Black Panther Soundtrack Review

by Frederik Nielsen, Aug 31, 2020 . 4 min read

Black Panther Soundtrack Review

On the evening of August 28, the sad and devasting news emerged. Black Panther actor and on-screen legend: Chadwick Boseman tragically passed away at the age of 43. The actor was fighting a private battle with colon cancer since 2016.

To commemorate the talent and life of Chadwick Boseman: we’ve revived this previous article; a soundtrack review of his most known film: Black Panther.

Black Panther Soundtrack Review

Everyone’s talking about it: Black Panther. Some say it is empowering disenfranchised women and Black communities, others accuse it of Blaxploitation. Personally, I just enjoy a good superhero movie. That was the reason I took my better half out to watch it this past Valentine’s Day. That and the fact that tickets for Fifty Shades Freed would have been grounds for divorce.

With the camera lens zeroing in on past and present political issues and the African diaspora, Black Panther isn’t your typical superhero movie. Likewise, with his rejection of mainstream hit-song formulas as well as his non-conformist political lyrics, Kendrick Lamar isn’t your typical rapper. Naturally, this makes for a very interesting marriage of visuals and sound. It could go either way, so let’s get right into it – review of the Black Panther Soundtrack, which is currently on its way to the top of the charts.

Black Panther, red thread

The first track on the record seems to be the only song that relates directly to the film itself and sees Kendrick taking on the persona of T’Challa, the man behind the Black Panther mask and the king of Wakanda. Although T’Challa doesn’t feature on the rest of the album; there is still a red thread of common themes running through the soundtrack. Both lyrically and sonically – as strong as on any solo Kendrick Lamar album.

Musically, the soundtrack combines tribal rhythms and vocal samples with the ever-popular 808 drums and gritty synths. These elements can be found throughout the record, and the various guests curated by Kendrick slot themselves into this new soundscape seamlessly. Among some of the guests are Kendrick’s long-time collaborators Schoolboy Q and Ab-Soul, as well as southern rap moguls Future and Travis Scott. The nu-soul department consists of chart-topper The Weeknd, as well as Dr. Dre protégé Anderson.Paak.

Not African enough?

One of the criticisms raised by a couple of reviewers is that the roster is too American, with only 11 out of 23 artists on the soundtrack coming from Africa. My personal opinion, however, is that many of those 11 featured artists by far out-shines their US counterparts. Highlights include Johannesburg MC Yugen Blakrok, who in my opinion has one of the best verses on the entire record, and Sjava, another South African native, who sings in Zulu.

In terms of the lyrical content, much of it is centered around the everyday struggle; institutional racism; and the cycle of violence and poverty facing much of impoverished neighborhoods in the US as well as African nations. Far from getting preachy, however, Kendrick shows off the same introspective side that can be found on his other material, by juxtaposing his own good and bad sides with lines like “I am T’Challa, I am Killmonger”.

Worth a listen – ok, more than one

So, is this one of the best movie soundtracks? All in all, this soundtrack deserves a listen – and then another one. And then maybe add a couple of the songs to the playlist on your phone. You can Google some of those African artists and listen to their solo material. It’s a good movie and a good soundtrack. Don’t let the haters tell you otherwise.


Total Roadie Tuner score: 4 out of 5 tuners

Get our free Alternate Tunings Guide!

Check out some other similar articles

Take advantage of our biggest backer-exclusive discounts and get your hands on this next-generation automatic tuner. Back the Kickstarter campaign today and be the first to receive the Roadie 3.

Recent discussion at tendermeets revolved around how romance inspires music and creativity for artists of all kinds.

Augusto Palmeri
Sep 15, 2020 . 5 min read

The best online jamming websites are a godsend. First, they are a great way to practice. Second, they are fun. Third, they are especially useful in a time of pandemic and limited social contact.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Sep 7, 2020 . 3 min read

Is lo-fi the smooth jazz of the new generation? No. It is not. Lo-Fi is not the smooth jazz of the generation. But what is Lo-fi after all?

Rodrigo Sanchez
Sep 4, 2020 . 3 min read

Guitar pedals are a dime a dozen. There are just so many types, variations, blends, and flavors. I could write an encyclopedia on guitar pedals available.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Aug 25, 2020 . 4 min read

Chris Cornell was one of the architects of grunge in the early 90s. He is one of the three most important figures in this movement, the other two being Kurt Cobain and Eddie Vedder.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Aug 24, 2020 . 4 min read

Turning your hobby into your profession is quite a leap. There is very little pressure in playing for fun. But for a professional guitarist, every gig is a serious matter. After all, you will be getting paid according to your abilities and the realities of the market you’re in.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Aug 17, 2020 . 4 min read

Roadie Music has followers ranging from eager beginners to seasoned professionals. Whatever your level of skill, it’s always good to aspire to become better.

Frederik Nielsen
Aug 12, 2020 . 4 min read

Tuning is crucial. And it turns out, no one is more obsessed with tuning than a guitarist. Guitar players check their tuning excessively and for good reason. If a single string is out of tune, it can completely ruin a song (as well as your reputation).

Rodrigo Sanchez
Aug 4, 2020 . 4 min read

Bob Dylan has been a staple of music and culture for over 50 years. He’s considered by many one of the greatest songwriters to ever live.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Jul 30, 2020 . 4 min read

There are countless underrated rock legends who don’t get the recognition they deserve. But imagine actually receiving critical acclaim for your work… and still not being remembered.

Frederik Nielsen
Jul 27, 2020 . 4 min read

Released in February of 1970, “Fire and Rain” has been a staple of fine songwriting for 50 years.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Jul 15, 2020 . 5 min read

Guitarists are a dime a dozen. Unique guitarists are not. And then there are those who stand in the rarified air of having their unique guitar playing styles widely imitated.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Jul 14, 2020 . 4 min read

Is it really over?! Well, not quite! Roadie 3 is now available on Indiegogo with exclusive perks for a limited time!

For most of you, Roadie 3’s launch on Kickstarter on May 20, 2020, is not new news. 

Hussein El Annan
Jul 7, 2020 . 3 min read

Earlier this month, we witnessed a historical mass day of observation – Blackout Tuesday. Many called it the largest modern showing of solidarity in the fight against racism that the Black Lives Matter organization has ever seen.

Donna Maurer
Jun 23, 2020 . 3 min read

John Lennon was one of the most beloved songwriters of his generation and was taken from us way too soon. Lennon is well-remembered to this day, not only as a musician but as an activist and a counter-culture icon.

Frederik Nielsen
Jun 19, 2020 . 3 min read

Johnny Cash: real name or not? Even though he passed nearly two decades ago, Johnny Cash is still popular today — even outside of his genre. His songs still have a profound impact on his listeners and his legend will probably outlive most of his peers.

Frederik Nielsen
Jun 5, 2020 . 3 min read

From talking about the ups and downs the genre has gone through to covering some of the most influential artists, we’ve talked about jazz a bunch of times on this blog.

Frederik Nielsen
Jun 4, 2020 . 3 min read

Did you see that? The start of our campaign was explosive! In under 10 minutes, we reached 100% of our funding goal and so far raised over $290K in the first 14 days alone! 

Tamara Habchi
Jun 3, 2020 . 2 min read

Although many parents have found the iPad to be a good substitute for parenting, there are those who believe that DIY crafts make more balanced human beings in the long run.

Tamara Habchi
May 28, 2020 . 4 min read

Roadie 3 has finally launched on Kickstarter in the most explosive way possible!

Tamara Habchi
May 21, 2020 . 2 min read
We'll be bringing you recommended tabs and plenty of interesting quotes from guitar legends along the way!