Nipsey Hussle and Jay-Z’s first-ever collab will appear on the soundtrack for the Fred Hampton biopic Judas and the Black Messiah this Friday (Feb 12).
Artists including Masego, Smino and Rapsody unveiled the tracklist for Judas and the Black Messiah: The Inspired Album on Tuesday (Feb. 9). H.E.R. released her single “Fight For You” earlier this month, and it snagged a 2021 Golden Globe nomination for best song from a motion picture. Megaproducer Hit-Boy, Black Panther filmmaker Ryan Coogler, Interscope Records vp of A&R Dash Sherrod and RCA Records svp of marketing Archie Davis executive produced the soundtrack. It will be available on Friday, the same day of the film’s theatrical and streaming release on HBO Max.
Hussle’s posthumous vocals will be featured on “What It Feels Like,” his first-ever collab with Hov. Jay-Z, alongside fellow rap greats Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole and more, penned heartfelt letters to Hussle in the program that was handed out at his LA memorial service held at Staples Center on April 11, 2019.
“You were a curious soul who was evolving at a speed that was truly inspiring. The seeds you have planted are already bearing fruit. The outpouring of admiration is testimony to the love and respect you’ve farmed,” the East Coast hip-hop heavyweight wrote of the late West Coast legend. “Sleep well King, The Marathon continues as a line of energy for all of us to consider. Love and Light, Jay.”
Creative design company OkiDoki worked with Hussle’s family and The Marathon Clothing crew to turn his pivotal THE MARATHON mixtape from 2010, which celebrated its tenth anniversary in December, into a live visual album Feb. 5 on YouTube, which you can watch here.
Both rappers have oddly specific connections to the film’s nonfictional plot. Fred Hampton, the chairman of the Black Panther Party chapter in Chicago in the 1960s, was betrayed by his former associate William O’Neil, who worked with the FBI as an informant to infiltrate the Black Panther Party and take out Hampton. Hussle (real name Ermias Asghedom) was shot and killed by his former associate Eric Holder outside his Marathon Clothing store in L.A. on March 31, 2019. Hampton was shot and killed during an FBI raid on Dec. 4, 1969, the same day Jay-Z was born.
Check out the Judas and the Black Messiah soundtrack listing below.