“I cried when lil' bruh died
Got high and watched the sunrise
Wiggle on 'em if it's one time
They done hung all of my people
I love all of my people
I'm in the slums with all of my people
They tryna tell us that we all equal
We get no justice so it ain't peaceful, yeah
They can bluff you, they can beat you
Paid attorney, we gon' need it
Momma told me there was demons
And she ain't never lied on her Jesus'
She worked her ass off just to feed us
She went to Ross to cop the new Adidas
She used to tap in with all the teachers
They wasn't teachin' nothin', it's no secret
Whole lotta crime, lil' niggas beefin'
We gotta keep it or end up a victim
Trapped in the system, traffickin' drugs
Modern-day slavery, African thugs
We go to war for this African blood
We go to war for this African blood
When I put niggas on, it was all out of love
You was disloyal, can't call it no love”
All right yall, Black Panther is here, and with a kick ass all Black Super hero movie, comes an even Blacker soundtrack to go with it. Kendrick Lamar, curator and producer did not come to play when putting this album together. He pulled out all the stops with the featured music artist including some very talented artist from South Africa. We have TDE family, Schoolboy Q, Sza and Jay Rock. We have Young Man, Khalid, Vince Staples, Jorja Smith, Anderson .Paak, Future, James Blake, Zacari, The Weeknd and Travis Scott. Not to mention, some new artist to me, Babes Wodumo, known for her single “Wololo.” Saudi, a young rapper from Soweto and signed to label, Ambitious Ent. Yugen Blakrok, female rapper who goes so hard, from Johannesburg. Check out her album, Astro Goth. It’s lit. Sjara, another talented rapper from Johannesburg and signed to Ambitious Ent.
This is bigger than entertainment, with history feeling like it’s repeating itself in all the fuckery this has been a movement with Black representation on the big screen. Black Panther represents the resilience of Black culture and its people. Finally, a super hero movie that doesn’t rely on false stereotypes or the use of undermining their actors to get ratings. Don’t get me wrong, I love Meteor Man, Blank Man and Up Up and Away, those were the stepping stones to get us where we are today. But it really shows you the magnitude of how long it’s taken for a big name like Marvel to invest money in an all Black cast with amazing men and women showing Black excellence without making anyone feel like an uncle tom is A BIG FUCKING DEAL. Not saying that Robert Townsend or The Waynes brothers did that, but if they would have gone to the big guys saying we wanna do this, give us your money, they would have laughed in their fucking face. (And that was like what? 20 years ago?!) I’m just saying this Is cool as fuck, because it shows representation and it also shows that Black people like nerdy shit too. Don’t get us twisted.
Some of my favortie tracks throughout the album are I Am with Jorja Smith, she speaks about the fact that when your used to sacrificing everything you have all the time, you’re able to see what’s truly important, but your also able to see the injustice within the system. X with Schoolboy Q, 2 Chainz and Saudi. This is a really high energy beat with lots of attitude. My favorite verse is from Schoolboy Q, he raps about his success with his TDE family, ain’t’ nobody going to tell him different or ruin his mood. Redemption, with Zacari and Babes Wodumo. I love this track because it’s softer, gives you that passionfruit vibe with the afro drums and Zacari’s sexy ass voice. It’s relaxed and makes you want to go out dancing with that freak em’ dress. Bloody Waters, with Anderson. Paak, AB-Soul and James Blake. Another softer track with Caribbean vibes and drums. You get funk inspirations and of course AB- Soul goes hard lyrically, about politics and the fucked-up system making humans into sheep. Opps, with Vince Staples and Yugen Blakrok. This track is way darker and rough around the edges but with both Vince and Yugen lyrical magicians, they make this track go hard.
Overall, salute to everyone who made this album possible. Who made the film possible. This is just a stepping stone to more representation within music and on the big screen. Another note, it’s not just the fact of having Black or POC seen, but how they are seen and represented that matters. Respect and the fact that Black Culture is more than just sports, hip-hop and “being the cool Black person” or the quirky Black light skin girl that makes it okay to be the main character. There are so many levels to this shit and intersectionalities, but it feels like we are getting where we need and should be.
Words by Tesia Pennie // Childish_fun