Cincinnati Native Arin Ray Helps Propel Creed III Film, Soundtrack with Two Songs

The latest installment of the Creed series and Rocky franchise has become the highest-earning sports film ever.

Mar 10, 2023 at 11:50 am
click to enlarge Arin Ray is a Cincinnati native who is featured twice on the Creed III soundtrack. - Photo:
Arin Ray is a Cincinnati native who is featured twice on the Creed III soundtrack.

Arin Ray definitely has the X factor now.

The rising R&B artist and Cincinnati native has two songs included on the star-studded soundtrack for Creed III, the ninth installment of the Rocky franchise. Creed III: The Soundtrack features "Hate Me Now" (which Ray created with Mereba and Omen) and "Burn Bridges" (with Lute, Cozz and Reason).

Ray, who grew up in the Bond Hill neighborhood of Cincinnati, attended the School for Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA). During his years there, Ray appeared on Fox’s X Factor for two consecutive seasons, auditioning as part of a group in 2011 with little success and again in 2012 as a solo artist. He made the show that year but eventually was eliminated.

“If you ain't got it, it's a cold world out here,” Ray told Teen Vogue in a 2019 interview. “People aren't here to babysit or hold your hand along the way. [This is] a grown person's game and you gotta be able to play it.”

Returning home from X Factor, Ray graduated from SCPA before moving to Los Angeles, where he wrote for acts like Jason Derulo and DJ Mustard. Since then, Ray released his debut R&B album Platinum Fire in 2018 and his sophomore album Hello Poison in 2022, collaborating with artists like Ari Lennox and Ty Dolla $ign.

The soundtrack for Creed III was released in March along with the movie, which stars Michael B. Jordan (of Black Panther fame) and Jonathan Majors (who plays Kang in the Marvel Cinematic Universe). The film – an extension of the Rocky boxing franchise and the third installment of the Creed series – hit theaters in the United States on March 3 and debuted at No. 1 at the box office, earning $58.7 million in its first weekend and becoming the highest-earning sports film ever.

Creed III: The Soundtrack was executive produced by J. Cole’s Dreamville Records.

Below, listen to Ray’s Creed III songs “Hate Me Now” and “Burn Bridges,” and follow Ray on his website.

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