On February 16Black Panther hits theatres across the nation. The movie is a celebration of Black excellence as much as it is a love letter to the 50-year-old Marvel Comics character. And of course, there’s tons of excitement because it’s a big-budget, Hollywood film with a Black director and predominantly Black cast. In a #OscarsSoWhite world, many believe this to be an important moment for both the film industry and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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As if this movie wasn’t shaping up to be an amazing experience, director Ryan Coogler teamed up with Kendrick Lamar and TDE founder, Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith to curate a soundtrack befitting of all that the movie stands for. The two brought their collective experience together, and with the help of their friends, created Black Panther: The Album. A spiritual successor to Kendrick’s good kid, m.A.A.d city and To Pimp A Butterfly, this new album illustrates facets of the Black experience, and the commonalities shared whether you’re in Africa or America. 

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With this direction in mind, the soundtrack isn’t entirely a product of the Western world. Black Panther: The Album embraces its roots and channels that energy and culture into it’s production, content matter, and creative team. The project brings together many artists for some unlikely collaborations. With over 20 vocalists – and just as many producers – the project is a melting pot of talent. Here are our favourite contributions to the project.