As a child of the '90s, I’m compelled to believe that no film is complete without a dope soundtrack. On Feb. 9, the tracklist for Judas and the Black Messiah dropped — proving that some things never change. The curated collection of songs features a number of heavy hitters, but one collaboration, in particular, has the internet buzzing.
The film, which details the life of Chicago-bred Black Panther Party Chairman Fred Hampton and his scandalous murder, is scheduled to be released in theaters and on HBO Max on Friday, Feb. 12, but fans are dying to know: Who will be featured on the Judas and the Black Messiah soundtrack?
Jay-Z and Nipsey Hussle’s posthumous collaboration will be featured on the ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’ soundtrack.
Among the artists featured on the Judas and the Black Messiah soundtrack are Jay-Z and late rapper Nipsey Hussle, who have a collaboration on the project entitled “What It Feels Like." The track, which was executive produced by Hit-Boy, serves as Nipsey and Jay-Z’s first official collaboration, but the rappers had a longstanding history of friendship before Nipsey’s death.
In 2013, Jay-Z showed his support for the rapper by purchasing 100 copies of his mixtape for $100 each. Nipsey thanked the rapper in an interview with MTV News, saying, “They sent us $10,000, we sent out 100 CDs. I ain’t get the chance to holler at Jay, but through his people, he made it clear that he respected everything, so I was just humbled by it. It felt like it was a good risk. It ended up working out.”
After Nipsey’s death, Jay-Z and Beyonce appeared at the rapper’s funeral and shouted him out on their collaboration “MOOD 4 EVA.” Jay-Z rapped, “The marathon will be televised for N.I.P. / ‘Cause true kings don’t die, we multiply, peace.”
Who else will be featured on the 'Judas and the Black Messiah' soundtrack?
Along with Jay Z and Nipsey Hussle, a number of other notable hip-hop artists will be featured on the soundtrack, including but not limited to G Herbo, Polo G, Pooh Shiesty, Black Thought, Saba, Smino, and Nas. The film, which stars Daniel Kaluuya and LaKeith Stanfield, has stirred up its own share of controversy, but artist Noname says that she chose not to be part of the project for her own reasons.
On Twitter, when asked why she wasn’t featured on the soundtrack, the rapper and activist confirmed that this was a conscious decision on her part. She tweeted, “What’s crazy is they asked. I was supposed to be on the song with saba and smi but after seeing the movie I decided to pass.”
The artist explained that because she felt that Fred Hampton’s life wasn’t depicted objectively, she encourages viewers to do their own research. She said in a since-deleted tweet, “I hope people actually go study Fred Hampton’s analysis on u.s imperialism and fascism beyond just seeing a movie. Most of his politics were stripped from that film.”
Judas and the Black Messiah is available for streaming on HBO Max on Feb. 12.