Review: The Weeknd & Kendrick Lamar – ‘Pray For Me’

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80%
80
Decent

This collaboration promised much and mostly delivers. An intense beat, top-level crooning and fierce Kendrick verse ensures that 'Pray For Me' continues the good work of the Black Panther Soundtrack.

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‘Pray For Me’ is the third release from the highly anticipated Kendrick Lamar produced Black Panther soundtrack. Combining two artists at the pinnacle of their respective fields, this collaboration continues the good work laid by the two previous releases from the soundtrack.

A sombre and intense mood is immediately generated by the thumping bassline and echoing reverb. This is reinforced by the haunting vocals of The Weeknd whose crooning becomes increasingly pained and anguished as the chorus kicks in. It is then the turn of King Kendrick, the architect of the album, who delivers a typically furious verse, stating “I fight the world, I fight you, I fight myself.” The duo has well-established chemistry, having successfully hooked up in the past, and this is evident in the slick manner in which they intersperse.

‘Pray For Me’ continues the trend of the two previous releases from the soundtrack, in that Kendrick has firmly taken a backseat, preferring instead to focus on the production and bigger picture of the soundtrack. Whilst the track is certainly above average, it is also the weakest of the three releases. ‘All the Stars’ was a brilliant R&B track which perfectly showcased the voice of rising star SZA, whilst ‘King is Dead’ rattled along at a breakneck pace and delivered fiery verses from some of rap’s biggest stars. On the other hand, ‘Pray For Me’ feels like it could have been plucked straight from any of The Weeknd’s recent albums.

Yet, this is not necessarily a bad thing. Almost everything The Weeknd lends his anguished warbles to is a hit, and this is likely to be no different. The beat is extremely catchy and Kendrick’s position as the most influential rapper/artist of the moment means it will almost certainly rise the charts in the weeks to come.

‘Pray For Me’ is out now via Aftermath Records

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