Ryan Coogler Explains Why The “Wakanda Forever” Trailer’s Music Used Kendrick Lamar & Tems

Ryan Coogler Explains Why The "Wakanda Forever" Trailer's Music Used Kendrick Lamar & Tems

In the stirring first teaser for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, director Ryan Coogler discussed employing Kendrick Lamar and Tems.

In an interview with DX, Coogler discussed the upcoming Black Panther sequel, which hits theaters on November 11. He claimed to be aware that only Tems and K. Dot could guarantee that the movie’s first trailer would be effective.

Coogler told DX, “We were considering how we would come back to audiences extremely carefully. And since the trailer is the initial representation of the movie, it was crucial to us that we didn’t misrepresent it. We tried to anticipate what the viewers would expect without giving anything away, you know. I believed that using a song would be an excellent technique to preserve the watching experience as we intended to do so. However, I wanted to perform a song differently.

“We were heading to Nigeria to work with Tems, and we were pleased about that since her career has just taken off in the last few years. So, we thought, what if we had Tems do a cover of [No Woman, No Cry]? As a result, when we visited Tems in her hotel room in Lagos with her team, she expertly covered the Bob while Ludwig Göransson produced and put the song together. I’ve never been more pleased with my career’s introduction of a movie to an audience.

Coogler continued by saying that because of his own musical background, he and his team ultimately settled on a mash-up of Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry” and Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright.”

I really got into music in the 1990s, according to Coogler. And another thing I recall about the 1990s is how often songs would repeat the bridge, “Everything is going to be alright. My parents owned the CD for “Everything is going to be alright, let the music take control,” by Father MC and Jodeci. I adored that song back then.

Then there was “Ghetto Bastard” (Everything’s Gonna Be Alright)” by Naughty By Nature, he continued. So I started to consider how the bridge from “No Woman” alone transferred, and I realized that Kendrick’s “Alright” was sort of an extension of that bridge, although a more assertive one. That’s how the idea for the direct thruline in the trailer came to be.

While there are many reasons to be enthusiastic about Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, fans were especially ecstatic when it was confirmed that Rihanna would be contributing two new songs to the movie. According to Ryan Coogler, Rihanna’s inclusion in the film was the result of “divine timing.”

“It felt right for us because motherhood is a massive theme in this movie,” Coogler said. “And that was kind of timing up for her. In a similar way, when we were finishing the first film, Kendrick was kind of inheriting this crown. What were the chances of us making this movie and Rihanna becoming a mom?”

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