Nate Parker’s The Birth of a Nation was dubbed a must-see film. Based in historical roots, the film followed the events leading up to a slave rebellion by Nat Turner from Virginia. Although deemed a must-see film by some, The Birth of a Nation flopped in theaters due to mixed reviews combated with Parker’s recent news scandal.
While the film received flack, the soundtrack itself has also been overlooked by most.
‘The Birth of a Nation: The Inspired by Album’ features 16 tracks with our favorite industry artists such as Nas, Lil Wayne, Gucci Mane and more — while also allowing upcoming artists a chance to shine. Honestly, this artist line up itself is enough to get someone hype, whether they see the movie or not.
Vic Mensa sets the soundtrack tone with , “Go Tell ‘Em.” Opening up with a hard-hitting beat and chain clanking in the background, Mensa goes on about the struggle to escape oppression— a theme reflected by the black struggle in America.
Next up Meek Mill and Pusha T feature newcomer Priscilla Renea on “Black Moses.” The trio delivered messages of captivity and rebellion witnessed in the film and with the biblical story of Moses. Pusha T says,
“Leave ’em sittin’ at death’s door, proper way to send ’em off
They’ll just beat me ’til the sin is off or my skin is off.”
2 Chainz “Whip & A Chain” deviates from the soundtrack’s general theme, yet still finds a good fit on the album.
Furthermore, listeners find themselves turning up to Gucci Mane and Lil Wayne‘s “Oh Lord.” Despite the turn-up vibe, listeners are purposefully drawn to Gucci’s words when he raps, “I’d rather die for my freedom than live like a peasant/Depressions, recessions, the past and the present/ Slavery to segregation, I still rob with my brethren.”
“On My Own,“ “Raise Hell,” and “Bloodline,“ continue to shift the soundscape of the album bringing forth a pop vibe to it. Each track discusses specific issues plaguing black America including police brutality and personal frustration within the community.
Trey Songz and Ne-Yo dish out “Stand,” and “Queen,” two tracks with usual R&B flair.
“Live Forever,” “The Icarus,” and “Sins of Our Fathers,“ extend the sociopolitical problems Blacks have faced for centuries and how they’ve became permanent fixtures in African-American lives.
“Firebird,” and “Forward,” bring the resurgence and drive to move forward regardless of the past.
Always holding his own, Nas delivers a heavy hitter protest song with “War,“ featuring Raye.
Last but not least is “Couldn’t Hear Nobody Pray,” by the Wiley College Choir. As a modern rendition of the original Negro Spiritual, this track speaks on the feeling of being unheard or unwanted.
Overall, the soundtrack follow the footsteps of the film with various hits and misses. The Inspired by Album was great for messages delivered via historic context; however certain songs were unnecessary.
Surprisingly, Gucci and Wayne shatter expectations outside their usual content. Songs like, “On My Own,“ “Raise Hell,” and “Bloodline,” were lackluster in every sense, yet they fit the movie’s theme pretty well.
Stream The Birth of a Nation soundtrack below on Spotify and purchase it on iTunes.
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