“Black Gold,” which features Thundercat, serves as the show’s opening theme, and it captures a mystical mood with its thumping drums and winding synths. “Don’t mistake my kindness for weakness,” Thundercat sings in his falsetto, “Because I’m strong, you see/Stronger than you’ll ever be/Loyal to the end/Someone to call my friend/Whenever you need me, I’ll be right there.”
“Between Memories,” meanwhile, will play over Yasuke’s closing credits. It features a much more subdued groove and a mesmerizing mix of interlocking vocal lines from Niki Randa.
Flying Lotus has released instrumental versions for “Black Gold” and “Between Memories” as well.
Yasuke is a six-episode anime series created by LeSean Thomas and starring LaKeith Stanfield. Stanfield voices the titular Yasuke, a samurai warrior of African descent who navigates an alternate universe feudal Japan.
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Along with making the music for the series, Flying Lotus served as an executive producer and story consultant. “[LeSean] and I talked about being outsiders in anime,” he said in a statement. “I was like, ‘Why aren’t more Black kids trying to do this? Why is it so out of the ordinary?’ He was saying that it’s because they don’t have examples.”
Flying Lotus’ last studio album, Flamagra, was released in 2019.