Queen Beyoncé returns this July to bless her fans with the release of her third visual album: Black Is King. Written, directed and produced by the Queen herself, this album looks set to be her best yet. And it can’t come soon enough.
Inspired by the 2019 remake of ‘The Lion King’, in which Bey starred as Nala, the new album will premier on the heals of the one year anniversary of the film. The album is set to be released on Disney+ on July 31st, so clear your calendar, call in sick and ghost that f*ck boy you’ve been talking to. You’re busy.
Black Is King is packed with star-studded collaborations, with voices from Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, Childish Gambino, Pharrell and Tierra Whack all confirmed. Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, is even expected to make an appearance. According to a statement released by Disney and Parkwood Entertainment, the visual experience will serve as “celebratory memoir for the world on the Black experience”.
“The film is a story for the ages that informs and rebuilds the present. A reunion of cultures and shared generational beliefs. A story of how the people left most broken have an extraordinary gift and a purposeful future.”
While lifelong Bey fans are obviously ecstatic by this news, the album is also very much child friendly. The narrative of the album is about a young King, and his journey through betrayal, love and self-identity. Sound familiar? Hakuna Matata.
According to the media release, the album is a reimagining of the lessons of The Lion King; “for today’s young Kings and Queens in search of their own crowns”.
Contextually, the release couldn’t come at a better time. Tensions amongst people of colour living in Western culture are at an apex, following the police killing of George Floyd. Floyd’s murder was the match that light the fire underneath the Black Lives Matter movement, but unfortunately he is just one of many casualties in a string of similar incidents across Western culture.
These last few months have left the black community hurting, and fixing these wounds will require more than just a bandaid. But this album might be a start. Beyoncé has a powerful political voice and a wide audience base; so an entire album dedicated to the uplifting of Black culture is sure to spur the BLM movement even further.
A visual album of how a person left broken can pull themselves up and have a purposeful future couldn’t be any more current.
These timeless lessons are revealed and reflected through Black voices of today, now sitting in their own power. “Black Is King” is an affirmation of a grand purpose, with lush visuals that celebrate Black resilience and culture. The film highlights the beauty of tradition and Black excellence.
It is not clear if ‘Black Is King’ will include Bey’s recent Juneteenth single ‘Black Parade‘, which similarly celebrates Black excellence. But what we do know is that this will not be the last time we see Beyoncé on our Disney+ screens. In fact, thanks to a recent deal between the Queen and the streaming platform, we can expect to see her in least two more films.
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