Beyoncé is basically the queen of visual albums thanks to the collections of music videos she created for her musical albums Beyoncé and Lemonade. So it’s only appropriate that the queen is given us Black is King, a visual album based on the music of The Lion King: The Gift, a collection of music inspired by remake of the Disney classic. Now a new trailer has arrived to tease the album’s arrival at the end of the month, and you can watch it below.
Black Is King Trailer
This looks visually stunning, and it appears to tell a story that mirrors that of The Lion King, but it takes the narrative arc of Simba and brings it into the real world. Or as the press release describes it, the visual album “reimagines the lessons from the 2019 blockbuster for today’s young kings and queens in search of their own crowns.”
Black Is King was in production for an entire year, and it features the directorial talents of Emmanuel Adjei (Shahmaran), Blitz Bazawule (The Burial of Kojo), Pierre Debusschere (Beyoncé’s music videos “Mine” and “Ghost”), Jenn Nkiru (BLACK TO TECHNO), Ibra Ake (creative director and producer on Childish Gambino’s “This is America”), Dikayl Rimmasch (CACHAO, UNO MAS), Jake Nava (Beyoncé’s music videos for “Crazy in Love,” “Single Ladies,” and “Partition”) and Kwasi Fordjour, a co-director and long-time collaborator of Beyoncé. Other co-directors and second unit directors include Dafe Oboro, Julian Klincewicz, Derek Milton, Meji Alabi, Joshua Kissi, Alexandre Moors and Deon Van Zyl, names from all over the world.
The international talent on board this project is no coincidence. The visual album follows a story that begins in New York, movies to Los Angeles, and stops in South Africa, West Africa, London and Belgium. Actors and dancers from each of those areas were utilized for the production, but you’ll also notice some familiar faces as well, such as models Aweng Ade-Chuol and Adut Akech, supermodel Naomi Campbell, Tina Knowles-Lawson, Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o, former Destiny’s Child member Kelly Rowland, Pharrell Williams and, of course, JAY-Z. Many of the artists from The Lion King: The Gift also make an appearance.
Because of the African influence on the music and the story, Black Is King has been given a special distribution deal to be made available across Africa. MultiChoice Group’s M-Net and Canal+ Afrique are teaming up to bring the visual album to South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia, Namibia, Cameroon, Liberia, Burundi, Senegal, Togo, Somalia, Benin, Congo, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Gabon, Cape Verde and many more countries.
Here is the synopsis for Black is King:
The voyages of Black families, throughout time, are honored in a tale about a young king’s transcendent journey through betrayal, love and self-identity. His ancestors help guide him toward his destiny, and with his father’s teachings and guidance from his childhood love, he earns the virtues needed to reclaim his home and throne. 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.
Black is King will premiere globally on Disney+ on July 31, 2020, a little after the one-year anniversary of the release of The Lion King remake.
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