Users logging into Spotify today to check out the excellent Black Panther Album featuring music inspired by Marvel’s highly-anticipated film of the same name received quite a surprise. It turns out there was already a Black Panther album in the streaming service’s archives, and it’s been appearing at the top of users’ searches, causing all kinds of confusion when they realize that Kendrick Lamar’s “All The Stars” and Jay Rock’s “King’s Dead” are nowhere to be found on its tracklist.
What’s the deal? It looks like Sacramento’s Black Market Records had already released a compilation titled Black Panther with unauthorized artwork inspired by the movie’s aesthetic take on the titular “superhero.” Even more confusing, both compilations feature up-and-coming Sacramento rapper Mozzy, who has quietly been one of the city’s most prolific underground rap artists. Here’s a hint: The one featuring “Seasons” is the Marvel-endorsed film soundtrack, while the Black Market version contains “Til They Smoke Me.”
The coincidence has certainly upset a few fans, but their wrath will definitely be dwarfed by Marvel’s when the entertainment giant finds out. Disney, Marvel’s parent company since 2009, is notoriously protective of its various trademarks and can be incredibly litigious when it comes to protecting its intellectual property. Black Market was more than likely simply paying homage to a newly-important symbol of Black identity and pride, but the Mouse has some serious teeth, so they might be best-served in taking their version down before they feel the bite.