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First Play: The Black Prince, Music Inspired by the Motion Picture

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Holly Gordon

Maharajah Duleep Singh, the last king of Punjab, came to power at age five, with his mother ruling as regent. But after the First Anglo-Sikh War ended in 1846, they were overthrown and replaced, his mother jailed and Singh eventually exiled to Britain at the age of 15. Befriended there by Queen Victoria, she nicknamed Singh the Black Prince.

The historical drama by the same name, a film written and directed by Kavi Raz, comes out across Canada on July 21, and it follows Singh’s way back to his family in India. The Black Prince is also accompanied by a soundtrack that counts Talib Kweli, Nelly Furtado, Chali 2na (of Jurassic 5), Emmanuel Jal and the film’s star, Satinder Sartaaj, as collaborators, and you can listen to it here for a week before its July 14 release.

Out via Los Angeles-based label Rukus Avenue, The Black Prince, Music Inspired by the Motion Picture, was executive produced by label founder Sammy Chand and The Black Prince film producer Jasjeet Singh.

The first single, “Make Way for the Black Prince,” sets the soundtrack’s narrative and tone, a South Asian hip-hop track featuring Chand, Talib Kweli, Hoodini and Raxstar that fires against British colonialism. The 15 songs on the soundtrack create a story all their own, following the “Tale of the Maharaja” in three parts. While a fitting complement to the film itself, The Black Prince — the soundtrack — works well as a standalone piece, created by a host of Punjabi and American hip-hop artists.

The Black Prince comes out July 14.