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Subtitled "Music from and Inspired By," this is not a soundtrack in the strictest sense. Indeed, a significant portion of the content -- from whole tracks like the Travis Scott turn "Big Shot," to the part where Future quotes Juicy J's "Slob on My Knob" -- has no relation to the film, though there's a reflectively militant quality to a high percentage of the verses. Elements that are alternately obvious and subtle, including tribal-futuristic drums, audio-logo-like mentions of character names, and ululations (the last instance via the Weeknd on the despairing but proud finale), are threaded throughout to maintain the connection.
They frame Lamar, a central figure as he proclaims his sovereign rank and examines its pitfalls -- not a stretch for him. The set has a major crossover single bid in the form of "All the Stars," an elegantly crafted SZA showcase that sounds at once like a defiant hero's anthem and a love theme. Another canny aspect in the album's assemblage is its inclusion of several artists from South Africa. The most notable appearance is made by Yugen Blakrok, "half-machine" Johannesburg native who boasts of "crushing any system that belittles us," references Millie Jackson, and leaves a pile of smoldering rubble in her wake. Lamar also enlists England's Jorja Smith and James Blake, and a Stateside crew that includes Mozzy, Ab-Soul, and Anderson Paak, as well as SOB x RBE, who, like Coogler, represent the Bay Area. Given the level of the performances, the majority of the guests evidently approached this as a Kendrick Lamar album, not as a soundtrack. Black Panther: The Album serves both purposes well.
|A1||–Kendrick Lamar||Black Panther|
|A2||–Kendrick Lamar, SZA (2)||All The Stars|
|A3||–Schoolboy Q, 2 Chainz, Saudi (3)||X|
|B1||–Khalid (16), Swae Lee||The Ways|
|B2||–Vince Staples, Yugen Blakrok||Opps|
|B3||–Jorja Smith||I Am|
|B4||–SOB X RBE||Paramedic|
|C1||–Ab-Soul, Anderson .Paak, James Blake||Bloody Waters|
|C2||–Jay Rock (2), Kendrick Lamar, Future (4), James Blake||King's Dead|
|D1||–Zacari, Babes Wodumo||Redemption|
|D2||–Mozzy, Sjava, Reason (24)||Seasons|
|D3||–Kendrick Lamar, Travis Scott (2)||Big Shot|
|D4||–The Weeknd, Kendrick Lamar||Pray For Me|
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