For the third week in a row, Black Panther: The Album has been sitting at number one on Billboard’s 200 Chart. The Top Dawg Entertainment-produced album was released to accompany and bring more attention to Marvel’s new film, Black Panther. It can be said that the music on Black Panther: The Album is so good because it was produced with the help of the incredibly talented Kendrick Lamar. He can be heard on a majority of the album’s songs.
Two songs on the album which have become insanely popular are partly due to Kendrick’s feature. “All the Stars”, the second song on the album, was the first to gain popularity and rightly so, as it features a chorus sung by SZA and versus performed by Kendrick. It’s pop-ier sounding than Kendrick and SZA’s solo work, but it’s a perfect fit for the movie.
The ninth song on the album, “King’s Dead” with Jay Rock, Kendrick Lamar, Future and James Black definitely deserves the amount of hype it’s been receiving. With a short-lived instrumental at the start, Kendrick hits the listener with the song’s strong chorus.
One of my favorite aspects of “Black Panther”, the first song on the album, is its instrumental ending. It gives a little glimpse back to jazzier sounds heard in old Kendrick (think Ab-Soul’s Outro, TPAB).
The fourth song on the album, “The Ways”, featuring Khalid and Swae Lee, provides a mellow break from the more intense songs preceding and following it. The beat gives the song a relaxed, Caribbean-like feel. “Redemption”, the album’s eleventh song featuring Zacari and Babes Wodumo also provides a softer break in the album. Kendrick Lamar can be heard in the song’s intro and bridge. It possesses a slight African-style rhythm which makes it catchy and interesting.
Another great song on the album is “Seasons” with Mozzy, Sjava, and Reason. It has a melodic chorus with calm, but serious rap verses. It also has a Caribbean style feel to it.
My favorite song from the album is “X” with 2Chainz, Schoolboy Q, and Saudi. It’s energetic and fun with a familiar island-style rhythm, something repetitive throughout the album. Kendrick Lamar is featured on the song’s hook, and Schoolboy Q, hands down, has the best verse.
Listen to the full album on Spotify:
COVER PHOTO: Consequenceofsound.net