First the Imagine Dragons at the Grammys, now Tame Impala on the “Divergent” soundtrack — Kendrick Lamar is all about the out-there collaborations lately. The latter dropped on the Web Friday (March 7), and if you were expecting something as mind-blowing as K-Dot jumping in on “Radioactive,” you won’t be disappointed.
“Backwards” is a new take on Tame Impala’s “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards,” off of their 2012 record Lonerism. A more jagged spin on the smooth jam, the ethereal chorus, (“Feels like we only go backwards”) lilts in the background, overlaid by Kendrick’s lightning fast rhymes: “No rules/ now feel the energy we go through/ I told you/ Put my fists like I’m supposed to/ I showed you.”
The pairing might seem unexpected but, according to music supervisor Randall Poster, that’s the point. The merging of the two sounds is meant to represent the collision of past and future in the “Divergent” universe — a world in decay.
“I think that one of the challenges for a movie like this is that it’s set in the future and so you sort of have to figure out, ’OK, what might music in the future sound like?'” Poster told MTV News. “The film is actually set not in a perfected future, but actually kind of in a future world that is deteriorating. And so we wanted to create a musical element that had reflected on current music sounds, but also felt kind of time-forward and had a certain futuristic element.”
Poster said he was particularly inspired by Kanye West’s Yeezus when conceptualizing the soundtrack for the film, and that he aimed to “find music that was dangerous, tribal and had electronic elements without really being dance-y.”
Well, if “Backwards” is anything, it’s certainly not safe — or dance-y.
For more from the “Divergent” team, make sure to tune into “MTV First” on March 11 at 7:53 p.m. ET. to catch the premiere of Ellie Goulding’s “Beating Heart” video with special guests Shailene Woodley and Theo James.