At this writing, the Kendrick Lamar-curated Black Panther : The Album is the number one album on the Billboard 200. The appeal of its contents and its impact on the culture are beyond-obvious. Both the film and its inspired sounds have dashingly seized the attention and concern of the zeitgeist on a global scale. To celebrate the ascent of the film, we asked some of Made In Singapore hip-hop’s most exciting artists which superhero franchises they’d like to soundtrack. Hollywood, listen up.
“I’m going to go with Dr. Strange. He’s so underrated in the Marvel comic universe. To me, he’s one of the coolest superheroes ever – bending time and all. He needs to shine. I would produce the entire soundtrack with a taste of Indian instruments such as the veena. It’d work well when he goes to Nepal to fix himself haha!”
“I’d choose to curate a playlist for Kick Ass, just because it’s such an awesome series and it doesn’t take itself too seriously. I’d probably intersperse hard-ass hip-hop from groups like Run the Jewels together with some good old indie rock here and there from bands like Cage the Elephant. It’d probably be a mix of these two mostly. And I’d probably put myself on the playlist too honestly, just because I can, and because I would love to be part of a superhero franchise.”
“Storm from the X-Men! Storm and the Black Panther are married in Black Panther #18 and have the longest-standing marriage in the comic book world…so that means I get to be married to a super hot guy like Chadwick Boseman.
Personality-wise, I relate to Storm. I’m a normal girl that works hard, enjoys my life and my friends – but when push comes to shove, I will transform, flex my power and move the weather if need be. The soundtrack would be a mix of soulful r&b and hip-hop when Storm is chill, and turn into trap, dancehall and drum & bass when she comes with her STORM!”
“Batman’s my favourite superhero but I think I would have way more fun doing a soundtrack for VR Man. Yo SG directors, who wants to re-boot VR Man?! Someone tell Royston Tan to do this with me, I’ll help write it. The soundtrack will be lit: Strictly top local music. Akeem Jahat gotta rap while VR man beats somebody’s ass.”
“As clichéd as this may sound, I’d definitely pick Wonder Woman in a heartbeat! (Unfortunately Lara Croft isn’t considered a superhero!) As a kid, I remember watching the original Wonder Woman TV series, played by Lynda Carter, with my mom! So it would be kickass to curate the soundtrack for the film! The soundscape would fuse ethnic tribal music and hip-hop!”
“My superhero of choice would be Doctor Strange. For one, he’s one of my favourite heroes in the Marvel Universe. Truth be told, I am a big fan of anything related to the mystic arts.
The soundtrack album I’d produce would have a mix of an orchestra, oriental instruments and percussion. I honestly wouldn’t say that it’ll be a hip-hop driven album but it’ll definitely have a mix of singers, rappers and maybe even spoken word artists. It’s safe to say that it’ll be most definitely dramatic.”
“I’d pick Spawn. You need to go through shit to be awesome. Spawn basically died and left everything in life behind and used his vengeance to feed his strength. It’s good to have problems because they feed you with positive outcomes, especially as a producer /musician.
Dark synths on minor, ambient percussions panned all over at the right spots, hard snare transients with soft-but-distinct kicks and delays/reverbs to prolong the previous bars lapping over the new as they fade. How do I do that? LOL!”
“The Incredible Hulk. I think it would be dope to curate a soundtrack for Hulk, because it’s essentially two characters. You have both extreme intelligence and raw emotion, as well as someone who loves and hates themselves. With all that, there would be a lot of room to play with different genres and moods!”
“I would choose Harley Quinn because I love how textured her character is. She’s fun and crazy; she can be both good and bad; all this and more while struggling with her own issues. I want the album to reflect all of these traits, like a journey through Harley’s psyche. That’s why a variety of genres seems apt!
Pop-rap for the fun/lighter moments; riot grrrl with girl power lyrics for when she and Poison Ivy wreck havoc; some sexy R&B ’cause she’s a siren and darker-sounding/introspective hip-hop to delve into the more troubled aspects of Harley’s life, like her relationship with the Joker.”