By: Punch Liwanag
Updated March 3, 2018, 11:44 AM
We’re guessing that by now you have seen the latest installment from the Marvel
Cinematic Universe in the “Black Panther” film. It follows the story of prince T’Challa,
newly crowned king, protector of Wakanda, and an Avenger superhero. Cut to the
gist of it, and there’s a great story with interesting re-imagining of Africa to boot.
The cradle of civilization as a techno-advanced, world super power is a wondrous
thought, almost utopian in some aspects. But without spilling too much for those who
have yet to see it, we redirect your attention to the “Black Panther The Album” OST.
Off the cuff, we say it’s a sleek, modern album full of goodies inside. Distilled to basics,
it’s because of this guy, Kendrick Lamar.
Arguably the coolest name in Hiphop today, Lamar has raised the genre to another level.
Sure, it’s a collaborative OST release but it might as well be his own album. At least
that’s how it looks from the outside going by the level of dedication he imbued on the
project. It was Lamar, Anthony Tiffith and director Ryan Coogler who worked out how the
album should go. The result is a modern sounding collection of who’s who among the
new guards of Hiphop.
From the tribal-modern-moody mash up of the opening title track by Lamar, to his
made-for-Top 40 “All The Stars” featuring SZA, rhe Grammy-winning artist weaves
catchy tunes. More of these can be heard in the synth flute hooks of “Big Shot”
featuring Travis Scott; and peaking at the reverberating bass and deep grooves of
“Pray For Me” by The Weeknd featuring Kendrick Lamar.
It’s not just him on a roll 2 Chain & Saudi gets deep with tales of African Achilles’
on “X” and a personal favorite, “The Ways” by Khalid with Swae Lee. Khalid cribs
the popular George Harrison line “something in the way she moves” and uses it to
great effect. Khalid’s line ‘Power Girl I really wanna know your ways” might not
have the same effect here, but on the song, it is a different matter. Swae Lee’s
hook choruses likewise sound cosmic.
Other highlights are the moody “I Am” by Jorja Smith, the legit african-jazz mash
on “Seasons” by Zacari with Sjava and Reason, “King’s Dead” by Jay Rock with
Future, James Blake and Lamar, and “Opps” by Vince Staples featuring Yugen
“Black Panther, The Album” is cool not because it came from a superhero flick.
It’s great because like the movie, like imaginary Wakanda,and like real life
Africa, it’s black and beautiful.
Listen to the Black Panther soundtrack here: https://lnk.to/BlackPanther_KendrickLamar