Ryan Coogler and Sounwave Discuss Creation of ‘Black Panther: The Album’

By Sameer Rao Feb 07, 2018

"Black Panther" director Ryan Coogler joined Marc "Sounwave" Spears, an in-house producer for Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE), to discuss the creation of the film’s soundtrack with NPR yesterday (February 6). 

Coogler told NPR that he approached TDE artist Kendrick Lamar to contribute a few songs to 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 [how] 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."

Lamar booked studio sessions after seeing the film for the first time, and the level of output led to him eventually producing the whole soundtrack, which comes out on Friday (February 9). Sounwave said the TDE team developed almost half of the songs while on tour for Lamar’s latest album, "DAMN." 

"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," he said. "So, I want to say those two months was the most vital on that tour, in terms of creative process."

Read the full interview at NPR.org.