Beyoncé’s visual album Black Is King is coming to Disney Plus on 31 July 2020. The album is inspired by The Lion King and features a variety of artists from Childish Gambino, Kendrick Lamar, Burna Boy, Jay-Z and her own daughter Blue Ivy Carter. The album is due to be released on the one-year anniversary of the release of The Lion King remake which she starred in.
The one-minute teaser trailer for Black Is King dropped unexpectedly on beyonce.com. Beyoncé has described the purpose for this visual album on her Instagram page which has led to much excitement from fans to see what Queen B can do next.
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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. Love y’all, B
The visual album was announced shortly after the release of Beyoncé’s track dedicated to the Black Lives Matter movement, ‘Black Parade’. The track was released on Juneteenth and was co-written with her husband Jay-Z, it has been suggested by the album title that Black Is King will further highlight black excellence and bring to the light the Black Lives Matter movement. It has been called a “celebratory memoir for the world on the black experience” by showing Beyoncé’s own battles of being black in a fundamentally racist society. According to Beyoncé, the album “reimagines” lessons learnt from The Lion King and moves the message towards “today’s young kings and queens in search of their crowns”.
Black Is King builds upon the themes from her album Lemonade and uses the tracks from The Lion King to tell a tale about a young kid’s journey through betrayal, love and self-identity – with his ancestors help guiding him towards his destiny of excellence.
You can watch the trailer for Black Is King here.