Bay Area hip-hop group featured on ‘Black Panther’ soundtrack

Terrence Allen,

SOBxRBE’s feature is important for local music

“Black Panther” is one of the most anticipated, critically acclaimed movies of the year. High anticipation for the film was evident in its $240 million-plus opening weekend sales, according to Forbes Magazine. The movie takes place in Africa, but there are a couple of Bay Area natives that were instrumental to “Black Panther.”

Ryan Coogler, the director of the movie, is from Oakland. He also directed “Creed” and “Fruitvale Station.” The Bay Area influences on the movie do not stop with Coogler. Vallejo’s own hip-hop group, SOBxRBE, are featured on the soundtrack with the song “Paramedic” featuring Kendrick Lamar, whose label, TDE, created the music. “Paramedic” is currently number 67 on the Billboard Hot 100.

This is one of the biggest soundtracks recently for a movie. It had the biggest first week sales for a soundtrack since 2016’s “Suicide Squad” which featured hip-hop as well. This is also an important moment for the hip-hop scene in the Bay Area. SOBxRBE will be the catalyst for a resurgence of Bay Area hip-hop on a national scale.

SOBxRBE is a hip-hop group from Vallejo. The group consists of four members: Yhung T.O., DaBoii, Slimmy B and Lul G. The group has gained a lot of attention since 2016 as listeners streamed their hit song “Anti” over five million times on Soundcloud.

Kendrick Lamar produced the “Black Panther” soundtrack, which features artists such as The Weeknd, SZA and Future. The soundtrack debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart and sold 154,000 equivalent album units in its first week according to Billboard.

These huge numbers and big names mean more exposure for all of the artists involved. The exposure is good for SOBxRBE, but it also good for the Bay Area hip-hop scene as a whole. When an artist from anywhere, not just the Bay Area, becomes more popular, it puts a spotlight on that artist’s hometown.

The Bay Area needs this exposure because the last big movement from the Bay Area was the “Hyphy” movement. This movement started with another Vallejo artist, Mac Dre, in the early 2000s and only magnified with E-40 in the mid 2000s.

The Bay Area has had a few artists who gained fame on a national scale. In the 80s, 90s and 2000’s, Too $hort was one of the highest selling artists from the Bay Area. He put out four albums over the course of the 90s that peaked at number one on the Billboard Top Hip-Hop/R&B albums.

With more artists from the Bay Area getting national recognition, it opens up the door for other Bay Area artists to build their own platforms. These artists collaborate with each other and it helps disseminate popularity to other musicians.

SOBxRBE released their second album “Gangin’” on Feb. 23. The success of this project will reveal how much the “Black Panther” soundtrack has helped their fame. In the months and years to come, the state of the Bay Area hip-hop scene will also be revealed. I expect a big boom from the Bay Area in the near future.