R'n'B artist John Legend was working in a London recording studio with British songwriter/producer Paul Epworth for his next album set to be released in May 2013, when the 33-year-old singer was inspired to write a song for Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" soundtrack. "I had been reading about the film, very early on when it was in development, and I knew I wanted to write something for it," Legend revealed in an interview with Rolling Stone, saying that the award-winning director did not ask him to write it.
The soundtrack to the upcoming Western film includes tracks by its lead actor, Jamie Foxx, rapper Rick Ross, R'n'B singers Anthony Hamilton and Elayna Boynton, Italian composer and conductor Ennio Morricone and Elisa Toffoli, as well as a James Brown - Tupac Shakur mashup. It also marks Tarantino's first collaboration with artists to produce original songs for his film.
Word about the film that had leaked out inspired artists to write songs for the movie. On his composition "Who Did That to You", Legend reflected that "the writing is pretty straightforward, and it is pretty spot-on in terms of the themes of the film." He added, "It's about retribution, it's about avenging your lover's honor, it's about a desire to find your love and exact retribution on whoever harmed her, which obviously fits perfectly with the plot of 'Django'."
Legend had even converted his song's digital track onto a cassette tape for Tarantino to listen to in his car. At last week's premiere of "Django", Tarantino disclosed that he ended up using Legend's composition in one of the film's most climactic scenes. According to the "Pulp Fiction" director, that wouldn't have happened if the track had been sent to him through a link or something that he'd have to plug into his computer, as he would have thrown it away.