Let’s be real. The countdown to Black Panther has been on since the day it was announced that Ryan Coogler would be directing the film in January 2016. We have been waiting for this for TWO YEARS. I have been waiting for this my whole life. Today, on the first day of Black History Month, in the year 2018, I get to see a Marvel superhero movie about black African heroes starring an all-black cast, directed by a black man. I’ve gone in and out of tearing up and laughing maniacally all morning. This is my Super Bowl. This is my Christmas. I am overcome. 

For most of you, we are now officially 16 days out from the film’s release. Yesterday, Kendrick Lamar dropped the tracklist for Black Panther The Album. I think we’re going to get a Black Panther content drop every day until opening night. WHAT A TIME.  

The album is out February 9th. I already lost all of my chill when All of The Stars came out. Then came King’s Dead, a stunning track featuring Jay Rock, Future and James Blake. The full tracklist is SO GOOD and proof that All of the Stars and King’s Dead were just the beginning. It’s stacked with incredible talent. Anderson Paak gets a lot of love from hip-hop heads and music critics but he hasn’t exactly infiltrated the mainstream yet. Khalid and Jorja Smith are reppin’ for the fresh blood of R&B. VINCE STAPLES! It’s also got 2 Chainz, Swae Lee, Travis Scott, Ab-Soul, Mozzy, ScHoolboy Q and more. AND MORE! I’m so effing excited. 

In other Countdown to Black Panther content, King T’Challa himself, Chadwick Boseman, was featured in Mr. Porter. If you need a minute with this photospread of Chadwick looking like a literal snack, I understand. Take your time. More like Chadwick BAEsman, right!? I’m sorry. I had to. 

Chadwick says right now these are, “maybe the handsomest years of my life.” Accurate. Chadwick’s age comes up in the piece a few times and when he’s asked if getting successful later than most is easier, the writer notes that he’s “skeptical.”

 “You say later, but when did it come to Denzel [Washington] or Sam Jackson or Morgan Freeman? And why is that? I don’t have the answer, but it’s a question to pose. The industry looks for white actors and actresses, but it’s not the same for black actors. We have to really put the work in.”

There it is. That’s the kind of quote that gets us going here at LG. Because this is an imperative thing to note when it comes to working in Hollywood. Viola Davis, Ava DuVernay, Sterling K. Brown – they’ve all experienced massive amounts of success “later” in life. They’ve also had to put in twice the amount of work as their white counterparts. They’ve also faced closed doors and ceilings their peers never had to deal with. A quote like this is also why I get emotional about Black Panther. A film like Black Panther is the result of hard work but it’s also a film that will, hopefully, open doors and put a crack in ceilings for the next generation of black actors and directors in Hollywood. 

In case you’re wondering what I’ll be doing on February 9th, I’ll be scrolling through these photos of Chadwick while listening to Black Panther The Album on repeat. 

You can read the full Mr. Porter feature here.