Black Panther The Album: More than just a movie soundtrack

Paige Hall, Entertainment Reporter

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The soundtrack for Marvel’s newest movie, the highly anticipated Black Panther, encompasses both soul and African American culture. Kendrick Lamar, along with many other artists, some of them being from Top Dawg Entertainment record label, greatly embodied the movie’s message and the importance of incorporating cultural elements. The album has hit number one on Billboard’s Top 100, and based on the excitement leading up to the movie itself, it is not surprising that reviews for the soundtrack would be extremely favorable too.

The album has a great variety of talent and features multiple stylistic elements from each artist. Kendrick Lamar heads the album and appears on nearly every track, while hip hop artists like Future, Travis Scott, Vince Staples, 2 Chainz, and ScHoolBoy Q bring in more elements of rap. Aspects of R&B are incorporated by SZA, Jorja Smith, The Weeknd and Khalid.

The album begins with Kendrick’s song “Black Panther,” which incorporates modernized elements of African drum beats, as do a few other songs on the album: “Opps,” “Bloody Waters,” and “Redemption.” The soundtrack acknowledges the movie’s innovative nature and incorporates modern elements of music, while still keeping the integrity of history and culture. Black Panther, along with its soundtrack, proves that a story rooted in African American culture can rival many other top-grossing albums and movies.

During the Black Lives Matter movement and a time of long-awaited change occurring in our country, the artists on this soundtrack made a point to include many of their feelings about their experiences as African Americans. On “Opps,” Yugen Blakrok says, “Crushing any system that belittles us, antidote to every poison they administer.” On “Seasons,” Mozzy says, “I’m in the slums with all of my people. They tryna tell us that we all equal. We gettin’ no justice so it ain’t peaceful.” The artists on the album utilize their influence to inform people of the oppression that occurs within their community and the rights they should be able to have.

Overall, the album serves a higher purpose to bring light to problems within society. Kendrick Lamar successfully achieved a message that parallels greatly with the movie and reflects the integrity and intentions of the film. With a storyline that is predominantly Afrocentric, the music to accompany the movie strongly represents cultural importance, the struggles within the community, and change that needs to occur within society.

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