Mike WiLL Made-It wasn’t playing around when he said “the soundtrack album game would never be the same” after his Creed II compilation. The star-studded soundtrack doesn’t arrive until next week, but Mike previewed one of its buzziest contributions Tuesday night (November 13) by releasing “The Mantra,” which reunites Pharrell and Kendrick Lamar.
Pharrell flies solo for the first half of the mesmerizing cut, which features a haunting hook and muted production from Will. “If what you doin’ don’t help you elevate / Far as I’m concerned, it’s in the way,” Pharrell advises.
The track really comes to life when Kendrick jumps in with a characteristically sprawling, athletic, quirky verse. “I was down, bad, then my life switched … I was lifeless, I was deadweight, I was triflin’ / Then my eye twitched, then my hand shook, and my fisted balled / Then my right wrist took a risk for us,” he raps in the verse’s evocative opening lines, before unleashing a few knock-out bars that prove he’s sprung back to life.
“The Mantra” is just the latest K.Dot/Pharrell team-up — most recently, they collaborated on a pair of tracks that landed on N.E.R.D.’s No One Ever Really Dies album last year. Prior to that, Pharrell lent his producing talents to Kendrick’s 2012 song “good kid,” and the To Pimp a Butterfly anthem “Alright.”
Along with “The Mantra,” the Creed II soundtrack — executive produced by Mike WiLL — will include music from Bon Iver, Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Vince Staples, Rae Sremmurd, and more. The album arrives alongside the Michael B. Jordan-starring blockbuster on November 21.