Surprise! Beyoncé’s Got A Brand New Project On The Way

Photo: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images.
It's a good time to be a card-carrying member of the Beyhive because Beyoncé is back, and her latest project is a celebration of Blackness that spans the expanse of the diaspora.
Last week, the dogged detective work of the fandom revealed that the singer will soon release a visual album called Black Is King days before the official announcement. Inspired by the songs from The Lion King: The Gift — a project that was released alongside the live action Lion King reboot last summer — Black Is King will tell the story of a young man who embarks on an epic trek back to his roots, discovering his true power along the way.
Advertisement
It's an obvious callback to Simba's tumultuous journey in The Lion King, but the Disney+ production has a deeper, more timely message for the Black community. As we fight tirelessly for our rights today, Beyoncé stresses the importance of knowing who and what we came from. The project is a modern retelling of Black history, grounding the triumphs and tribulations of Black people in the place where our story first began: Africa.
"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," she captioned a lengthy Instagram post sharing the trailer.
"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," Beyoncé continued. "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."
View this post on Instagram

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

A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on

The Gift is a 27-song album, and many of the songs will likely make an appearance in Black Is King, but fans can definitely expect to see the original, African-inspired tracks in the project. Beyoncé recruited some of the best musicians on the continent to contribute to the work, calling on acts like Burna Boy, Tiwa Savage, Salatiel, Shatta Wale, Busiswa, and more to add their styles to the album's sounds.
Advertisement
And the resulting project, born from that careful selection of Afrobeats, South African house, and hip hop, inspired Beyoncé to create an entire fantasy world over the course of a year to share with her fans.
Self-written, directed, and executed by the Queen herself, Black Is King marks Beyoncé's third visual album. Her self-titled album quite literally broke the internet in 2013, and she followed it up with Lemonade just three years later. Looking at her history, we really shouldn't have been surprised that she was working on something massive connected to The Gift; it didn't make sense that tunes like "Brown Skin Girl" and "My Power" would simply fade into the ether without proper visuals. And while we don't know exactly what to expect from the full-length project, we know that it's going to be beautiful and blickity-Black, a love letter to the culture from Beyoncé herself.
The full version of Black Is King will be available for streaming (and stanning) on Disney+ on July 31.

More from Music

R29 Original Series

Button: Register To Vote