Ever since To Pimp A Butterfly, Kendrick Lamar has been heralded (or criticized, depending on what you read) as a modern artist who is focused on pro-Black expression. TPAB had Black arts history from Langston Hughes to George Clinton woven throughout the album, quite a statement from the modern and somewhat radio-friendly rapper. As TPAB producer and saxophonist Terrace Martin explained,
We didn’t do that album for popular culture, we did that album for people who have no way out. We did that album for people who can’t even afford to go to the shows. We did an album for people who need hope.
His commitment to his people has made Kendrick Lamar (and labelmate SZA) the perfect musical component to the upcoming “Black Panther” movie, the first real Black superhero epic on the big screen, with an amazing anti-colonial pro-Black storyline. The first release, single “All the Stars,” is a Kendrick and SZA duet about love, cosmic connection and personalities gone wrong. (Listen below.) And with the recent announcement that Lamar has been curating the entire soundtrack, it looks like this film is doing everything right.