Beyonce surprised fans when Disney announced “Black Is King” visual album is coming to its streaming service platform. The announcement comes after the one-year anniversary of the theatrical release of Disney’s “The Lion King” remake which saw Beyonce be the voice for Nala (and which launched on Disney Plus in January).
The Beyoncé-produced album features Childish Gambino, Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell, 070 Shake, Tierra Whack, Jay-Z, Blue Ivy Carter and Jessie Reyez, as well as African artists including Wizkid, Shatta Wale, Burna Boy, Mr Eazi, Tiwa Savage, Tekno, Yemi Alade, Busiswa and Salatiel.
“‘Black Is King’ is a celebratory memoir for the world on the Black experience,” Disney and Beyoncé’s Parkwood Entertainment said in announcing the visual album. “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.”
The film looks to uplift young kings and queens by informing them about their rich history. “Black Is King” pays tribute to voyages of Black families throughout time. The visual album tells the story of a young king’s “transcendent journey through betrayal, love and self-identity.”
“These timeless lessons are revealed and reflected through Black voices of today, now sitting in their own power,” according to the announcement. “‘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.”
Oh my gosh, that’s amazing! Can’t wait, congrats!!
— BETHANY 🇯🇲✨ (@likklebetania) June 28, 2020
— Idunakua (@idunakua) June 28, 2020
— Sello_see (@see_sello) June 28, 2020
Everyone whose getting upset, did y’all have the same energy when Beyonce coloured her face in differently ? pic.twitter.com/lNznLkWQey
— qraema3 (@qraema) June 28, 2020
— It be like that (@ItsRoxyMartis) June 28, 2020
Netflix and HBO looking at Beyonce release her next project on Disney+ pic.twitter.com/KnXYdwH327
— If Beale Street Could Twerk (@camerouninema) June 28, 2020
— shayyy (@ShaydeTrade) June 28, 2020
— Jimmy Cardoso (@jihknowles) June 28, 2020
Someone with the range must unpack how our beloved queen Beyoncé is reducing blackness and Africanness to aesthetics and the western imaginations of our existence. They must also speak about how it’s now profitable to do such gimmicks. Enough with the symbolism, Equality now!👀 https://t.co/PA5MyfgoH8
— Paballo Chauke (@withPaballo) June 28, 2020