When Beyoncé’s visual album Lemonade hit the scene it was a revelation, and something that critics predicted would be hard to follow.
If we were dealing with a lesser musician that might have been the case.
On July 31, Beyoncé released Black Is King exclusively on Disney+.
The film is a visual album that centres around the music on The Lion King: The Gift, which is the original soundtrack for Disney’s live-action remake of The Lion King.
While she intended to release the visual album along with the soundtrack, she says that it means something more now in the wake of the George Floyd protests and the #BlackLivesMatter movement in 2020.
The reviews so far have been overwhelmingly positive.
Here’s The Los Angeles Times:
Featuring global artists such as Lord Afrixana and Wizkid, as well as familiar collaborators Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell Williams, Childish Gambino and her husband, Jay-Z, her music drives this wild ride from African villages and shanty towns to desolate desert scapes, opulent mansions, lush Edens and dangerous gangster dens…
Beyoncé is the star here, no question, but she’s accompanied by a cast that seems to incorporate half the planet. Regular folk are everywhere, as are legions of dancers and recognizable figures such as Lupita Nyong’o, former Destiny’s Child bandmate Kelly Rowland, Naomi Campbell and mother Tina Knowles-Lawson.
Beyoncé’s children, Blue Ivy and twins Rumi and Sir, are also featured in “Black Is King,” which is dedicated to Sir, her only son.
The trailer shows a similar approach to the one Beyoncé adopted when making Lemonade:
The album featured artists from around the world including a few from Africa, and significantly, two of our very own:
Moonchild Sanelly is a musician and dancer known for her signature blue-coloured hair and her self-created music genre called “Future ghetto punk”. She was born in Port Elizabeth, but lives in Joburg.
Busiswa Gqulu, known as Busiswa or Busi, is a South African singer-songwriter and poet. Born in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape, she gained public recognition in a feature on DJ Zinhle’s song, ‘My Name Is’, after being discovered by Kalawa Jazmee’s CEO Oskido.
‘My Power’, featuring Moonchild Sanelly and Busiswa from the visual album:
I’ll be adding that song to my playlist.
Black Is Kingʼ, is streaming now on Disney+.
If the videos above are anything to go by, it’s set to be a visual masterpiece.
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