Ahead of its second bout in theaters on Nov. 21, a song off Creed II‘s soundtrack has entered the ring. “The Mantra” provides instrumental space for Kendrick Lamar and Pharrell to exercise their wordplay and catchy hook capabilities.
The melody is produced by Mike WiLL Made-It, who crafted the majority of the sequel’s soundtrack. The sought-after beatsmith called upon artists from different moments in hip-hop like Crime Mobb and Juicy J to Gunna and Vince Staples. R&B stars like Ari Lennox and Ella Mai might also change the soundtrack’s tempo with their effortless vocals, but these artists aren’t the only creatives that recorded original music for the film.
Creed II‘s co-star Tessa Thompson also displayed her vocals for a song titled “Midnight.” Earlier this year, Thompson said the film’s writers carved out a space for her character of Bianca to showcase her talents.
“We’ve just had a lot of conversations around how we can try to give this character, Bianca, her own agency and how we make sure that her voice is really present in it,” Thompson says to VIBE. “Even if she doesn’t occupy tons of page space, the page space that she does occupy feels really vital. Some of that has to do with her being able to articulate where she’s coming from. I think the only time I would ever feel mad is if I feel she’s not taking agency in the way that I hope that she would.”
Listen to “The Mantra” below.