South African artists make a big splash on the Black Panther Soundtrack
Words: Tshiamo Seape
To say the hype for the latest Marvel film, Black Panther has been rising steadily would be a gross underestimation. The meteoric rise in anticipation has been unlike any movie released in recent memory. So, just one week before the South African release of the film it seemed like there was nothing left to get excited about, but thankfully we were wrong. When the announcement was made that Kendrick Lamar would be the soundtrack’s executive producer there was no doubt that the album would bring the heat. What we didn’t know was that the album would come with a number of South African features. While it does seem like a surprise, the clues have been there.
The film takes place in the fictional African country of Wakanda and the filmmakers decided to use Xhosa as the proxy for Wakandan; veteran South African actor John Kani plays the Black Panther’s father; Kendrick has previously mentioned his affinity for South Africa in the press and in his music. All told four South African artists have been assembled to help create this album.
Rapper, Saudi is the first South African to appear on the tracklist in the song, X. His rap/ sung verse holds its own alongside Hip Hop heavyweights 2 Chainz, Kendrick and Schoolboy Q. Look out for this banger to feature prominently on your summer playlist.
Next up is Yugen Blakrok alongside Kendrick and Vince Staples who go all in in the politically charged song, Opps. Her verse is strong and her flow holds nothing back as she holds her own among two of the most talented emcees in the game today.
The next features come on the songs Redemption and Seasons, which follow in quick succession and feature Babes Wodumo and Sjava respectively. Babes bring her trademark high energy while Sjava gives a more subdued and emotional performance.
The sum of all these features is an eclectic and energetic album that affirms what we should already feel about our musical ability: South African music is world class and we have every right to want to see our artists shine on the world stage. Listen to the full album and see Black Panther when it releases nationwide on Friday the 16th.