of future-soul, James Blake, just wrapped up hosting an hour long show on BBC’s Radio 1. His mix included an interview with Burial, a new Harmonimix track and Blake’s new track, which you can play below. It’s a slowly unfolding tune, which features jazz synth and a slow, pulsating bass.