Marvel Comics is continuing to deepen its relationship with hip-hop, and we couldn’t think of a more fitting, deserving artist to keep the momentum going.
Jean Grae has released a new song, “What You Came For,” in collaboration with Marvel Comics for the latest issue of Black Panther, entitled A Nation Under Our Feet: Part Three.
“The amount of things recently that have made my heart soar are very minimal. It’s been a traumatic, gut-wrenching time,” Jean said in an interview with Bandcamp. “Getting the call to be a part of this project did make my heart soar. Getting a call from Marvel to do anything should do that, and it does—but it’s Black Panther, and Ta-Nehisi is writing it. I can’t think of any other artistic contribution that I would have wanted to do right now.”
The new Black Panther comic series is written by Ta-Nehisi Coates - a national correspondent at The Atlantic, and author of the New York Times bestseller and National Book Award-winning Between The World And Me. The comic is illustrated by longtime artist Brian Stelefreeze.
As we’ve covered before, Marvel has a history of integrating hip-hop into its comics. They've integrated album covers from artists like Run the Jewels and Jay Z to make variant covers for their comics, and Ol Dirty Bastard’s “Shimmy Shimmy Ya” was used in the trailer for the new Luke Cage series coming to Netflix.
For Marvel to enlist the skills of a multi-talented artist like Jean Grae, and to pair her with the most prominent voice in black scholarship and one of the most respected black illustrators in the industry, does a hip-hop head's heart good. Two worlds are coming together, and they're all stronger for it.
By William Ketchum III, aka @WEKetchum
Photo Credits: Bandcamp