Critical Analysis Outline on Kendrick Lamar’s Black Panther Album and the Black Panther 2018 Film
“Black Panther the Album” is very nearly as densely packed — with ideas, allusions and ambitions — as one of Mr. Lamar’s official solo albums. He’s superbly abetted by his frequent collaborator Sounwave (Mark Spears), the producer or co-producer on almost every track, who shifts the atmosphere constantly — often within a single song — deploying ratchety trap percussion, menacing electronics, blurry pitch-shifted samples, and even a rock guitar. “Black Panther” does include the mandatory action-film pop anthems. In “All the Stars,” Mr. Lamar raps about conflict between hopeful choruses from SZA. But the song’s release as a single has been marred by complaints that its video clip imitates, without credit, the imagery of a Liberian-British artist, Lina Iris Viktor.
Like King T’Challa, King Kendrick grapples with the burdens and blessings of an exalted perch: Uneasy lies the head. Perhaps the most touching song on the album is also the most gauche, the album closer “Pray for Me,” in which Lamar pours out angst and bromides between schlocky refrains sung by the Weeknd. “I fight the world, I fight you, I fight myself/I fight God, just tell me how many burdens left.” At such moments, Lamar is something grander than a superhero: heroically human.