Idris Elba is pulling double duty on the Fast & Furious spin-off Hobbs & Shaw: Not only does he face off against Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham as the film’s big bad, but he also wrote, produced, and recorded an original song for the soundtrack. And EW has your exclusive first listen.
During Elba’s downtime on the set of Hobbs & Shaw, he wrote “Even If I Die,” inspired by his cyborg baddie Brixton. The actor (who’s made music for years and even played Coachella under the name “Big Driis”) later finished the song and recorded it with Cypress Hill, and director David Leitch liked the final result so much that he put it in the film. (The version above, which plays in the movie, was remixed by the British group Hybrid, while Elba’s original version is a bonus track on the Hobbs & Shaw soundtrack.)
“People know that I DJ and I make music and all that, but the hybrid of being able to put something that I’ve made specifically for a movie I’m in is new territory for me,” Elba told EW when we visited the Hobbs & Shaw set in January.
Hobbs & Shaw pits Johnson and Statham’s heroes against Elba’s Brixton, a seemingly invincible mercenary and self-described black Superman (a line Elba references in “Even If I Die”).
“You kind of almost want to like him, but he’s on the wrong side of the law all the time,” Elba says of his charming but lethal character. “For me, the most complex [character] to play is someone that’s hideous and violent but has qualities that make you go, ‘Oh! He could be a nice guy if only he wouldn’t shoot so many people!’”
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw is in theaters Aug. 2, and the soundtrack will be available July 26. Listen to “Even If I Die” above.
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