The anticipation for the release of Black Panther is filling up my soul. Despite my people showing their exceptionally yet excessive support through numerous threads, think-pieces, and alleged rules (i say this loosely) towards watching the movie, My excitement for Black Panther hasn’t been altered and has withstood the test of goofy behavior all around.
At first I didn’t know what was to become of the Black Panther soundtrack. It was almost about an afterthought of mines. That is until I heard the first single, “All the Stars” from the two top heavyweights of TDE, Kendrick Lamar and SZA. Next up sometime after was the second single “King’s Dead,” with Kendrick, Jay Rock, & Future. After that release, it had me wondering if whether or not TDE was about to bless us with a secret Black Hippy project that was disguised as the Black Panther soundtrack. Not only was King’s Dead the second single, but is also serving as the first single off Jay Rock’s next upcoming Album. Personally I think that was a smart marketing move from TDE, but that’s neither here nor there. As soon as the news dropped that Kendrick and Top Dawg were going to be the curators for the soundtrack, the ideas of what’s to come for the soundtrack started clicking.
It was dope to me seeing a possible new trend that was ahead of artist curating movie soundtracks. Not too long after the announcement for Black Panther, more news was presented that rapper Future was going to be curator the Super Fly soundtrack. I’m very interested to see how this is going to be pulled off, especially since also he’s due for another Solo project release. It’s been awhile since we’ve came across curated movie soundtracks. There have been amazing curated movie soundtracks that were created for us such as original 1989 Batman, Purple Rain, The Bodyguard, American Gangsta, Waiting to Exhale, 8 Mile, & Get or Die Tryin. Probably the most notable comparison to Kendrick and Black Panther was with Prince and the original Batman soundtrack . The story was that director Tim Burton was a fan of Prince and Warner Bros wanted Prince to make a contribution to the soundtrack. After watching about half-hour of the film, he was inspired enough to create a 10 track project. Like with Prince, Black Panther director Ryan Cooger was a fan of Kendrick’s music.
At first, Kendrick was going to only contribute a few songs but then after watching a portion of the film, he was inspired to create the soundtrack. The main thing I love so much about TDE is their process on creating music. Even after coming off two of the most successfully commercial albums, DAMN and CTRL, you can never really know what direction they’re going to take with the music. They set their own trends and follow their own waves. Never had to really follow certain Pop culture blueprints in order to be successful. They always stay true to themselves and the music they create. So I just knew they’re really going to come with it for Black Panther.
After further listening and living with the soundtrack, i realized this isn’t wasn’t a hidden Black Hippy album. It turns out that it was actually disguised somewhat as Kendrick Lamar’s playlist. It’s like its a Kendrick album but its also not a Kendrick album if you’re understanding what I’m saying. Minus the actual records credited to Kendrick such as Black Panther, All the Stars, King’s Dead, & Big Shot, you can hear and feel his presence all throughout the album. You’ll hear him in the background vocals on songs like I Am, on the hook, or with a bridge such as Opps, Paramedic, Redemption, etc. What made Kendrick’s appearance on the soundtrack the most unique was not only by making us hear and feel his presence on the album, but he also left available room for the newer artists like Mozzy, SOB x RBE, Jorja Smith, & Saudi to shine on their. He went as far as to give all of their credit on the track-list.