Kendrick Lamar and company nail the ‘Black Panther’ soundtrack

Kendrick Lamar and company nail the ‘Black Panther’ soundtrack

Kendrick Lamar and company nail the ‘Black Panther’ soundtrack
February 14
11:00 2018

The world cannot seem to wait for the “Black Panther” movie as it’s set to break all kinds of records in the box office. And it is probably going to be awesome.

But as of right now, all we know about this movie is that it has an absolutely terrific soundtrack.

The tracklist has the perfect mixture of popular rappers, R&B singers and a multitude of lesser-known artists who certainly take advantage of the stage. I knew we would be in store for some good tracks based off the artists involved alone.

Once I heard the first three singles off of this soundtrack, I paused my excitement. Excluding “King’s Dead,” the other two singles — “All The Stars” with Kendrick Lamar and SZA and “Pray For Me” with Kendrick Lamar and The Weeknd — were both solid, but nothing special.

However, “All The Stars” has grown on me simply because of the singing talent that is SZA .

Overall, the mixture Lamar and company provide on this soundtrack is extremely well varied. The whole thing kicks off with a pure Kendrick Lamar song on “Black Panther” in which K-Dot pretty much gives us a prelude to the album. He expresses a point of view and asks inspired questions likely relevant to the film and its preceding comic book, something I am not familiar with.

While I do not have a working knowledge of the “Black Panther” or Marvel universe, Lamar has a way of putting it in front of you at several points throughout this playlist to remind you why this soundtrack was made in the first place.

The next two songs are two of my favorite songs on the soundtrack with “X” followed by “The Ways.” This is what I meant when I said this soundtrack is perfectly varied and balanced. “X” hits you with a wild instrumental and an energetic flow by Schoolboy Q, Two Chainz and Saudi. It also has the best hook on the soundtrack with “Are you on ten yet?” which is not repeated enough, in my opinion.

“The Ways” is a beautiful follow up with Khalid and Swae Lee’s chilled out vibe to a nice, melodic song. Both compliment each other very well, and it’s a different side of Swae Lee I enjoyed hearing.

“Opps” and “I Am” display more of that extreme change in energy from song to song, but they did not captivate me. However, the next track, “Paramedic” is hands-down my favorite song on this whole project. Pretty much all of it is by the group SOB X RBE, which is great because their flows are amazing and punch you in the chest with energy.

“Bloody Waters” is a cold song with a couple thoughtful Ab-Soul verses which impressed me. After “King’s Dead,” the remainder of the soundtrack is good, but it is not as intriguing as most are more peeled back and African-driven, which of course is still a great fit for this movie.

The last song worth mentioning is “Big Shot,” the most controversial song on this soundtrack. Lamar uses the same hook he sings on “New Freezer,” but he changes up his verses and adds a weird twist to the end of the chorus too. Some people think he is selling-out, but I think it’s an incredibly fun, harmless song, and people should relax.

As I mentioned earlier, it’s important to note that Lamar does a great job of tying in the songs with the general plot of the movie — he includes character references in the periods between songs, as well as in his actual lyrics.

The only horrid moment on here is whatever Future does on “King’s Dead.” Besides that, the “Black Panther” soundtrack is a very solid and fun soundtrack to what promises to be one of the biggest movies of 2018.

Rating: 4/5 stars

Featured image:  Courtesy of Aftermath. Interscope Records. Top Dawg Entertainment. 2018

About Author

Matthew Brune

Matthew Brune

Matthew Brune is the Senior Sports Writer for the North Texas Daily, covering football and men's basketball.

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