Kendrick Lamar Teams with The Weeknd on "Pray for Me"

The third single from the 'Black Panther' soundtrack is short, punchy, and self-lacerating.

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Feb 2 2018, 3:08pm

Handout / Getty Images

The Kendrick Lamar-curated soundtrack to Marvel's Black Panther isn't out until next week, but Noisey UK Editor Tshepo Mokoena has already reviewed it based on the song titles alone. Here's what she wrote of "Pray for Me," the album's closer, a collaboration between Greatest Rapper Alive™ Kendrick Lamar and Canadian cocaine crooner The Weeknd:

Even as someone who’s never been about The Weeknd this is where he really gets to stretch into full falsetto, to the highest impact. Kendrick slips into his tender mode but tbh by the third verse is yelling and you’ll realize that this song comes about three-quarters of the way through the film because that’s when the story has viewers the most shook. This is the one English football teams will try to sync in ads.

This actually isn't that far from the truth. The Weeknd gets the first minute of the song to himself here and he's up near the top of his register pretty quickly, tightening his throat around a catchy hook. And, while Kendrick doesn't get to go supernova here—the anger is directed inwards, again, as it was so often on DAMN.—he turns from tender to tortured almost immediately. "I fight the world, I fight you, I fight myself, I fight God," he raps. "Just tell me how many burdens left / I fight pain and hurricanes / Today I wept I'm tryna fight back tears / Flood on my doorsteps." It's short but punchy. I absolutely believe that English football teams will try to sync this in ads. (In case that means nothing to you, don't be shocked if you hear "Pray for Me" three times in the run-up to this weekend's Super Bowl while they show montages of Tom Brady drinking alkaline water).

So, based on our editor's predictions of this one three-and-a-half-minute song, feel free to judge an album by its cover. As long as it's the back cover.

Listen to "Pray for Me" below.

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