Black Panther: The Album

The soundtrack uses themes from the film and modern society to emphasize pride and cultural identity.


Nikolas Draper-Ivey crafted a contemporary and powerful soundtrack cover for Black Panther.

Before the largely anticipated film, Black Panther, premiered on February 16th, the soundtrack was released by Interscope Records on February 9th. A week before the movie was even released the album reached 139 million on-demand audio streams proving its worldwide anticipation. Since then, Black Panther The Album has debuted as No. 1 on Billboard top 200 albums chart. Working alongside label executive Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith, Kendrick Lamar executively produced the tracks under TDE label and appears on five of the fourteen songs. Check out the playlist below!

  1. Black Panther || Kendrick Lamar
  2. All The Stars || Kendrick Lamar, SZA
  3. X || ScHoolboy Q, 2 Chainz, Saudi
  4. The Ways || Khalid, Swae Lee
  5. Opps || Vince Staples, Yugen Blakrok
  6. I Am || Jorja Smith
  7. Paramedic! || SOB X RBE
  8. Bloody Waters || Ab-Soul, Anderson .Paak, James Blake
  9. King’s Dead || Jay Rock, Kendrick Lamar
  10. Redemption Interlude || Zacari
  11. Redemption || Zacari, Babes Wodumo
  12. Seasons || Mozzy, Sjava, Reason
  13. Big Shot || Kendrick Lamar, Travis Scott
  14. Pray For Me || The Weeknd, Kendrick Lamar

Black Panther is not only a movie but also a cultural movement. The film takes place in a fictional African nation called Wakanda where life is the most technologically advanced on Earth and culture is particularly spiritual. The album seeks to reflect such emotions by blending different genres and representing black artists. Racism, more specifically police brutality, is talked about front and center along with inner-power, self-reflection, and finding one’s identity. Four South Africans are featured along with eleven African American artists, mostly West Coast natives.

There are parts of the movie, the visual experience of the movie, that are made more complete by the music, and that has an additional emotional effect.”

— David Bakula, senior vice president of analytics at Nielsen Entertainment

All the Stars, the second track on Black Panther, is one of the most popular hits on the album. You can hear SZA’s personality as she sings over streaking synths and stamping drums. Kendrick’s verse about conflict and resolution, “You can bring a bullet, bring a sword/ Bring a morgue, but you can never bring the truth to me” delivers an enthralling turn to SZA’s contemporary mid tempo ‘80s synth-pop.

Kendrick and The Weeknd’s collaboration on the song, Pray For Me, echoes an intense mood and thumping baseline that attracts attention with haunting vocals. “Who need a hero?/ You need a hero, look in the mirror, there go your hero,” exclaims Kendrick in reference to the many injustices currently faced by blacks in America. This track tells a story that you won’t forget.

In my opinion, the best song on the album is The Ways by Khalid featuring Swae Lee and Kendrick Lamar. Maybe it’s just my love of R&B, but Khalid’s mellifluous voice and soothing tone paired with Swae Lee’s catchy, synthetic verse makes for a beautiful song. The listener is furthermore captured by the lyrics as Khalid and Swae Lee discuss their desire for a power girl, someone who can support a man when he’s at his worst.

If you are planning on seeing Black Panther, be sure to sit down and listen to the movie’s album in its entirety. Rap, pop, and R&B are all highlighted between fourteen songs, so there is bound to be a track you will enjoy. Not only is the music exceptional, but the lyrics convey a strong political and social message in the wake of today’s society.