Black Panther Wakanda Forever Soundtrack Review

The most anticipated Marvel sequel soundtrack has finally arrived.

The Black Panther Wakanda Forever Album Cover From Marvel Studios

The Black Panther Wakanda Forever Album Cover From Marvel Studios

by Kerry Claiborne , Reporter


The Black Panther Wakanda Forever Album Cover From Marvel Studios


With the massive critical acclaim and commercial success the first “Black Panther” soundtrack received in 2018 produced by guest curator Kendrick Lamar and composer Ludwig Göransson, many fans were excited for the sequel soundtrack when an Black Panther sequel movie was announced.

Part of the tremendous success with the first Black Panther movie was its equal blockbuster soundtrack with the artists of Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd, SZA, Travis Scott, Anderson Paak, Khalid, Jorja Smith, Future, and many more.

The overall soundtrack and many of its songs like “All The Stars” and “Kings Dead” won awards with its character themes and its pop-friendly, rap inspired afrobeats.

Fans of the soundtrack like myself were excited when Marvel Studios announced a second “Black Panther” movie was in the works, meaning another potential blockbuster soundtrack. However, with the global pandemic and the sudden passing of actor Chadwick Boseman (T’Challa/Black Panther in the movie) in 2020, both the movie and soundtrack both dramatically shifted to a new direction.

One of the slight criticisms of the original soundtrack in 2018 was the lack of international artists and overabundance of American artists. With the massive new approach of the movie bringing Mayan and Mexican cultures into the sequel, it was only fitting to bring these cultures and sounds into the soundtrack along with African sounds of afrobeats.

The first track is a massive anticipation-inducing single from American pop star Rihanna, which is her first solo single since 2016.“Lift Me Up” by Rihanna is a somber ballad with the clear-cut tribute to the actor Chadwick Boseman passing and talks about the emotions of reflecting a time on those we miss when they are gone. While Rihanna showcased her vocals with the touching lyrics, off the first couple of listens, it felt a little disappointing due to my expectations of “Lift Me Up” a more vibrant and dancing-energy type of song instead of a ballad.

“Con La Brisa” by Fooudeqush and “Árboles Bajo El Mar” by Vivir Quintana and Mare Advertencia Lirika, while with a genre I’m not familiar with, are two of the stronger songs on the soundtrack. These are two of the best examples showcasing songs from the soundtrack to the actual movie since these songs appear attached to Namor and Talokan as the main antagonists. The sort of ambiance the song “Con La Brisa” partially brings to the soundtrack is very compelling for my taste despite the language barrier.

”No Woman No Cry” by Tems was one of the very first songs on the official “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” trailer in July. This is definitely a highlight for the soundtrack with its clear meaning of when losing an lost one, we should celebrate their life and contributions to the world instead of weeping the sadness of the passing. While this is a cover to an already tremendous song on its own by Jamaican legend Bob Marley, Tems’ incredible talents with equally breathtaking and sometimes chilling singing make this song stand as a high point of the soundtrack.

The “Interlude” of this soundtrack is delivered by British rapper Stormzy, which is as effective with its intentions of purpose with the themes of agony over the people we lose in life. When first listening to this, I found the way Stormzy raps and sings this interlude captivating along with the opening lyrics of questioning “where does someone turn to when in need of someone that’s gone?”

“Born Again” by Rihanna was the last song on the soundtrack which is another ballad style tribute song with piano to enhance the singing ability and themes of going to the gates to heaven. The song slowly transcends from soft piano to little synthesizers, which gives the song a little bit of life towards the end. I wouldn’t go back to either of these ballads with a party mood compared to other Rihanna songs, but this was a great showcase of Rihanna’s vocal talents and a great tribute for Chadwick Boseman with the themes of grief and losses in life.

While others were disappointed that either there weren’t many American pop artists featured as anticipated from fans (or Kendrick Lamar’s absence from this soundtrack), I thought that for genres and artists I’m not always the most familiar with, overall I really enjoyed what it was.

Other songs on the soundtrack like “Wake Up” by Bloody Civilian and Rema, “Pantera” by Aleman and Rema, “La Vida” by Snow Tha Product and E-40 are great additions on the soundtrack that are considered underrated.

I think there are some exponential highlights with this sequel soundtrack despite the original soundtrack for the most part having more replay value for my music taste. Songs like “Con La Brisa” by Foudeqush, Born Again by Rihanna, “No Woman No Cry” by Tems, “Wake Up”by Bloody Civilian and Rema, “Alone” by Burna Boy, and “Coming Back For You” by Fireboy DML were my personal favorites out of the 20 tracks.

Black Panther Wakanda Forever soundtrack score: 6.5/10.