The Book of Clarence is set to be unlike any biblical film before it and it's soundtrack may surprise those who were hoping for a gospel album.
Jeymes Samuel takes a bold directorial approach in the film, which is set in 29 A.D. The narrative unfolds around Clarence, a poor Jerusalemite who leverages the rising influence of Jesus Christ for profit.
Clarence claims to be the “new messiah,” while robbing unsuspecting believers of their fortunes.
However, the story takes a drastic turn when the public begins to believe Clarence is Jesus. This forces the marijuana-smoking conman to face the complexities of religion, steering him along an unforeseen route of self-exploration and discovery.
The film, available on January 12, may be set in biblical times, but its soundtrack is filled with modern hitmakers.
‘The Book of Clarence’ soundtrack release date and features.
Released on the same day as the movie, The Book of Clarence’s soundtrack mirrors the emotion and depth found within the pages of the original book.
The lineup of rappers and singers perfectly captures the nature of Clarence's story.
The album is executive produced by Jay-Z with Jeymes taking the musical lead. Lil Wayne, Kid Cudi, Kodak Black, D’Angelo, Doja Cat, Alice Smith, and Jorja Smith are included on the 11-track disc. It also features Jamaican singers Buju Banton and Shabba Ranks.
While Jay-Z only appears on one song, the Grammy-winning musician praised the other rappers who provided verses for The Book of Clarence soundtrack.
“Even with Doja [Cat] on [the soundtrack], her performance on [Jeezu] was unlike anything that I’ve heard from her,” Jay-Z said while speaking with Gia Peppers (via Uproxx). “The way she attacks that music it’s like, ‘Wow, this is a different Doja.’”
‘The Book of Clarence’ cast is filled with stars.
Taking on the titular role as Clarence is Judas and the Black Messiah lead LaKeith Stanfield. RJ Cyler will play Clarence’s best friend and partner and crime.
Meanwhile, Alfre Woodard will play the Virgin Mary with Teyana Taylor starring as Mary Magdalene. James McAvoy also makes an appearance in the biblical film as Pontius Pilate and Benedict Cumberbatch will portray a character named Benjamin.
LaKeith spoke to The Root about his character, who goes from criminal to martyr throughout the film.
“Clarence is like most of us. He has ambitions in his life,” the actor said.
“He wants bigger and better things and is willing to do what he feels is necessary to bring about that change, hoping this will bring happiness to his family and assurance within himself that he is more than what he appears to be on the surface.”
It seems as if LaKeith accomplished his goal as The Book of Clarence has received favorable reviews from viewers. The film has a 77% Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes, with netizens gushing over LaKeith’s performance.
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