"I'm Rooting for Everybody Black"
On February 9th, the Black Panther Soundtrack was released and became a part of history. The album was exclusively produced by major label Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE). With that being said, there is a TDE artist on just about every song. Kendrick Lamar was a huge part in this album by being featured on just about every song (sometimes only in the background vocals).
Outside of the heavy TDE presence, there was a nice range of features on the album. A lot of the features were combinations that we never thought we would hear. Ab-Soul, Anderson .Paak and James Blake came together for “Bloody Waters”.. while Khalid and Swae Lee hopped on “The Ways” for a dope summer sound. The main runaway in the feature category was with Kendrick and SOB x RBE on “Paramedic!”. Both of these Cali artists brought the inevitable west coast bounce along with their own flare. Somehow they came together to make potentially one of the hottest songs of the year.
The production on the album is kinda ridiculous in itself. The producers tried to stay within the theme of Black Panther and the location ‘Wakanda’ by incorporating African sounds throughout the soundtrack. This made this album so much more cohesive with the movie and was able to blend so well between the scenes. In a Rap Radar interview with MixedbyAli (music engineer for TDE), he explained how producers spent time in Africa gaining first hand inspiration from the sounds, instruments and melodies that the African culture use in music. This only helped the soundtrack tremendously by giving it a more authentic feel. Even if you have not seen Black Panther movie, the soundtrack will remind you a lot of African culture based off the instruments they decided to use. This was a perfect touch for the album and added a lot of detail to the movie.
Now the movie is officially the highest selling superhero movie of all time. Meaning that the soundtrack is gaining more and more traction by the minute. This is huge for hip-hop, and specifically TDE in the grand scheme of everything. For hip-hop to be the leading genre in a Marvel movie’s soundtrack is crazy because Marvel is known to be a movie juggernaut for the last 10+ years. Now hopefully we can keep this trend going.