Just weeks ago, Marvel’s new superhero movie, “Black Panther” conquered the box office as one of the top-grossing Marvel films and one of the highest-performing opening nights. Even on a Monday evening, the theaters were packed and bustling as audiences are now returning to watch it two, three or four times over. In three days, “Black Panther” grossed $192 million, setting the record for the highest debut for a February film.
The really interesting stuff is in the soundtrack, though. Produced by Kendrick Lamar, the “Black Panther” soundtrack encapsulates the subtext of the film while standing on its own as a masterful collaboration of modern music legends as well as newer talents. From the first single, “All the Stars” with SZA and Kendrick, to the aggressive “King’s Dead” or “Opps”, to the smooth “I am” by Jorja Smith and “The Ways” by Khalid, the soundtrack moves through many different sounds, back and forth between rap, R&B and hip-hop. It impressively retains the South African beats and foundational rhythms as it progresses, tying it together. The soundtrack is not only a symbolic victory for the film, but for the entire “Black Renaissance” that is making itself prevalent now more than ever.
The immense success surrounding all things “Black Panther” itself makes it seem as though the studios should have released a project like this one ages ago. Regardless, we can hopefully expect more representational art such as “Black Panther” from the entertainment industry, and of course, from the music industry in particular. The soundtrack is a superb introduction to many new artists, such as SOB x RBE and Jorja Smith who are more than worth checking out. The talent of African-American artists has been perfectly shown through this soundtrack, and viewers will likely have it on repeat long after opening day - I know I do.
“Black Panther” Trailer:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjDjIWPwcPU