Beyoncé has announced the launch of Black Is King, a visual album that’s bee created and executive produced by the singer. The album, which was supposed to release along with The Lion King, is a journey through the black experience with lessons from the movie about history and ancestry and how it plays a part in finding oneself.
The film took the singer a year to make, and is about the journey of a young king through the challenges of life. According to a statement from Packwood Entertainment, that produced the visual album along with Disney, “This visual album from Beyoncé reimagines the lessons of The Lion King for today’s young kings and queens in search of their own crowns. The film was in production for one year with a cast and crew that represent diversity and connectivity.”
Beyoncé, whose social media posts are usually without caption, broke her reticence online to share a heartfelt message about the upcoming album and the people who helped make it possible. The album is based on the music of Disney’s The Lion King: The Gift and also stars the artists featured on the album along with some special guest appearances.
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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 trailer sweeps across a wide spectrum of images – body painted dancers, the anointing of a new king, the singer in one of her typical high voltage choreography, some psychedelic background dancers, and much more. The album will premiere globally on Disney+ (Disney+Hotstar for Indian viewers) on July 31.
Watch the trailer here: