NEW MOVIE: Judas and the Black Messiah

Judas and the Black Messiah is a 2021 American biographical drama film directed and produced by Shaka King, from a screenplay written by King and Will Berson, based on a story by King, Berson, and Kenny and Keith Lucas. Based in Chicago, the film details the betrayal of Fred Hampton (Daniel Kaluuya), chairman of the Black Panther Party in the late 1960s, at the hands of William O'Neal (Lakeith Stanfield), an FBI informant. Jesse Plemons, Dominique Fishback, Ashton Sanders, Darrell Britt-Gibson, Lil Rel Howery, Algee Smith, and Martin Sheen also star.


A Fred Hampton biopic had been in the works for several years, with both the Lucas Brothers and Will Berson writing and shopping screenplays individually since 2014. Berson's version almost got made with F. Gary Gray directing, but when that fell through King was hired to helm the project. The cast joined in 2019, with the blessings of Hampton's family, with filming taking place that fall in Ohio.


The film had its premiere at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival on February 1, 2021, and is scheduled to be released in the United States by Warner Bros. Pictures on February 12, simultaneously in theaters and digitally on HBO Max. The film was lauded by critics, who praised King's direction, the performances, and its timely themes. For his performance, Kaluuya was nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the Golden Globes and Screen Actor Guild Awards.

RCA has unveiled the movie’s official soundtrack –

which hosts a high quality guest list.

On top of solo offerings from Black Thought, Nas, SiR, A$AP Rocky, and others, the track that sticks out the most is a collaboration between Jay-Z and the late great Nipsey Hussle–which will mark the first time the two have appeared on record together, despite their personal relationship while Nip was still here. From there, we’re also getting J.I.D and Rapsody on a track with Masego, another Smino and Saba collab, BJ the Chicago Kid, H.E.R, Pooh Shiesty, G Herbo, Lil Durk, Dom Kennedy, and more.

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