Black Panther: How Plans for One Kendrick Lamar Song Completely Changed the Marvel Movie

Kendrick Lamar has a huge part in shaping the soundscape of Black Panther according to some new details. The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe dropped last week and there have been a ton of reactions online. In Tara Bennett and Paul Terry's book, Black Panther is said to have wanted just one song from Pulitzer-winning musician Kendrick Lamar. However, fans of the film will remember that the beloved rapper actually ended up doing an entire album. Marvel producer Nate Moore is quoted when he received the news that the Grammy winner actually produced an entire LP instead of a single for the movie. "Ryan [Coogler] goes, 'Well, you know, the bad news is… I think the album might be better than the movie. Like, we got our work cut out for us."

After the initial ask, there were months between letting the music star see the footage and then a proof of concept. Pressure mounted to produce the music as the creative decision-makers feared the entire thing could come unglued. Luckily, Lamar dropped in when he was needed most. "A month would pass, and I'd be like, 'Hey, Ryan… Is that song gonna happen? We thought we would use it in the car chase," Moore explained.

He continued, "When you're editing action—especially to music—you want to have the music so that you can edit to it. You can't just throw the song in at the end and be like, 'It works!'"

Even more impressively, it seems as though Lamar did all the wrangling of guest stars on his own. Fans immediately leaped at the album when it was announced. But, most of the composition had occurred out of the eye of Marvel until it was all ready to go as one unified body. Moore was thrilled and the results seem to speak for themselves with the Oscar nominations along with the Grammy nominations.

"That's how we ended up with an amazing album that Kendrick put together himself," Moore revealed. "All those guest stars? It was all Kendrick finding them. And to write songs that were specific to the movie, with only having been told about and seen very little of the movie, is pretty impressive."

Did you love the Black Panther album? Had you heard this story before? Let us know down in the comments!