I know I reviewed a Kendrick album last issue, but this album is hardly his alone. Attributed to Lamar, SZA, and The Weeknd on Spotify, Black Panther: The Album features plenty of artists including Schoolboy Q, 2 Chainz, Anderson .Paak, and the always energetic Vince Staples.
The Black Panther film received incredibly positive reviews, and the inspired album followed suite. Despite opening at number one on the Billboard 200, only three of the albums tracks were featured in the film.
The Album opens with an eerie title track featuring Lamar rapping about modern social politics. The rest of the tracks take a bit of a dynamic ride. Upbeat tracks like All The Stars (with SZA) and The ways (with Swae Lee and Khalid) set the poppy tone against the solemn tracks Opps (with Vince Staples and Yugen Blakrok), I Am (with Jorja Smith) and Seasons (with Sjava, Reason and Mozzy).
Redemption (with Babes Wodumo and Zacari) sits somewhere in between with chill vocals set to a South African club beat called gqom. The polyrhythmic beat keeps the energy high and drives an otherwise poppy song.
Paramedic (with SOB X RBE), my personal favorite, hits with harsh flow and a classic west coast sound. King’s Dead (with Future, James Blake and Jay Rock) holds a similar trap style before Lamar throws in a vigorous rap over a beat change (does this guy ever need to take a breath?).
The final track leaves listeners with what is likely the sincerest song on the album. Lamar pours out his distaste for the state of the world and declares “I fight the world, I fight you, I fight myself.”
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