20 of the Blackest Lyrics From ‘Black Panther: The Album’
Everything about the upcoming film Black Panther has black pride on 100—from the movie’s black-and-excellent cast to the historic symbolism and connection to the Black Panther political collective. Seeing as the superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name arrives in the midst of the Black Lives Matter activism and during the thick of Donald Trump’s presidency, the importance of Black Panther extends far beyond mere entertainment. But the cherry on top of this long-awaited blockbuster is its stellar soundtrack, which was curated and produced by Kendrick Lamar and Top Dawg Entertainment CEO Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith.
The idea of Kendrick Lamar—the No. 1 rapper at this present moment—overseeing an entire soundtrack was intriguing. He’s already recorded classic albums that are cinematic in their execution, vivid enough to be adapted into films of their own. On the Black Panther soundtrack, K Dot and company rise to the occasion once again, compiling a body of work that that speaks to everything that the movie represents culturally. In addition to Kendrick, TDE members SZA, ScHoolboy Q, Jay Rock and Ab-Soul appear, as well as affiliates like The Weeknd, Travis Scott, Future, 2 Chainz, Anderson .Paak, Vince Staples, and Mozzy. It’s a gloriously dope project that blends rap, reggae, Afrobeat and R&B, and lyrically brings several prideful, fist-in-the-air moments.
After a few back-to-back spins of the Black Panther soundtrack, XXL sifted through the bars and hooks to handpick 20 lyrics that speak to the black experience. Are you on 10 yet?!
“King of my city, king of my country, king of my homeland/King of the filthy, king of the fallen, we living again/King of the shooters, looters, boosters and ghettos poppin’/King of the past, present, future, my ancestors watching” —Kendrick Lamar
“Saudi, are you on 10 yet?/Phuza i-Lean, smoking, you know popping Xanax/Ngiphaphazeke ngathi I-10 nil/You’re soul-searching if you’re looking for me/Magavini iphi insango? reti-shu/Somebody’s daughter finna swallow all these children/Imali is my Achilles heel, yeah/I race you to a hundred million” —Saudi
“Are you on 10 yet?/Do you have Henn yet?/Jewelry on Windex/80, my Rolex/Might Maybach the Benz, cool I’m coming out/Black on black again, I might gold to trim/I might built the wind/I don’t exit here/Too much flexing here” —ScHoolboy Q
‘I’m on a 10 and I need a 10/Nigga, done made my M a week/Nigga, December been good to me/Not even Kendrick can humble me/Nigga too rich to go do the lease/Tryna become a way bigger Meech/Nigga, my tooth is like 10 a piece/TDE family, the genevieve” —ScHoolboy Q
“Saying they after me, ain’t no one after me/Baby mama used to work at the Applebee’s/Somebody call my phone, yeah/I’ma send their ass to voicemail/I don’t even check my voicemail/Big weight, I’ma need a horse scale” —2 Chainz
“Bought a coupe with the spinning rims, get inside/Bring a friend, bleeding hands from the genocide/Clean me up, beam me up to the other side/Brothers die, ’cause coons turn to butterflies/They don’t wanna see me sittin’ in the Benz/They don’t wanna see me livin’ on the end/Of the city in a citywide bend/Show no pity in the city full of sin” —Vince Staples
“Crushing any system, that belittles us/Antidote to every poison they administer/Switch it like time signatures/Colors in my aura tend cover the perimeter/Brown bodies that the blues wanna shoot through/Hi-res lasers wanna (zoom, zoom, zoom)” —Yugen Blakrok
“Turn on the gang, that’s just something that I can’t do/Fall out over a bitch, thats just something that I can’t do/Rip every beat I get on, I was made to/Glock get to growling, something like a black panther/Tryna touch a mil, fuck saying ‘Get yo bands up’/Fucking with the gang, yeah I had to man up/One fist in the air I ain’t finna put my hands up” —Slimmy B
“I got great aim, Ice Age on my damn chain/My momma told me keep a stash for the damn rain/They ain’t wanna see me win ’cause I’m black/So I pulled up in that all black Benz in the back/If you need someone to call I’m the man for the task/You ain’t standing for the cause, meet the man in the mask” —Yhung T.O.
“Ship set sailing, planes depart/The big picture’s in motion, are you playing your part?/Before the lights get dark and the curtains get closed/Are you playing your role?/As told by an organized criminal/And general get off my genitals I got your general” —Ab-Soul
“Herbie Love Buggin’ out, hit the target blindfolded/Electorial College devoted/To hit the score, to write the score that’s not a metaphor/Raging against the machinery, taping up the scenery/You gotta keep the piece, to keep the peace/Got dough, squad up and mopped the block up for a cleaning fee” —Ab-Soul
“I’ve been ready, my whip been ready/My bitch been ready, my clique been ready/My shit’s been ready, my check’s been ready/My shot’s on full, that’s armageddon/I got pull, I hope y’all ready/My tank on full, you know, unleaded” —Jay Rock
“Miss me with that bullshit/You’re not a gang member, you’s a tourist/I be blackin’ out, I be blackin’ out/Bought an ’83 Cutlass for the weekend/I got a hundred thousand, then I freaked it/I made 500,000, then I freaked it/I put a Rolls Royce on my wrist, oh yeah/Fuck his baby mama tryna sneak diss” —Future
“Fast cars, fast money, fast life, fast broads/Egotistic, goin’ ballistic, why God?/Born warrior, lookin’ for euphoria, but I don’t see it/I don’t feel it, I’m paraplegic/Tapped in when I’m maxed in, Comp-Town with the MAC-10/And the pumps in the background, I was absent/Never OG, standout, I was lacking/Everything else but doubt in the Magnum” —Kendrick Lamar
“I cried when lil’ brotha died, got high and watched the sunrise/Wiggle on ’em if it’s One Time they done hung all of my people/I love all of my people, I’m in the slums with all of my people/They tryna tell us that we all equal/We gettin’ no justice so it ain’t peaceful” —Mozzy
“Think they bluffin’ they ain’t gon’ beat you/Paid attorney we gon’ need it/Momma told me there was demons, she ain’t never lied on her G/She worked her ass off just to feed us, she went to Ross to cop the new Adidas/She used to tap in with all the teachers, they wasn’t teaching nothin’ it wasn’t no secret” —Mozzy
“Whole lotta grind, lil’ niggas beefin/We gotta keep it or end up a victim/Trapped in the system, trafficking drugs, modern-day slavery, African thugs/We go to war with this African blood/We go to war with this African blood/When I put niggas on it was all out of love/You was disloyal can’t call it no love” —Mozzy
“Look, my nigga, I came from the sewer/Don’t shit on my past, you ain’t come from manure/You see Reason and you see L.A., but bitch I ain’t come for no ruin/Just know all of my niggas we struggled for it, had to hustle for it, cried puddles for it/My pops watch my sister get locked for it/I done seen my niggas get popped for it” —Reason
“Catch a case and they not gon’ forgive ya/White skin you be out before Christmas/Shit, auntie missed eight of those days/Tears from me had to pray those days, had to slave those days/Shit, we had to hit up a couple hood-give-aways those days/Thank God for every inch that he gave us/Thank God for everything ’cause he made us” —Kendrick Lamar
“Top off gettin’ topped-off in the city/Big Top Dawg and I dance on ’em like Diddy/Pop off and I pop back like Fiddy/I hit the ceiling and forgot about the floor/Brand so big, got my haters on the ropes/This be the wave, plus I live on the coast/When I touch a bag, young nigga do the most” —Kendrick Lamar