Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

What Is The Song In The Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Trailer?

For fans who've been eagerly anticipating the November release of "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever," Saturday's SDCC 2022 Marvel Studios panel did not disappoint. Not only did the studio reveal that the sequel pic will conclude Phase Four, but it also gave audiences an alternately moving, exciting, heartbreaking, and action-packed new "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" teaser trailer. It's a combination few superhero movie trailers could pull off, but with 2018's "Black Panther," the franchise established itself as a narrative-heavy with purpose, import, and a poignance atypical of the genre. What's more, the legacy of Chadwick Boseman – the first installment's titular hero and protagonist — permeates the trailer both in world and out, adding to its palpably authentic emotional weight.

It isn't straightforward sadness or mourning, however, that defines the trailer. There's an undeniable sense of resilience and hope in this latest MCU preview, and a fair amount of that sense is derived from the familiar-yet-new, lingering and goosebump-inducing song that punctuates the trailer. The song itself has been around, at least in part, for nearly 50 years, but "Wakanda Forever" gives us a version every bit as compelling as the original — one befitting the memory of Boseman and the importance and relevance of the franchise itself.

Tems covers Bob Marley, crosses paths with Kendrick Lamar in the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever trailer

Viewers even vaguely familiar with reggae legend Bob Marley will recognize his and his band The Wailers' "No Woman No Cry" (or at least, an exquisite version of it) at the outset of the "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" trailer. But, as Lupita Nyong'o's Nakia looks out over the ocean toward the horizon, it isn't Marley's voice we hear beseeching her not to cry, but a woman's. That woman happens to be the award-winning and internationally acclaimed Nigerian music producer and singer Temilade Openiyi, better known by her stage name, Tems (via BET) — a fact confirmed by The Native on Twitter on Saturday night. 

The song choice, and the decision to use this particular version, make all the sense in the world for the next "Black Panther" pic. As we learn in the trailer, the sequel concerns itself primarily with the women of Wakanda: the ruler, the warriors, the scientists, and the heroes. "No Woman No Cry" has always been about, as bassist Aston "Family Man'" Barrett once explained to NME, "The strength in the mama, of course, strength in the ladies" (per Smooth Radio). By having Tems sing, "Good friends we've lost/Along the way/In this great future, you can't forget your past," the trailer speaks pretty directly to the narrative of the female characters on the screen and the real-world loss suffered by the actors who portray them. 

Halfway through, the song opens into a mash-up of Tems' cover and Kendrick Lamar's "Alright." Needless to say, the two songs together are doing some serious legwork with regard to theme, subtext, and what MCU fans can expect to be a compelling emotional narrative in "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever."