Black Panther: The Album Review

Courtesy+of+Disney%2FMarvel+Studios

Courtesy of Disney/Marvel Studios

Declan Rourke, Public Relations Representative

On Kendrick Lamar’s recent album, Black Panther: The Album, which is featured in the hit Marvel Movie Black Panther, Lamar and the artists he works with create an album focusing on the ongoing struggle for true equality. Many lines have references to Black Power and racial prejudice, creating a powerful statement enforced by all of the contributors on the album. This theme of overcoming racial discrimination is the perfect addition to the movie’s powerful message of Wakanda, a fictional African nation that prospers without the aid of foreign countries.The combination of powerful lyrics and unique beats creates a compelling soundtrack and another amazing art piece from Lamar.

Lamar and his fellow artists can be applauded for maintaining these motifs of struggle, perseverance, and Black Power throughout the album. An example of this is in “Paramedic!” in the line: “One fist in the air, I ain’t finna put my hands up.” These recurring references to Black Power in the album make it the perfect soundtrack for the film Black Panther, which has received high praise from viewers for its strong message of equality.

The album is especially unique when it comes to the mix of hip-hop rhyme and rhythm, with African sounds laced into the background. In “Big Shot,” which features Travis Scott, there is a flute melody in the background that sets the song apart from typical bass-filled sounds heard in modern American rap. There are also various songs that use drums and other instruments atypical of current hip-hop. The song “Bloody Waters” incorporates the sounds of elephants, as well as a smooth drum beat at the end. Sounds like these are also heard in the intro of “Kings Dead,” which includes roars in the background. This album has a unique exploration of sound which many other artists may not have been comfortable with incorporating. Though this album was created for a fictional movie, it does an amazing job of expressing strong, relevant messages while maintaining a fun and dramatic tone.

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