Kendrick Lamar‘s ability to curate did not disappoint when it came to the daunting task of crafting Marvel’s Black Panther The Album soundtrack, which dropped Friday (Feb. 9). The 30-year-old plucked talent from across the globe, employing an impressive range of industry superstars and talented emerging artists looking to gain global recognition.
The Compton native explored Africa to bring some Mzansi flavor to the highly anticipated film’s soundtrack. Four South African artists ended up making the cut, scattered throughout varying tracks on the project. Babes Wodumo, Sjava, Yugen Blakrok, and Saudi each went toe-to-toe with some of the best North American music has to offer, which made for an interesting dynamic and many tuneful collaborations.
Let’s delve deeper into each South African artist’s guest appearance on the album below.
Babes Wodumo – “Redemption” Feat. Zacari
Wodumo caressed the first verse on the drum-laden record “Redemption.” She joined Zacari and Kendrick on the track, who previously teamed up on DAMN. for the organic hit, “LOVE.” Simelane took to Twitter to express her gratitude for being involved with the album, “BLESSINGS ON BLESSINGS it’s HARVEST SEASON #REDEMPTION FROM DURBAN TO L.A Compton [??] #BlackExcellence #Redemption #blackpantherthealbum #QgomuQueen #ProudlySouthAfrican#ezinye Zazo.”
Sjava – “Seasons” Feat. Mozzy & Reason
Johannesburg native Sjava rose to prominence through Miss Pru’s single, “Ameni.” Here, he connects with Reason, who handle the bookend verses of the soothing unhurried track. South Africa meets Sacramento on “Seasons,” as Kendrick also taps one of his favorite artists out today for the track in Mozzy. K. Dot is also credited with production on the track.
Yugen Blakrok – “Opps” Feat. Vince Staples
Ludwig Goransson handles the thumping EDM-influenced production, which has a similar sound to what Vince Staples employed throughout his Big Fish Theory album. Yugen Blakrok has worked the underground hip-hop scene of South Africa for the past decade or so, but the world now gets to see her talent on full display.
Saudi – “X” Feat. 2 Chainz & Schoolboy Q
Saudi raps side-by-side with three of the best hip-hop has to offer. The Senaone native weaves numerous Zulu references throughout his intricate verse. Anele has thanked legends such as Michael Jackson for inspiring him to pursue music in the past. Saudi even draws comparisons of founding father Ben Franklin to South African leader Nelson Mandela on the track.