Kendrick Lamar and SZA team up on New Song for Black Panther Movie
The fact that Black Panther will have a major role in the MCU is something that would be unbelievable just a few years earlier. The saturation of the genre has led Disney and Marvel to bring more interesting characters to the big screen. The hype surrounding Black Panther as the brilliant cast was announced and was furthered by the announcement of Kendrick Lamar as the soundtrack producer/curator. This is all coming together to make Black Panther a fantastic artistic collaboration and after the announcement of Kendrick as the curator, I became wary about how Disney would limit what usually makes Kendrick's music so great.
Kendrick Lamar made his first move for the soundtrack by releasing a collaboration with fellow Top Dawg Entertainment artist, SZA. Two of the most celebrated artist of 2017 teaming up again for the Black Panther movie is a dream come true but the result isn't as miraculous. My fears were realized (from a musical standpoint) as it seemed Kendrick was forced into a creative corner by making music for Disney. The resulting song, "All The Stars," seems like a cut and dry pop song with barely any lyrics from Kendrick. The beat is bare-bones, SZA just serves a simple pop catalyst, and the lyrics are very surface level.
It becomes more apparent that Kendrick Lamar wouldn't be able to blossom with his usual political commentary and harsh lyrics under the belt of Disney and considering this "All the Stars" is still not a great song. The other facets of creativity that Lamar could have showcased here are nowhere to be seen and it almost feels like a wasted opportunity. Despite this the hype about Black Panther and the soundtrack are still high but "All the Stars" represents a wake-up call of sorts for what the soundtrack will be.
Listen to the Song on Spotify: