Now that we know critics have absolutely fallen in love with Black Panther, the anticipation for the movie is at an all-time high. Director Ryan Coogler and his team have really paid attention to every last detail of the newest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and such a fire movie wouldn’t be complete without a fire soundtrack.
We already know that Kendrick Lamar will executive produce the album and SZA, Vince Staples, Jay Rock, the Weeknd, Future, and James Blake are involved, and so far those are the only names attached to Black Panther: The Album’s 14-song tracklist. But remember that this impressive list of high-profile names come from just two officially announced songs; you could easily go insane trying to dream up who is involved in the other 12 tracks on the album. And now people on Twitter are absolutely convinced that Beyoncé is somehow involved, after some eagle-eyed #BeyHive members spotted what they think are a series of clues in Beyoncé’s outfit over Grammy weekend.
Beyoncé wore three very memorable looks this weekend, and two of them had small but noticeable homages to black panthers. In one, she wore a black diamond encrusted clutch that was shaped like—you guessed it!—a black panther.
In another outfit, Beyoncé wore big diamond earrings that, upon closer inspection, had panthers. Click through her Instagram post to see closer images of her earrings (the second, sixth, and seventh photos in the set are the best ones for taking a peek.)
These two small details were enough to get fans in a frenzy. There are two things to keep in mind here, the first of which is that Beyoncé is known for being super protective over her image, so it’s not inconceivable that she would deliberately post these images in order to get people wondering. In other words, it's not an accident we can see the clutch and the earrings in the photos on her Instagram. Secondly, she is known for dropping hints about upcoming secret projects. In the months leading up to the release of Lemonade, Bey shared quite a few photos with lemons in them, and no one knew what was truly going on until after the fact.
There’s also a third element that would make a Beyoncé song(s) or feature on the Black Panther album even easier. She is already working with Disney for The Lion King, which is due for release next year. Disney owns Marvel. If she’s already in the studio anyway… who knows, right?
One fan also pointed out that Chloe x Halle, the twins who Beyoncé mentors, attended the Black Panther premiere last night. Could she have been involved in something with them?
Finally, Beyoncé fans will remember her Super Bowl outfit back in 2016, when she performed "Formation" dressed in a Black Panther-inspired outfit (although back then, Bey was making an explicit reference to the political movement, not the Marvel movie.) In fact, Bey’s makeup artist, Sir John, told People that her Grammys looks were “in continued support of the Black Panther Party.” But it’s the timing of her outfits—just days before the premiere of Black Panther—has fans jumpy. There’s also no question that the Marvel movie, which has been described as the blackest superhero movie ever, is a slight play on the name of the political party, so even if Sir John is correct, it doesn’t discount the possibility of Bey nodding to the movie as well as the political party.
There is nothing confirmed as of yet, and of course Beyoncé and everyone from her team has remained tight-lipped about what, if any, involvement the artist has with Black Panther the movie or Black Panther: The Album. Her panther accessories this weekend could have just been a coincidence. At the very minimum, it could have been coded way to announce that she too is excited for the movie’s official release on Feb. 16. Nevertheless, the #BeyHive will continue to buzz with anticipation, and as long as there’s a possibility, there will be speculation.