Welcome back! For my third blog, I thought I would branch out from albums that hold a nostalgic place in my heart and instead write about a very current and important soundtrack that recently came out to co-align with the “Black Panther” movie.
The album was co-produced by Anthony Tiffith — the CEO of Top Dawgs Entertainment — and Kendrick Lamar, who is a fantastic artist who uses his platform to not only produce music but to bring light on social issues that struggle for the most part to come out of the shadows.
On Feb. 11, Kendrick tweeted about the creation of “Black Panther: The Album:”
“Black Panther, Respect to all the artist/producers that allowed me to execute a sound for the soundtrack. The concept of producing and composing a project other than my own has always been ideal. I appreciate the experience love[d] ones. Continue to be great.”
Kendrick has released four studio albums in his career before this soundtrack. His radical and bold words in his early albums pull from his past harsh surroundings and with this, he made a name for himself and his rap career. This makes him one of the most well-sought-after rap artists in the game. Kendrick is a rapper that found a passion for poetry, and I personally think that is what stands him apart from other rap artists. His words are brutally honest, just like the environment he grew up in. He created his career and for that, he truly deserves the position of co-producing this latest and his first major movie soundtrack.
This track in particular deserves to be blogged and praised because of his incorporation of African culture into a variety of sounds. The movie itself is not only commended for being a superhero movie featuring people of color, but for all the involved talent of colored directors, writers, actors, and designers. Released on the 9th of February, the monumental movements of the songs alone correlate and narrate so well with the movie that it ensured success before the movie even came out.
The thing about this soundtrack is the momentum it gained in its broader goal. There are obvious themes in this superhero movie. Besides the hero winning and getting the girl (spoiler alert), one that you DON’T expect is the sympathy given to the “villian.” The movie exposes exploitation of Africans, slavery, and modern ghettos in the United States, and while you can’t give them vibranium like suggested in the movie for fictional purposes, there is the call to action upon it and that is important.
- Black Panther- Kendrick Lamar
- All The Stars- Kendrick Lamar, SZA
- X- ScHoolboy Q, 2 Chainz, Saudi
- The Ways- Khalid, Swae Lee
- Opps- Vince Staples, Yugen Blakrok
- I Am- Jorja Smith
- Paramedic!- SOB X RBE
- Bloody Waters- Ab-Soul, Anderson .Paak, James Blake
- King’s Dead- Jay Rock, Kendrick Lamar, Future, James Blake
- Redemption Interlude- Zacari
- Redemption- Zacari, Babes Wodumo
- Seasons- Mozzy, Sjava, Reason
- Big Shot- Kendrick Lamar, Travis Scott
- Pray For Me- The Weeknd, Kendrick Lamar
All the songs have a purpose. To induce adrenaline to the scene they fall behind in the movie, “X” and “Paramedic!” lead with raps that are caught in snippets of the movie. And then there’s the tune you can’t get out of your head as you leave the theater, “Pray for Me” and “Redemption” both play that part beautifully.
Overall, the importance of this track cannot be ignored. The collaboration efforts of all the artists it took to create it just is part of the way the movie stunts the indisputable talent from black artists. Go out and watch the movie and make an effort to make the background music the foreground of your critiques!