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‘Black Panther’ soundtrack debuts at No. 1

By Anthony Cole | Staff Reporter
On February 20, 2018

Last week the world, especially the black community, went into a frenzy as the first black- written, black- directed superhero movie  with a full black cast opened in theaters nationwide. Yes, we’re talking about “Black Panther.”

 This alone is a legendary accomplishment for black culture. But it only gets better. “Black Panther was a box office bonanza, breaking weekend records with an estimated $201.8 million in three days it is also estimated to bring in $235 million in a four day holiday.

“Black Panther” featured some top-notch actors such as Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther), Michael B. Jordan (Killmonger), Angela Bassett, Forest Whitacker and Daniel Kaluuya from “Get Out.”

It only gets better. The movie also struck a No. 1 charted album on Billboard with its soundtrack, “Black Panther: The Album.” The 14-track album is executive produced by Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith and Kendrick Lamar.

The project almost comes across as  Kendrick Lamar’s fourth album as he touches every song in some way. The soundtrack also features top tier artists such as Future, The Weekend, 2 Chainz, and Travis Scott.  Also featured are K. Dot’s TDE label mates SZA, Jay Rock, Schoolboy Q and Ab-Soul and others.  

The soundtrack is a direct reflection of the movie with its African vibes frivolous throughout the project and it’s almost like if you close your eyes while listening you can see the film.

The soundtrack opens with a self-entitled intro featuring a solo from Kendrick Lamar as he speaks from the perspective of the Black Panther himself, T’Challa. He seems to be weighing out his achievement as he repeatedly describes that he is king and king of what as he spits lyrics such as “King of the answer, king of the problem, king of the forsaken.”

 On the opposing side Lamar takes the mind of Killmonger, T’Challa’s enemy in “King’s Dead” featuring Jay Rock, Future, and James Blake. The project is at its best on its up-beat songs such as “X,” which features K. Dot, Schoolboy Q and 2 Chainz; and “Paramedic!” and “Big Shot” featuring Lamar and Travis Scott.

 The soundtrack sounds more like a real album as it touches different genres. On “Opps” with Vince Staples and Yugen Blakroc, you are put in a vibe of a rave party with its techno based instrumental. “The Ways” with Khalid and Swae Lee gives the soundtrack a R&B and pop feeling and displays a song that gives a sexy vibe and empowers women in a way.

The film completely taps into the African culture with “Redemption” as the dance based musician teams up with Zacari on an Afro-beat; that vibe continues with “Seasons” featuring Mozzy, Reason, and Sjava a South African award winning artist.

The first single off the soundtrack, “All The Stars” with Kendrick Lamar and SZA, sits at 31 on the charts, while the second single “Pray for Me” featuring K. Dot and The Weekend debuted top 5 on the Hip Hop charts and currently sits at 7 on Billboard 100.

The album is overall an excellent body of work and in regards to soundtracks a classic in itself. It reflects the movie perfectly as it should and gives you all the feelings “Black Panther” the film does.

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