Black Panther Album Review


As we awaited the release of the highly anticipated Black Panther movie, Kendrick Lamar of TDE was producing the soundtrack. Considering that this movie stars an all-black cast, with a black director it is no surprise that Kendrick would jump at the chance to produce an entire album for it. He included artists who are apart of the Top Dawg family such as; Sza, Ab-Soul, and Schoolboy Q along with artists who are not apart of the label like Jorja Smith, Khalid, Travis Scott and James Blake. Each of these artists brought on their own unique styles. This is a hip-hop album that uses African, neo-soul and alternative rock influences, which allowed Kendrick to not only showcase his skills as a rapper/poet but as a dynamic artist and producer. Kendrick also used this opportunity to continue to bring awareness to the issues in the black community. TDE started off by releasing the hit single "All the Stars", featuring Kendrick Lamar, and the Grammy-nominated Solana Rowe, AKA Sza. This song did nothing but make me and all of the other TDE fans want to hear more. "All the Stars" is more than a love song, Kendrick refers to growing up in the infamous Compton and says that he is no longer afraid of confrontation because he knows that through everything, he entrusts in his faith and his relationship with God.

The song “Paramedic!” makes references to the Michael Brown tragedy and to the fact that black people, specifically black men are continuously put into a system that was created for them to fail. Artists SOB X RBE mention that even though they were put into this system and were expected to fail they did not and they are extremely successful. This song brings even more awareness to life in the hood and the survival skills people have to have when living in a place that is known for nothing but guns, gangs, and drugs.

Listening to this album introduced me to genres of music that I would never have thought of listening to and I appreciate the different styles on each song. One song will be completely techno and the next will be hardcore, west-coast rap. Kendrick also included artists from the U.K, which seems to be a popular move in the American music industry. I was able to listen to this album through and through without any skips for an entire week and I do not think I will ever get tired of it. Overall Kendrick did an incredible job producing this album, he was able to introduce new or underrated artists while using more than one style of music. I believe that because of this album Kendrick will be looked at as more than a rapper who shakes the table and speaks up on issues in our community, but as a musical legend and icon. I’m going to continue to listen to this very iconic album and hopefully you will too because if you haven’t listened to this album you’re missing out...The entire album is a bop!