Kendrick Lamar and Top Dawg Ent. were given curative control over the “Black Panther” soundtrack, and who else better than Kendrick to orchestrate a powerful soundtrack for a powerful movie?
Released on February 9th, the album immediately shot up to the top spot moving the Migos’ “Culture II” out of the way. The movie and soundtrack have been both done well, with nine of the album’s tracks charting on the Billboard Hot 100 and the film leading the box office for three weeks straight and becoming the 10th highest grossing North American film release after earning more than $500 million — proving what we as a community have the power to do when we want to show up for something. Fans were able to listen to the soundtrack ahead of the film’s release, but after seeing the movie and then listening to the soundtrack it’s easier to see how Kendrick & Co incorporated the sounds and various aspects of the film, bringing it all together as one Black Panther project.
Soundtracks tend to introduce artists to a larger audience, and the same is true for this masterfully crafted project, with tracks like “I Am” bringing British artist Jorja Smith to an American mainstream platform. Even though she has worked with Drake in the past on his “More Life” project, Black Pantheris giving her more exposure. Vince Staples, SOB X RBE, Houston’s own Travis Scott, Ab Soul, Anderson Paak, SZA and Swae Lee are just a few of the artist who got busy on this project. Kendrick Lamar received writing credits on all 14 tracks. "The concept of producing and composing a project other than my own has always been ideal. I appreciate the experience love ones. Continue to be great, ” is the message that Kendrick left to all the artist who helped on the project.
Tracks like “Paramedic” by SOB X RBE might seem to venture off the topic a bit, but Kendrick wouldn’t be Kendrick if he didn’t give the people a Cali banger. With hard hitting beats and lyrics, this track makes you feel like you’re c-walking down the 105. He got so inspired by the project he told BBC that for his next project he wants to play off of Killmonger. "I really enjoy Killmonger's character, just off the simple fact that he was a villain but he came with some real ish," he said. "He was a villain but he was loved and misunderstood. So if I could, I'd play a Killmonger for sure."
Hopefully this will mean more great music from the Kendrick and his team.
Victoria Randle is a detailed, fact-checking journalist that loves nothing more than to research and write. She prides herself on being a social media guru and staying up with current events pertaining to the culture and music. She has been a huge fan of hip hop since a young age. Victoria is a native Houstonian with a degree in broadcast journalism from Texas Southern University. She currently resides in Houston with her daughter Riley.