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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Top Dawg Entertainment Announces TDE: The Championship Tour With Kendrick Lamar, SZA, and Schoolboy Q

Holy shit. Out of nowhere Monday morning, Top Dawg Entertainment announced TDE: The Championship Tour. As the tour's victorious name suggests, the two-month trek is stacked with TDE talent.

Kendrick Lamar, SZA, and ScHoolboy Q are taking the TDE experience on the road starting May 4 in Vancouver at Rogers Arena. They'll be joined by Ab-Soul, Jay Rock, SiR, and Lance Skiiiwalker. According to a press release from TDE Monday, more guests will be announced soon.

 

• @TopDawgEnt PRESENTS: THE CHAMPIONSHIP TOUR #TDE

A post shared by retOne TDE (@retone) on Jan 22, 2018 at 6:30am PST

Get the full run of dates below:

  • May 04 Vancouver, BC* Rogers Arena
  • May 05 Seattle, WA White River Amphitheatre
  • May 06 Portland, OR Sunlight Supply Amphitheater
  • May 08 Oakland, CA* Oracle Arena
  • May 10 Los Angeles, CA* The Forum
  • May 13 San Diego, CA Mattress Firm Amphitheatre
  • May 14 Phoenix, AZ Ak-Chin Pavilion
  • May 15 Albuquerque, NM Isleta Amphitheater
  • May 17 Dallas, TX Starplex Pavilion
  • May 18 Austin, TX Austin360 Amphitheater
  • May 19 Houston, TX The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion Presented by Huntsman
  • May 22 Tampa, FL MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre
  • May 23 West Palm Beach, FL Coral Sky Amphitheatre
  • May 25 Atlanta, GA Cellairis Amphitheatre at Lakewood
  • May 26 Raleigh, NC Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek
  • May 27 Virginia Beach, VA Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater at Virginia Beach
  • May 29 New York, NY* Madison Square Garden
  • May 30 Wantagh, NY Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater
  • Jun 01 Bristow, VA (DC) Jiffy Lube Live
  • Jun 02 Hershey, PA Hersheypark Stadium
  • Jun 03 Buffalo, NY Darien Lake Performing Arts Center
  • Jun 05 Boston, MA Xfinity Center
  • Jun 07 Hartford, CT XFINITY Theatre
  • Jun 08 Philadelphia, PA BB&T Pavilion
  • Jun 09 Saratoga Springs, NY Saratoga Performing Arts Center
  • Jun 12 Toronto, ON Budweiser Stage
  • Jun 13 Detroit, MI* DTE Energy Music Theatre
  • Jun 15 Chicago, IL Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
  • Jun 16 Pittsburgh, PA KeyBank Pavilion

Ticket sales begin Jan. 26 at noon local time via Ticketmaster. Dates marked with an asterisk will give fans an early start with an American Express presale Jan. 23.

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Ahead of the tour you better spend your summer following around the country, the TDE team is blessing fans with Black Panther: The Album. The album features lead single “All The Stars,” as well as more songs curated and produced by Lamar and Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith. For the batch of new original songs, Lamar worked closely with Black Panther director Ryan Coogler.

“Marvel Studios' Black Panther is amazing, from its cast to its director,” Lamar said when announcing the album, which marks the first time he's been involved with such a project. “The magnitude of this film showcases a great marriage of art and culture.”

Black Panther: The Album is expected to drop Feb. 9.

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The Lakers Might Call on Kendrick Lamar to Help Improve Their Team

On Monday night at the Staples Center, the Lakers will face the Warriors and there will be a special halftime show commemorating Kobe Bryant. The team plans to retire both jerseys he wore, No. 8 and No. 24, respectively. Since his retirement in April 2016, the Lakers have revitalized the team with a young core; among them are Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, and others.

Rob Pelinka, the general manager for the Lakers, is one of the most important people in Kobe’s career. He spent 18 years as his agent before becoming the Lakers GM, and really, one of Kobe’s closest friends. Now, with Bryant away from the purple and gold, Pelinka is finding new ways to spark inspiration within the team, motivating them to reach the caliber and chemistry of past Laker squads.

It starts with talking with a few renaissance men who strive to change the world every day. In an interview with USA Today, Pelinka shared his idea of “Genius Talks.” He brings the team to people who are the absolute best in their industry in order to create an inspired culture within the Laker brand.

The first was Elon Musk, and they visited his SpaceX lab in nearby Hawthorne in October. Pelinka said:

“It was like going to the set of Ironman; just unbelievable. The players were just amazed. It was the coolest thing. One of the guys said (to Musk), 'Well we play against other teams, so how do you study your competition, or what's your way of staying No. 1?' And he said, 'My competition is irrelevant to me. If what I'm doing, I do excellently, then it doesn't matter.' And so you pick up little things like that.”

The next was Jeffrey Katzenberg, who co-founded Dreamworks and was the head of Disney studios from 1984 to 1994. The Hollywood mogul told them, according to Pelinka:

“'You know, when I was making the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark, I had a mantra in my head, and it was exceed expectations.'” He said, ‘I wanted to sit in the back of the theater when the kids were watching, and I wanted them to be jumping out of their seat. I wanted to exceed their expectations.’”

A person who will undoubtedly inspire the Lakers is Kendrick Lamar, and it sounds like Pelinka may lock in the TDE rapper for an upcoming session of “Genius Talks.” Lamar's had an incredible year with the release of Damn and his seven Grammy nominations

Pelinka further explains that “Genius Talks” is meant to tap into the team's various interests to make them better people and better basketball players.

“Magic and I wanted to identify geniuses in their space. Our core belief is that more developed men make better basketball players. I think Magic, if you look at how diversified he is with his interests. Kobe, the guy studies everything under the sun. I'm reading a biography right now on Leonardo da Vinci, and he has the ultimate curiosity of all things. If he's painting a hummingbird, he wants to like take its tongue and see what it looks like so he can paint it. So geniuses in life, right, can inspire us on how to be better.”

“So once a month, we try to do that, and the reason that it, to me, is important, is it shows the way we're really trying to do things differently, and it gets back to what I said at the beginning: Support and service. How can we bring things to the guys to make them better human beings and better Lakers basketball players?”

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Jeezy’s New Album ‘Pressure’ Will Feature a Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole Collab

Jeezy has a lot of talented friends, and it looks like the whole crew will be making cameos on his upcoming album Pressure.

The 13-track record has almost as many guest appearances as it does songs. Get ready for drop-ins by Diddy, 2 Chainz, Tory Lanez, Rick Ross, Kodak Black, Trey Songz and more. Then of course, there’s an eagerly awaited collaboration with Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole called “American Dream.” 

Jury’s still out on how big Cole and Kendrick’s contributions are, but we’re definitely on team #fullverseplease. 

Fans have been keeping their fingers crossed for a Cole/Kendrick joint album for like… ever, but this summer TDE co-president Terrence “Punch” Henderson​ crushed our dreams, tweeting that the record would “probably never” happen. Ouch. That being said, “American Dream” may be fans’ next-best-thing.

Pressure drops December 15 on Def Jam, but you can already listen to two tracks from the LP: “Bottles Up with Diddy and “Cold Summer with Tee Grizzley.

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Watch Kendrick Lamar Perform “DNA” and “Humble” to Open 2017 VMAs

Kendrick Lamar made the jump from critical darling to household name in 2017, and it was only right that he got to punctuate that rise by kicking off the 2017 VMAs.

Bundled in a winter coat and rocking a red durag, Kendrick kicked in the door to start the show, opening the VMAs with two cuts from Damn, “DNA” and “Humble.” It was quite the spectacle, with stuntmen climbing up a burning rope ladder in the background while Kendrick continued spitting bars.

The rise of Kendrick's star was matched by the amount of nominations he received, with his eight VMA nominations leading the pack heading into the evening. But his focus wasn't a selfish one, and a point of focus for the rap star was on his TDE label mate, SZA, who he believed should be named Best New Artist.

“I watched her slave over and over to make a masterpiece that not only represents her, but represents women all over the world,” he said of her new album, Ctrl. “Something that we all can feel. It touched so many different spaces and connected with so many people. There’s nothing much more I can say — she needs to win.”

You can watch his performance from the 2017 VMAs up top.

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J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar’s Joint Album Will Probably Never Come Out

Don’t hold your breath for that rumored J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar album. Terrence “Punch” Henderson said the collaboration isn’t likely to drop. Ever.

On Friday night, a Twitter user asked the TDE co-president about the highly anticipated project’s expected release date. Unfortunately, Punch shattered many fans’ hopes with a two-word response: “probably never.”

Rumors of a K. Dot and Cole collaborative project have been circulating for years. They drew excitement again when they remixed each other's songs: Cole took “Alright,” and Kendrick took “A Tale of Two Citiez” for Black Friday in November 2015. Nearly a full year later, during a December 2016 interview on The Breakfast Club, TDE artist Ab-Soul confirmed the album was in fact real, but he refused to go into detail.

“I can’t speak on that. I wish I could,” Soul said before revealing he submitted a verse for the project. “I’m saying these guys move like the Mob. You never know with these guys. I just hope they use my verse. They just need to use my verse.”

Charlamagne The God asked for further confirmation: “But there is a Kendrick-Cole album?”

“They got it. They got something in the works,” Soul responded. “They’ve been working on that motherfucker for a while.”

Shortly after the interview, The Fader reached out to Soul for more information about the album. The 30-year-old, however, neither confirmed nor denied the project’s existence, simply writing: “It's a myth” *joker smile*.”

So is the Kendrick-Cole project sitting in a vault? Was it ever completed? Did they even begin recording? As of now, it all remains a big ol' mystery. And judging by Punch's recent tweet, it'll probably stay that way. 

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Kendrick Lamar Buys a Life-Changing Wheel-Chair Accessible Van for One of His Fans

Kendrick Lamar gave one of his biggest fans a huge and heartwarming gift.

During the Dallas stop of the Damn Tour, Kendrick took the time to catch up with a quadriplegic woman named Jennifer Phillips, who has used a wheelchair ever since a 2007 car accident that caused a spinal cord injury. And although she has gone on to receive her college degree, take ski trips, and attend many concerts (eight of which were Kendrick shows), she said the only thing holding her back was her van. So, in 2016, Phillips started a GoFundMe page to raise money for a modified vehicle that would make traveling much easier. The page is no longer active, thanks to Kendrick’s generosity.

That’s right, Kendrick purchased the fan a new van. 

Phillips announced the gift on social media, along with a photo of the autographed Damn jacket Kendrick gave her. His note read: “Thank you for always supporting me. Your [sic] a inspiration for me. You are strong and positive. Your[sic] kind and beautiful. For all the years of inspiring me, the least I can do is make sure your comfortable driving the city. A gift from me to you. Your[sic] always appreciated! — K. Lamar.”

Phillips also received a customized Dallas Mavericks jersey with “Duckworth” on the back. She opened up about the experience on Instagram.

“If you know me or even just look in my Instagram profile for two minutes then you know I am a huge Kendrick Lamar and TDE fan/supporter for YEARS. I've been to every show Kendrick has had in Dallas,” she wrote. “[…]I was a big fan of music and concerts before my injury but I never supported and loved a label like theirs before. Of course they have great music but they are also great people […]I never supported them for any benefits like this lol. Their music and shows were enough for me. But this is amazing and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love you all and always will. Thank God for you Kendrick and I will continue to pray for you. And like I said, next time I'm driving myself to your show lol. Thanks to the whole team!”

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TDE Drops New Isaiah Rashad ‘The Sun’s Tirade’ Merch

TDE has shared new merch for Isaiah Rashad, who released his debut studio album The Sun's Tirade last September and is coming off an impressive collaboration with SZA from her own studio debut, Ctrl.

The new drop includes a pink hoodie with the cover art for The Sun's Tirade emblazoned on the front and the album title inscribed on the left arm. There's also a grey T-shirt that features both of those designs, but on the front and back of the shirt, respectively.

Check out the selections below and visit TDE's official online shop to pick them up, as well as items from Kendrick Lamar, SZA, and other members of the label. Rashad has a handful of festival dates lined up this summer, including Pitchfork and Panorama.

Isaiah
Image via TDE
Isaiah
Image via TDE
Isaiah
Image via TDE
Isaiah
Image via TDE

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