“Black Panther: Music From And Inspired By” is an electric, fresh album collecting sounds from across the African Diaspora, curated by South-Central Los Angeles’ own Top Dawg Entertainment. The intro, “Black Panther,” has two-toned Kendrick Lamar kick off the record with commentary on the black social experience, along with immense repetition, declaring himself king, ending the song calling himself T’challa, Black Panther. Next, we hear an impressive vocal performance from our favorite SZA on “All the Stars,” which plays during the credits of the film.

A few tracks later, “The Ways” brings a slower, light-hearted feel with laid back vocals from Khalid and jovial singing from Rae Sremmurd’s Swae Lee. This track is both catchy and accessible, something to wind down to. ”Opps” is featured during a car chase towards the middle of the movie; rightfully so with Vince Staples’ and Lamar’s hectic, fast-paced vocals. Track seven, Paramedic!, features the Vallejo, California group SOB x RBE, bringing a fun, energetic, Bay Area sound to the album, including a hyped Kendrick lay down the hook.

Two songs later we see King’s Dead, the most hard-hitting track on the record, featuring Jay Rock and Future with standout performances. My only gripe with this track was its absence from the film; it could’ve been used effectively once Killmonger stood on T’challa’s throne, but let’s appreciate the fact that we received this banger. Next we see the “LOVE.” singer, Zacari, bring his African sound to the table on back to back tracks, continued with Zulu language layed down on the muddy “Seasons.”

“Big Shot” brings an exciting Travis Scott and Kendrick collab to the listeners’ attention, which is a great anthem for the end of your week. Lastly, The Weeknd and Lamar come together to give us “Pray for Me,” played as T’challa enters a Korean nightclub. The sound of the closer reminds me a lot of The Weeknd’s 2016 “Starboy” album.

Overall, I give the album an 8/10; I’m glad to hear new TDE material along with great features from some of the most notable artists today, including Future, Khalid, Travis Scott and Swae Lee. The album was not incorporated much within the film, which slightly disappointed me, but since it’s not a soundtrack, what can you do? If you haven’t seen Black Panther yet, get out there before Twitter spoils every last second for you, and bump the album on the way. You’ll definitely enjoy yourself.

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