The sequel to the 2018-film Black Panther which starred the late Chadwick Boseman is set to his theatres worldwide on Friday, November 11, 2022, and therefore as a soft landing for the highly anticipated follow-up movie which carries the theme of its fictional world, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, music lovers have been gifted a soundtrack album just like the original. This soundtrack convenes the emotion of grief, thereby serving as a tribute to the late lead character, Chadwick Boseman; it also carries the spirit of jubilation, which would be seen when the movie is officially released. Battles make families stronger, such would be experienced in 4K as the movie is watched worldwide, hence the theme of jubilation.
To show the full colours of Black Panther: Wakander Forever, the executive producers of the soundtrack Music From and Inspired By had to call up musicians from Nigeria and Mesoamerican roots because the movie is inspired by these cultures. In making the soundtrack album, “recording sessions were set up in both Nigeria and Mexico, . . . Producers worked with popular artists from Lagos including Tems, which has become a hotbed of musical innovation.” These are the words of the producers of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – Music From and Inspired By.
Six (6) Nigerian vocalists were called upon to render their musical expertise on 7 out of the 19 tracks. These vocalists are Burna Boy, Tems, Fireboy DML, CKay, Bloody Civilian and Rema (in order of appearance). Only Rema appears twice, consecutively for that matter.
• Burna Boy – Alone
This is the third track, it centres on the only certainty of life—death. Burna Boy pleas with his loved ones to stand by him during the turbulent times of his stay on earth, begging them to make wholesome memories with him for he is gradually becoming weaker as the passes by. This would make his living on earth worthwhile. Despite the many struggles of man before he eventually dies, Burna Boy encourages him to “Count every blessing /. . . / Count every second”. It is produced by P.priime.
• Tems – No Woman No Cry
This might just be the perfect tribute for the dead Chadwick Boseman (alongside Rihanna‘s Lift Me Up of course). It comes just after Burna Boy’s record and is a cover of legendary Reggae singer, Bob Marley’s song which has the same title. “Good friends we have and good friends we’ve lost / Along the way / In this great future, you can’t forget your past / So dry your tears I say”, Tems comforts the bereaved to find solace in the fact that “while I’m gone / Everything’s gonna be alright / . . . / So woman, no cry, cry, cry / No, woman, no (Woman, no)”. The song’s first appearance was on the first trailer of the movie, before being added on the EP, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Prologue.
• Fireboy DML – Coming Back For You
Fireboy promises to always be there to support his lover through the hard times while praying that the universe aligns in her favour. He sings: “Well, I’ve prayed that the universe / Gives you way more than what you deserve / And when the tears fall like shooting stars, remember who you are / Just look up to the sky you see / But I pray that the universe / Gives you way more than what you deserve”. This track transitions graciously from a sombre record to a joyous one through the chorus as Fireboy DML melodies fills the air with the encouraging words “Coming back for you (Ooh, la-la, ooh, la-la, ooh, la-la) / I’m coming back for you (Ooh, la-la, ooh, la-la, ooh, la) / Coming back for you, ooh woah (Ooh, la-la, ooh, la-la, ooh, la-la) / Ooh, you’re never alone (Na, na, na)”.
• Ckay (feat. PinkPantheress) – Anya Mmiri
When Igbo flute and African drum unite harmonically, a sense of jubilation is expected to surround the atmosphere, but CKay’s blanket soul vocals will not get washed off in the mix as he masterfully glides the instrumentals with his slow-paced vocals, seeking closure from a lost loved one. PinkPanthress is the guest act, she buys into CKay’s pain, telling him she wanted to find a means to tell him what went wrong, that is, the closure he is looking for, but cannot find a way to make it make sense to him which CKay admits it is “Confusion, confusion, it’s life an illusion / You’re with me right now, next thing, you’re gone”. Once again P.priime shows why he is highly sought after in the music production game.
• Bloody Civilian (feat. Rema) – Wake Up
The dancehall record brings out the best in both acts, as the blend their styles to match the urgent beat which serves as a warning to all who listen to make the best use of their time and make money legitimately. Bloody Civilian is a newbie on the Nigerian mainstream music scene but she sounds like she has been making music for the longest time, singing as to why her hustle can never depart from her main goals. “5:31, now it’s 6:21, yeah / Six-thirty minute / Got tobeet up, but I don’t want to get up / But me, I know I mess up / And I can never give up / I got a ton of vision and I’m on a mission / Got the energy on it / Now, you got some for me?”, she declares on the first verse before taking the chorus. Rema’s verse is one to reckon with. He embodies the flow of a Rasta Man (as Reggae musicians like to be called); interesting to listeners would be Rema declaring himself the bridge between the previous and present generation of (Nigerian) musicians, “Oya tell me the person for this generation who dey bridge the gap”, Rema queries with authority.
• Aleman (feat. Rema) – Pantera
Mexican rapper, Aleman, features Nigerian new generation acts flag bearer Rema on the drill-infused record in which they quest for violence and vengeance for whoever messes with their family. Rema declares war on any transgressor, “You come for the family, then you come for me now / You make all the man wanna see your position when they testing my dominium”, sounding off, “[I] Don’t control violence, the violence, they control me” he warns his opposers to stay off his lane.
Listen to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – Music From and Inspired By soundtrack rich in Mesoamerican and Nigerian sounds in full: