Riveting beats energize Black Panther soundtrack

By Efrain Valdez, Social Media Editor

“Black Panther: The Album” will be remembered as one of the best hip-hop movie soundtracks ever and it currently sits at the top of the Billboard 200 charts. This album will leave a deep cultural impact because of what the film means to the African-American community and the impact of Kendrick Lamar’s work.

Interconnecting the songs with characters in the film and the song structure of the album is no mistake.

Lamar connects the soundtrack to the film’s characters flawlessly and he eloquently brings the injustices faced by African-Americans to the forefront. He also highlights how the power struggle between T’Challa and Erik Killmonger in the movie “Black Panther” is meant to better unite the African-American community.

“Paramedic!,” by Vallejo group SOBxRBE, is an energetic banger that pays homage to the antagonist Killmonger, director Ryan Coogler and the Black Panther Party.

Lamar shouts out Northern California, the home of Coogler, in the intro. Oakland is also the home of Killmonger in the film.

The first verse references the part of the film when Killmonger is at the museum yelling for the paramedics he is working with to steal the artifact. At the end of the first verse SOBxRBE rapper Slimmy B references the raised fist which is closely connected to the Black Panther Party.

In the last verse on “King’s Dead,” Lamar tackles Killmonger’s by-any-means-necessary attitude. Lamar says, “Who am I? Not your father, not your brother. Not your reason, not your future, not your comfort, not your reverence, not your glory, not your heaven, not your angel, not your spirit, not your message, not your freedom, not your people, not your neighbor, not your baby, not your equal, not the title y’all want me under; all hail King Killmonger.”

Lamar, channeling the spirit of Killmonger, goes on to insult T’Challa’s crown, family and country.

Through the tracklist, Lamar crafts a comparison between T’Challa and Killmonger’s conflict and the infighting between African-Americans due to the systematic oppression they face.

Sacramento rapper Mozzy is able to deliver the deepest, most grim verse on “Seasons’ that speaks to the depth of systematic oppression.

In his verse, Mozzy also raps about how African-Americans receive no justice by their government. He explains that’s the root of the problem is that there is no peace within his race.

What validates the importance of Mozzy’s verse to the film is Lamar’s outro as he takes on the perspective of both T’Challa and Killmonger.

The unique beats of Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE) producers Sounwave and Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith elevate the album to the next level. Their instrumentals and featured artists manage to incorporate a variety of interesting musical talent from domestic underground rappers and international vocalists.

The lyrics’ profound message are unfortunately scattered throughout the album limiting the effectiveness of the piece. But the top-notch production saves the album from being disappointing and makes this the memorable soundtrack that it is.