Music

South Africans’ Roles in ‘Black Panther: The Album’

Black Panther: The Album, the soundtrack for one of the most anticipated Marvel Comics and superhero films, Black Panther, was released on the February 9. The album was just as anticipated as the film — and rightfully so.

This album represented one of the most diverse superhero films mainstream media has ever seen. Curated by Kendrick Lamar — one of the most revered rappers in today’s age — the album includes 14 songs, ranging from hip-hop, to pop, to everything in between. The album embodies diversity in music. Four South African artists, namely Babes Wodumo (Bongekile Simelane), Saudi (Anele Mbisha), Yugen Blakrok, and Sjava (Jabulani Hadebe) made appearances on the album, collaborating with various other commendable artists.

1. Babes Wodumo

Frennie Shivambu/Getty Images

The most well-known artist of the group is Babes Wodumo. The “Wololo artist is featured in the song “Redemption” with Zacari. Her usual upbeat, catchy Zulu bars meet Zacari’s mellow tune.

2. Saudi

Courtesy of Music in Africa

Johannesburg-born artist Saudi is featured in “X,” rapping the first verse of the song in predominantly Zulu. The song touches on preparations for action, which ties in with the themes of the film. The relatively new artist has released songs including “There She Go“. 

3. Sjava

Another artist native to Johannesburg, Sjava begins his verse on the song “Seasons” in Zulu. This heavy song includes a strong and touching message about some of the tribulations Africans face, like crime and poverty. Along with this, he has released his debut album titled Isina Muva.

4. Yugen Blakrok

Lisa Hellberg

Yugen Blakrok, a female hip-hop artist, and producer born in the Eastern Cape, features on “Opps along with American artist Vince Staples. In her personal career, she has released an album titled Return of the Astro-Goth.

The heavy presence of South Africa in both the film (with local actors such as John Kani, Atandwa Kani, and Connie Chiume) and the album show that South Africa’s artistry is finally being internationally recognized!

Black Panther: The Album, is available for purchase on iTunes and available for streaming on Spotify and Apple Music.

Featured Image Courtesy of Frennie Shivambu/Getty Images

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