The undisputed king of rap does it all (much like a superhero) on the soundtrack to the eagerly anticipated movie blockbuster Black Panther...

This is more than we'd bargained for: to accompany the cinema release of the Marvel/Disney blockbuster Black Panther, here is a soundtrack put together by Kendrick Lamar (and his label TDE) which was anything but an afterthought. While a quick look at the track list shows that Kendrick only features on three tracks (the sharp Black Panther, the sure-fire hit All The Stars with protégée SZA and Big Shot), it seems that Lamar has co-composed, co-written and co-produced most of the others - proof, were it required, that he is far from being just one of modern rap's most spectacular performers. To round the whole thing off, he takes the mic on several other artists' tracks, most notably on the epic closing piece Pray for Me, with The Weekend.

As for the cast, alongside collaborators Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, Jay Rock and SZA, stars like The Weekend, Khalid and Vince Staples (there's even Future, Travis Scott and James Blake waiting in the wings), Lamar shines a spotlight on several unknowns, whose names will surely soon be cropping up on our screens. That includes the Californian group SOB x RBE who keep alive the spirit of Vallejo, home town of legends E-40 and Mac Dre (Paramedic!) and South Africa's Babes Wodumo, a figure in the gqom tendency which is all the rage in Durban and is starting to move feet in Paris and Berlin (on Redemption, with Zacari for whom Kendrick has already done the honours on DAMN.).

Black Panther The Album is a laboratory for Kendrick Lamar (he uses it to test new formulas, from the underground of South Africa's townships or the Sacramento projects), a manifesto (the opportunity of the "black blockbuster" as a pulpit for his message was too good to miss) and as a billboard (he invites a whole flock of disciples with more than a nod at Kanye West). It's a hat trick - hats off!

Kendrick Lamar, SZA - All The Stars


Marvel Studios' Black Panther - Official Trailer

Marvel Entertainment

Listen to Black Panther The Album Music From And Inspired By

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