Joycelyn Wilson, professor in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication (LMC) at Georgia Institute of Technology, wrote The Bitter Southerner, March 8 article, “Hip-Hop Is Our Vibranium.” The School of Literature Media, and Communication is part of the Georgia Tech Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts.
Leading up to the soundtrack’s release, “Legend Has It” — produced by the interracial rap duo Run The Jewels — was licensed as the sonic backdrop for the “Black Panther” movie trailer. The song and trailer teased us during the 2017 NBA Finals, introducing RTJ to audiences who knew nothing about them — like the students at Atlanta’s Ron Clark Academy, who burst into a dance set after learning they’d get a chance to see the Marvel movie. The song is recognized for Killer Mike and El-P’s futuristic riffs and exhortations to “step into the spotlight.”
“Legend Has It” also provides the soundtrack for the “Black Panther” Lexus commercial, where King T’Challa, his sister Shuri, and members of the Dora Milaje drive the LS 500 F Sport to secure some stolen vibranium.
All of this multilinear storytelling and rap-music marketing is layered with hip-hop’s African roots, its Cali sensibilities, and its Southern aesthetics. Together, they contribute to the ongoing box office success of the film, which is fast approach $1 billion in global ticket sales.
The music of “Black Panther” makes clear that hip-hop itself is the vibranium of the time.
For the full article, visit The Bitter Southerner website.