The track list the Kendrick Lamar-helmed Black Panther: The Album is already stacked with star-studded features, but in a new interview with Hits Daily Double, TDE's go-to producer Sounwav revealed there were a lot more “big-name features” that didn't land on the ficial album.
Sounwav and Lamar were originally recruited by Black Panther director Ryan Coogler to produce a few songs at a time when the film was just halfway complete.
“When Ryan first approached us, the movie was about 50 percent done, and he wanted a few records to match specific scenes in the movie,” Sounwav said. “But Kendrick and I instantly were drawn in by the opening scene and the deep message this movie told from two different standpoints. We were inspired to follow that same formula by keeping the movie’s energy and raw emotions in a modern musical form. We realized that would be hard to do with just a few songs, which is why the soundtrack was born.”
The tandem selected each feature based on their personal preferences, as well as which artists would compliment the energy and “emotion” the film. Given their tight deadline, the pair squeezed in studio time between Kendrick's DAMN. Tour stops and couldn't clear songs in time, including tracks with high-prile features.
“We had to attack things differently from our usual album format because the storyline was already created for us to follow, which allowed us to tap into elements we normally wouldn’t do. We were also on a very strict time limit, so all through the DAMN. Tour, Kendrick and I would hop right fstage into the studio bus, creating different ideas from beats to hooks,” he continued. “We even ended up scrapping great songs with big-name features on them because we couldn’t clear things in time or they didn’t fit the overall concept, but it all worked out at the end.”
Nonetheless, Black Panther: The Album scored features from the likes The Weeknd, 2 Chainz, SZA, Khalid, SOB x RBE and more. In a recent interview with the BBC, Kendrick admitted he enjoyed Black Panther 's villain Killmonger and would be open to playing a similar character should the opportunity ever present itself.