Beyoncé’s highly anticipated visual album, Black Is King, arrived in early hours of Friday morning (July 31), premiering on Disney+ about a year after the 2019 release of the Lion King remake, which Beyoncé voiced Nala in.
Black Is King includes a cast of notable and familiar faces, such Yemi Alade, Shatta Wale, WizKid, Lupita Nyong’o, Kelly Rowland, Pharrell Williams, and JAY-Z, and moves across the world — from New York to Los Angeles, South Africa, Ghana, to London and Belgium.
On Instagram, Beyoncé shared that the film is meant to “celebrate the breadth and beauty of Black ancestry.”
“I typically keep comments short and sweet, but I just watched the trailer with my family and I’m excited. 🎶please don’t get me hype🎶🤪 “Black Is King” is a labor of love. It is my passion project that I have been filming, researching, and editing day and night for the past year. I’ve given it my all and now it’s yours. It was originally filmed as a companion piece to “The Lion King: The Gift” soundtrack and meant to celebrate the breadth and beauty of Black ancestry. I could never have imagined that a year later, all the hard work that went into this production would serve a greater purpose.
The events of 2020 have made the film’s vision and message even more relevant, as people across the world embark on a historic journey. We are all in search of safety and light. Many of us want change. I believe that when Black people tell our own stories, we can shift the axis of the world and tell our REAL history of generational wealth and richness of soul that are not told in our history books.
With this visual album, I wanted to present elements of Black history and African tradition, with a modern twist and a universal message, and what it truly means to find your self-identity and build a legacy.
I spent a lot of time exploring and absorbing the lessons of past generations and the rich history of different African customs. While working on this film, there were moments where I’ve felt overwhelmed, like many others on my creative team, but it was important to create a film that instills pride and knowledge.
I only hope that from watching, you leave feeling inspired to continue building a legacy that impacts the world in an immeasurable way. I pray that everyone sees the beauty and resilience of our people.
This is a story of how the people left MOST BROKEN have EXTRAORDINARY gifts.❤️✊🏾 Thank you to Blitz, Emmanuel, Ibra, Jenn, Pierre, Dikayl, Kwasi and all the brilliant creatives. Thank you to all at Disney for giving this Black woman the opportunity to tell this story.
This experience has been an affirmation of a grander purpose. My only goal is that you watch it with your family and that it gives you pride.”
Produced by Beyoncé’s production company, Parkwood Entertainment, Black is King also includes four full-length videos for the tracks “Already,” “Brown Skin Girl,” “Mood 4 Eva” and “My Power,” which was featured in the latest trailer.
Beyoncé collaborates in the full sense to showcase the motherland and Africa as she gives it room to breathe from the Modern Africa voices to the African American image as it depicted in the media.
The main African collaborators whose faces her American fans may not yet have seen, like Busiswa from South Africa, Salatiel from Cameroon, Shatta Wale from Ghana, and Yemi Alade, WizKid, Tekno and Mr. Eazi.
Look out for Beyoncé’s Gbese in the visuals for “Already” with Shatta Wale in the video below: