June 20, 2018 / 9:09 AM

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Billboard 200 Chart: 'Black Panther: The Album' Debuts At No. 1



Kendrick Lamar's Black Panther: The Album is shaping up to become as successful as Ryan Coogler's highly acclaimed big screen offering, Black Panther.

The original motion picture soundtrack coproduced by the multi-Grammy nominated artist made its debut on the Billboard 200 albums chart and immediately became number 1.

According to Nielsen Music, the album was able to earn 154,000 equivalent units since its launch on Feb. 9 until Feb. 15. About 52,000 of that number were from traditional sales.

Billboard added that the album, inspired by Black Panther, gained the biggest week for a soundtrack for a long time. The last soundtrack to gather this much love was Suicide Squad: The Album, which also debuted at the top of the chart in August 2016 with 182,000 units sold.

T'Challa: All Hail The King

The success of the album can be partly attributed to its movie companion, which has been receiving critical acclaim since it premiered last month. At the box office, the movie — the first predominantly black production from the Marvel Cinematic Universe — has broken records. It has grossed over $192 million last weekend and can even cross the $200 million mark after the four-day holiday.

Tracking initially estimated Black Panther to gross around $150 million to $165 million during its opening weekend.

The movie's opening weekend gross is only second to 2012's The Avengers, which earned $207.4 million at the box office in just three days.

Black Panther also broke the records for biggest opening by an African-American director, top-scoring superhero movie on Rotten Tomatoes (at 97 percent), and overtaking Deadpool as the biggest February debut.

However, Lamar's genius is undeniable in Black Panther: The Album. The "Humble" rapper, who coproduced the album with his Top Dawg Entertainment boss Anthony "Top Dawg" Tiffith, has writing credits on all 14 tracks and rounded up an all-star lineup of contributors that include SZA, ScHoolBoy Q, 2 Chainz, Khalid, Jay Rock, Future, James Blake, Travis Scott, and The Weeknd. The first two singles from the album, "All the Stars" and "King's Dead," were released with visually striking music videos.

Black Panther: The Album is also getting positive responses from music critics and fans alike. While Lamar, at times, taps into the psyche of T'Challa, the king and hero of Wakanda, the music in the soundtrack is also very recent and very relevant to issues that the community is facing right now.

"The movie's not set in 1910, or the 1960s when Black Panther first came out — it's set in today," said Top Dawg Entertainment producer Sounwave. "There's 'today' moments happening in the movie, so we want the whole soundtrack to sound like that too. I think it was a perfect marriage for us to blend the two worlds."

Black Panther: The Album is now available for purchase on Amazon, Best Buy, and iTunes. It is also available for streaming on Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, and Pandora.

Black Panther is now screening in theaters worldwide.

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