Black Panther ~ Movie Soundtrack Review
By: Lauren Royer
It's been a long, long time since I went from seeing a movie in theaters to immediately listening to the soundtrack afterwards. With Black Panther's vivid and inspiring sound, this dry spell was broken. Ultimately, you can read (likely) hundreds of movie reviews on this one because the newly released film is CRUSHING it in the box office. The film was a true original, which, is saying a lot for the often generic 'Superhero' movies that are being pumped out year after year. Black Panther has created a universe that is not only believable, but inspiring. With jaw-dropping fashion, a cast of incredible actors, and perfectly executed cinematics; the film was a solid 10/10.
Somewhere beyond the ranting and raving about how significant this film is to 'mainstream' cinema and noting the deep appreciation, activism, and support of black culture- the soundtrack has been bumping in my car, ears, and speakers since I walked out the door of the theater. Here's why.
KING KENDRICK- The first voice I recognized during the film was Kendrick Lamar's. The Black Panther soundtrack is, respectfully, a mini Kendrick Lamar album. Almost half of the songs can be credited to the king and he co-produced it as a whole. Last year, he released 'Damn.' which was not only nominated for 'Album of the Year' but won 'Best Rap Album' of the year at the Grammys. On this soundtrack, he's managed to create a completely different set of work, showing his true finesse as an artist. His song 'Black Panther' ties directly into the film with verse 1 skirtin' out like: "King of my city, king of my country, king of my homeland
King of the filthy, king of the fallen, we livin' again
King of the shooters, looters, boosters, and ghettos poppin'
King of the past, present, future, my ancestors watchin'
King of the culture, king of the soldiers, king of the bloodshed
King of the wisdom, king of the ocean, king of the respect"
The picture we're left with, is a flawless collision of our reality in the United States and the dream state world that Wakanda exists in. This is easily, one of the most crucial pieces of work in Kendrick's career.
Queens- All this talk about kings, reminds me of all the QUEENS, on screen and off. The females in this movie were strong, baaad ass bosses. There were several times when women carried the men, flexed their strength in all ways gloriously female divine; intelligence, humor, strength, loyalty, perseverance, and acceptance. The same applies to the women artists present on the soundtrack. Artists such as up-and-coming Jorja Smith, Babes Wadumo, and SZA. Babes Wadumo is a fresh voice from South Africa and I'm officially intrigued by her sound. Not surprisingly, SZA and Kendrick's "All The Stars" is uplifting food for your soul. Blast this particular track... whenever or wherever... it'll probably feel right.
Every track can stand alone, but is brought together with an obvious understanding and undertone of the film. The film's orchestral score is noteworthy too and was composed by Ludwig Goransson. A good score will have you all emotionally invested in the characters. The score was comprehensive to the film and had me feeling some of the 'heavier' scenes. If the above has not convinced you of the masterpiece that is the soundtrack...some other stellar artists (just throwing some names out): Khalid, Vince Staples, ScHoolboy Q, 2 Chainz, Swae Lee, Anderson .Paak, James Blake, Future, Travis Scott, The Weeknd. It's basically an unmatched roll call for anyone and everyone that is absolutely on-tha-top in hip-hop and it's going to bump for a long time to come.
All Hail the King!