“Black Panther” is the latest movie from Marvel Studios and will officially hit theaters on February 16th, and has received enough hype from audiences that rival that of the Star Wars franchise.
The movie itself isn’t the only thing involving Marvel that’s been heavily anticipated by people, as the soundtrack itself has also been receiving a ton of hype. The main reason for the hype is because it’s been helmed by A-list hip hop artist Kendrick Lamar, who also is a Black Lives Matter-era poet.
The first track on the album, aptly named “Black Panther,” starts with Lamar rapping in the voice of T’Challa, Black Panther’s real identity and king of the fictional nation of Wakanda. The lyrics bring in a mix of politics in comic books and historical African diasporic sayings and visions.
Lamar is responsible for being the co-executive producer for the album, as well as writing for all fourteen credits and having some cameos and appearances of his own. He’s brought on voices such as Schoolboy Q and Ab-Soul, southern artists like Future and Travis Scott and even some neo-soul names like the Weeknd.
There are also some feminist tones present with the Black Panther movie. In both the comics and movie, the Black Panther is supported by the Dora Milaje, a recruitment of all female warriors. Some of this feminist touch is present in the song “All The Stars,” where Lamar partners with artist SZA to give some spotlight on women. Jorja Smith also provides some lyrics in a ballad song called “I Am,” and overall some of the best bars and flows come from South African MC Yugen Blakrok.
Overall, the album by Lamar brings in a vibrant mix of soul and flow that keeps it uplifting.