Release Date: Feb 9, 2018
Record label: Interscope
Your enjoyment of 'Black Panther: The Album - Music From And Inspired By' will probably depend on whether or not you've seen the latest Marvel movie. Curated by the critically and commercially adored rapper Kendrick Lamar and his label boss, Top Dawg Entertainment's Anthony Tiffith, its 14 tracks intermittently throw up comic-book jargon ("T'Challa", "Wakanda") that'll have the uninitiated scratching their heads. But the weight of this release should be clear even without prior knowledge: Kendrick has pulled together a set of collaborators too long to list in full, including major names (The Weeknd, 2 Chainz, Future), rising stars (Jorja Smith, Khalid, Yugen Blakrok) and tried-and-tested cosigns (James Blake, Zacari, SZA) for a star-studded hip-hop album that complements Black Panther's messaging and reinforces its status as a hugely significant moment in film.
The film Black Panther is not the first black blockbuster, or even the first black superhero movie, but there has never been a movie on this scale directed by, written by, acted by, and designed by black talent. In the wake of campaigns to diversify cinema and disrupt the Hollywood hegemony by hiring more people of color, lofty expectations have been placed on a film of this magnitude. Helmed by Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station, Creed) and starring Chadwick Boseman, Michael B.