Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa / Black Panther (Art by Marlon West)
by Marlon West (FB: marlon.west1 Twitter: @marlonw IG: stlmarlonwest Spotify: marlonwest)
With the passing of the great Chadwick Boseman, I am inclined to hold the playlist I made to share today until next week. I thought instead I’d share this playlist I created in celebration of Black Panther two years ago.
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I won’t say how many times I’ve seen the film so far. I made this playlist by imagining what genius Princess Shuri would listen to in her lab, it was made before the film grossed over $1.3 billion worldwide and broke numerous box office records, including the highest-grossing film by a Black director. Before it became the ninth-highest-grossing film of all time, the third-highest-grossing film in the U.S. and Canada, and the second-highest-grossing film of 2018.
I made before it received seven nominations at the 91st Academy Awards including Best Picture, with wins for Best Costume Design, Best Original Score, and Best Production Design.
Black Panther is the first superhero film to receive a Best Picture nomination.
The film’s director, Ryan Coogler, wrote of Boseman this weekend:
When preparing for the film, he would ponder every decision, every choice, not just for how it would reflect on himself, but how those choices could reverberate. “They not ready for this, what we are doing… This is Star Wars, this is Lord of the Rings, but for us… and bigger!”
He would say this to me while we were struggling to finish a dramatic scene, stretching into double overtime. Or while he was covered in body paint, doing his own stunts. Or crashing into frigid water, and foam landing pads. I would nod and smile, but I didn’t believe him. I had no idea if the film would work. I wasn’t sure I knew what I was doing.
But I look back and realize that Chad knew something we all didn’t. He was playing the long game. All while putting in the work. And work he did.
Please enjoy this playlist of Afro-pop, neo-soul, and others forward facing music from all over African diaspora.
Wakanda and Chadwick forever!