Among all the genres of music, rap and hip-hop have arguably left the most lasting and potent imprint on the music industry.
The Los Angeles Times states that these two juggernauts have redefined pop music writing and compositions to greater heights.
Marvel Studios and DC Entertainment have picked up on this and have taken advantage of the wide-reaching audience of both rap and the superhero films to increase their fan base. Today the superhero genre has truly transcended its comic book origins and can be accessed on nearly all media platforms, ranging from rap albums to the gaming industry. CGM reports that superheroes have inspired numerous games throughout the years. Capcom’s Marvel versus Capcom and Rocksteady’s Batman Arkham trilogy are notable games that have become favorites for comic book and gaming fans alike. Additionally, the online gaming landscape has been injected with the same superhero themes thanks to Marvel-inspired slots games Hellboy and Thuderstruck (based on Thor) from digitized slot portal Slingo. In the same way that the gaming industry uses superhero films to promote both the film and the game, so to does the music industry.
Here are five examples of rap music and superhero films combining with great success.
The 2016 profane and comically-high-octane Deadpool is a prime example of rap being used as a narrative device. It’ s a fun and upbeat song which reflects the tone of the movie. In the film the song is used to introduce the character of Deadpool and comes to a halt when he suddenly breaks the fourth-wall to speak to the audience. Even before its release, Indiewire reported that Salt-n-Pepa’s ‘Shoop’ would be one of the movie’s stand-outs.
4. SUICIDE SQUAD
For the 2016 super villain ensemble Suicide Squad, the utilization of rap music was done to evoke a different mood. In this case to introduce the exceptionally unique skills of marksman-assassin Deadshot, portrayed by Will Smith. Suicide Squad opted to use Kanye West’s ‘Black Skinhead’ in the background when Deadshot showcases that he is indeed a dead shot using any firearm. The song echoes the movements and mentality of the character.
3. BLADE II
A similar cinematic technique is employed by the filmmakers of superhero horror flick, Blade II. Soundtrack listed the movie’s roster of songs and one key track is Massive Attack and Mos Def’s I Against I. This song works as an anthem for Blade and his team of elite vampires as they go behind enemy lines for their first mission.
2. BLACK PANTHER
Superhero flicks have also used rap tracks exclusively on a movie trailer. Black Panther, which is slated to hit theaters February of next year used Run The Jewel’s Legend Has It in the trailer. Rolling Stone reports that Marvel intends to utilize some of the biggest names in music for this film, with new episodes coming out each month. We can expect more good music to be linked to the film until its release date.
1. THE AMAZING SPIDERMAN 2
The Amazing Spiderman 2 combined the talents of industry heavyweights Kendrick Lamar, rhythm and blues artist Alicia Keys, hip-hop producer Pharrell Williams, and film score composer Hans Zimmer. According to Billboard the product of this collaboration was ‘It’s On Again’ which is a song that discusses the ideas of positivity, resilience, and courage. These are all themes that the movie touches on.